NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Monday at Tingley Coliseum, the community gathered to give their final goodbyes to the Bernalillo County Fire Department Lieutenant Matthew King. He was one of four men killed in the helicopter crash in Las Vegas, New Mexico on July 16.
It was a day filled with heavy emotion as colleagues looked back on the impact King had on their lives. “What Matt will take away and leave us with is the acts of laughter and joy that he left behind, the acts of love, and the acts of service and the ultimate act of sacrifice of his life,” says Sheriff Manuel Gonzales.
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Family, friends, and loved ones remember Rescue Specialist Matthew King. They say he was a man that taught them how to laugh during the good times and the bad times. “Finally, he was an amazing mentor to many people here today, including me, not just on fires but on living a good life. He showed us how to do it better,” says friend Miguel Tittmann.
During the memorial, King was also given the highest award by the department, the Medal of Honor. His helmet was presented to his colleagues and then his family. Fellow firefighters lined the streets to honor their fallen brother. King was also given his final dispatch, and a final bell toll was rung.
Friends say that despite King being gone, his memory will live on with them forever. “Thank you, Matt for providing the example of how to be a better father, husband, friend, paramedic, and firefighter. I love you, friend. We’re all gonna miss you,” says Captain Joe Martin.
King was on board the Bernalillo County Sheriff Office ‘Metro 2’ helicopter when it crashed near Las Vegas. The crew was assisting with efforts to contain the East Mesa Fire. Services have already been held for BCSO Lieutenant Fred Beers and Undersheriff Larry Koren. Deputy Michael Levison’s funeral is Wednesday, August 3 at 10 a.m. at The Pit.