It is with deepest regret and sorrow that we announce that on April 12, 2023, we lost a beloved and respected member of our fire family, Captain Matthew Hambleton. Above all else, Matt dearly loved his wife and two children, whom he leaves behind.
In August 1996, Matt became a firefighter for Salt Lake County Fire/Unified Fire Authority. Two years later, Matt was promoted to paramedic, and in 2006 was promoted to Captain. He led his crews with passion, professionalism, and expertise and was admired by many. Matt was a founding member of the Heavy Rescue Program and the longest-serving member with over 20 years of dedicated service. He was a subject matter expert in rope rescue, confined space rescue, trench rescue, structure collapse, heavy extrication, and rapid intervention teams. Matt always enthusiastically passed on his knowledge and skills to others.
Matt received awards and recognition for his service, including deploying to the World Trade Center after 9/11/2001, 2-unit citations for his Hurricane Harvey deployment in 2018, and a canyon vehicle rollover in 2021.
Matt became a member of FEMA’s US&R system in 2001 when he joined UT-TF1, one of FEMA’s 28 elite Urban Search and Rescue task force teams. Matt deployed on many missions with UT-TF1, served with great passion as a mentor, and delivered thousands of hours of instruction and leadership influence in many rescue and search disciplines.
Some of the positions he held were:
-Rescue Squad Officer
-Tech Search Specialist
-Rescue Team Manager
-Search Team Manager
-Water Rescue Technician
-Rescue Boat Operator
He served on the following US&R deployments, helping hundreds of people along the way:
-World Trade Center, 9/11/2001 Rescue Specialist
-Logan Canal Break (mudslide search) 7/11/2009
-Hurricane Harvey 8/24/2017
-Hurricane Laura 8/26/2020
-Oregon Wildfires 9/12/2020
Matt was a beloved mentor, friend, and leader. He will be very deeply missed. ...