ROSTRAVER (KDKA) — A final farewell was held today for a paramedic supervisor who was killed on the job while responding to a crash last weekend in Westmoreland County.
Matthew Smelser was laid to rest today at Monongahela Cemetery following a funeral service.
He was killed last Sunday after a vehicle hit him and his ambulance.
Smelser, an EMS supervisor, was responding to a crash on Interstate 70 in Smithton when he was killed in the crash.
“Matthew Smelser’s death is a tragic reminder of the risk taken by emergency personnel across the state each day to rescue Pennsylvanians in distress,” Gov. Wolf said in a press release.
Hundreds of first responders from everywhere stood in the rain on Friday — all for Smelser.
“Matthew Smelser was a supervisor with me. He was second in charge, he’s been with me for 24 years and he was like my best friend,” said Mike Stangroom, director of operations at Rostraver West Newton Emergency Services.
The tear-drenched service honored a remarkable man.
“This man has touched a lot of lives over the years,” said Stangroom.
Last night, the U.S. Honor Flag, which travels around the country to honor fallen heroes, made a stop at Marshall Marra Funeral Home for his viewing.
A paramedic, professional, father and friend. Hundreds gather in Mon City to say goodbye to Paramedic Supervisor Matt Smelser. pic.twitter.com/0gqavXOmXz
— Ross Guidotti (@RossGuidotti) January 10, 2020
The drone of bagpipes marked the end of a sad service. Smelser’s casket was draped with the paramedic’s flag, his hearst and ambulance adorned with black bunting. It lead an incredibly long procession line of first responder vehicles to his final resting place of Monongahela Cemetery.
“He was a true professional and a role model,” said Stangroom.
Stay with KDKA for more on the life and funeral of Smelser.