Friday, July 6, 2018

Springfield honors fallen firefighter Matthew LeTourneau

Prior to the start of the annual Fourth of July parade, Springfield Township officials honored fallen firefighter Matthew LeTourneau, who began his passion for firefighting as a volunteer in the township.

His name is placed on a plaque on the “volunteer memorial” wall nearby the firehouse along with hundreds of volunteers who have been honored for serving in the town. Former Springfield Commissioner Jeff Rudolph presented the honor of “exemplary volunteer” to the LeTourneau family in memory Matthew LeTourneau. His mother, Janice LeTourneau, accepted the certificate in his honor. 

Photo by Mark Sherwood - Sherwood Photography
Former Springfield Commissioner Jeff Rudolph presents a certificate to Janice LeTourneau on behalf of her late son, Matthew LeTourneau, who died in the line of duty in Philadelphia in January. 

LeTourneau, who served as a lieutenant with the Philadelphia Fire Department Engine 45/ Platoon A, became trapped during a structural collapse while battling a rowhome fire in a North Philadelphia on Jan. 6. After the firefighters freed him, he was transported to the hospital where he was pounced dead. He was 42.

LeTourneau was honored by Springfield Township for his service with the Springfield Fire Company and Springfield Ambulance Corps. He served as a life member of both organizations. LeTourneau began as a volunteer firefighter in July 1991 before the start of his junior year at Cardinal O’Hara. Seven years later he was appointed as a lieutenant by the chief to assist with training nights and he helped oversee firefighting operations. LeTourneau also taught classes at the Delaware County Emergency Services Training Center as a state instructor. Fellow firefighters recalled him as someone who loved firefighting, training and learning every day.

“He was well known and respected by all, for his training exercises,” Rudolph said.

Rudolph announced that LeTourneau served with the Friday night crew as a driver/ EMT for Springfield Ambulance and responded to more than 1,000. He joined in 1997 and would teach CPR and other courses for the EMT program at Delaware County Community College.

Rudolph said LeTourneau “reached his life goal” when he joined the Philadelphia Fire Department as a career firefighter in 2007. He was promoted to lieutenant in 2015 and promoted to captain posthumously.

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