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LODD: Pa. paramedic supervisor struck and killed responding to crash scene

Paramedic Supervisor Matt C. Smelser, 44, was fatally struck by a tractor-trailer shortly after exiting an ambulance

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Rostraver West Newton Emergency Services Paramedic Supervisor Matt C. Smelser was killed in the line of duty when he was struck by a tractor-trailer while responding to a crash scene in western Pennsylvania early Sunday morning.

In a Rapid Response, EMS1 Editor-in-Chief Greg Friese notes roadway incidents are a hot zone for EMS, and shares a number of resources for traffic incident management and roadside safety training to put time, distance and shielding into practice to limit the risk to first responders.

Our thoughts are with Smelser’s family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.

Duty Death: Matt C. Smelser - [Rostraver Township]

End of Service: 05/01/2020

By EMS1 Staff

WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Pa. — A paramedic supervisor was struck and killed by a vehicle while responding to a crash scene in western Pennsylvania.

Rostraver West Newton Emergency Services Paramedic Supervisor Matt C. Smelser, 44, had just exited his ambulance when he was hit by a tractor-trailer early Sunday morning, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

“EMS personnel were on the scene, tending to the victim of the crash. The weather conditions at the time caused the roadway to become icy and their ambulance was struck by another vehicle,” said Pennsylvania State Trooper Richard Nagy.

Smelser died at the scene, according to Nagy. The incident remains under investigation.

Paramedic Don Drew of Fayette County, who had worked with Smelser for about 15 years, said the paramedic supervisor was “a phenomenal person and a phenomenal paramedic.”

‘He was Mr. Safety. If he saw someone who didn’t have proper safety equipment at a scene, he’d tell someone that the next time they better be wearing an EMS safety vest or whatever it was,” Drew said. “I can tell you this is just heartbreaking for the entire EMS community in the region. That is how well-respected Matt was, and he was the type of paramedic everyone strived to be.”