Firefighter Matthew T. Pfost serves as the Firefighter on one of Gainesville Fire Rescue’s busiest units, Engine 2, and as one of six “SWAT” Medics for both the Alachua County Sheriff’s office and Gainesville Police Department.
Although his tenure with the fire department has been short, all of his supervisors note that he works with little-to-no supervision, sets an example for others, and possesses conceptual, human, and technical skills well beyond his rank and years. Firefighter Pfost demonstrates not only proficiency, but consistency in the performance of his duties.
Never was this more apparent than on when serving as a junior member of Engine 4 on May 2013. The crew responded to a drowning patient in SW Gainesville. On arrival Firefighter Pfost quickly determined that the patient was in a lethal cardiac rhythm that required electrical defibrillation. Firefighter Pfost recognized that because the patient was lying in a pool of water this presented a hazard to his crew, so he moved and dried the patient before delivering the life-saving electrical shock to the patient’s heart.
Firefighter Pfost then directed his crew about the appropriate efforts to maintain the patient’s vital organs while he personally completed several more advanced interventions that, together with the quick response and defibrillation, resulted in saving the patient’s life.
Crew members credit Firefighter Pfost’s poise under pressure and technical skills with the positive results that returned the patient and the crew safely to their families. Firefighter Pfost’s actions that day, and the consistency he has shown in remaining ever vigilant and ever prepared to perform his duties, has displayed great credit upon himself and Gainesville Fire Rescue, and keeps with the high standards of the Fire Service.