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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Lieutenant
Age: 37
Year of Death: 2021

Matthew D. Riggsby

Matthew David Riggsby was born 12 October 1983, the firstborn son to his parents, Angela and David Riggsby, followed by brothers, Michael and Jonathon, and sisters, Caitlin and Mariah. Matthew was a bright, mischievous, and busy child. Family, church, sports, Boy Scouts, and community service were influential in his teen years. He earned the rank of Eagle Scout and graduated from high school with a college degree in computer science. He was a huge football fan and loved sharing one of his Seahawks season tickets with family. He looked forward to the annual NASCAR trip to Vegas with friends. While never one to be center stage, he found himself in a pipes and drums rock band. He was a drummer, roadie, sound guy, and keeper of the playlist. He had a skill for online gaming development and made connections all over the world. His career was in IT work. He was instrumental in the development of a portable, off-grid communications tower which has been deployed to shipping ports all over the country. He was an innovator, inventor, fixer, leader, and go-to-guy.

He followed family members into the fire service in January ’08 and served with the City of Buckley Fire Department, promoting to lieutenant, until his death. From his fire chief: Matthew was a shy, quiet, and humble servant. He mastered his craft in both Fire and EMS for the right reasons, not for recognition, but the personal satisfaction of a job well done to make things better for others. He was the first to take on the difficult tasks or those no one else was capable or willing to do. He had a knack for trying to break processes needing to be broken to improve them. Often this created an efficiency, best practice, or safer model for us to operate under. He would drop what he was doing to serve his fellow man, whether a community member, habitual caller, or a fellow firefighter. Everyone was equal in his eyes, and everyone knew where they stood with him. He had a towering (literally) Command presence. He did this with calm humility and composed leadership that promoted followership.

Throughout his life, Matthew saw a problem and worked out a solution before most knew there was a question. It was common to hear, “Ask Matthew.” Few realized how much he did silently, behind the scenes, until he wasn’t there anymore. He was a wicked competitor on game night, had a contagious belly laugh, was a keeper of random knowledge, and loved unconditionally. This son, brother, uncle, leader, servant, and friend left behind a hole which cannot be filled. Be valiant in your heavenly assignment. We have it from here.

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