Honoring 8 Fallen Heroes


Firefighter Bobby "Blue" Smith

Ware County Fire Rescue, Georgia

EOW: June 22, 2023 | Age: 24 | Tour: None

On Thursday, June 22, 2023, Firefighter Bobby “Blue” Smith was in a fire apparatus checking fire hydrants with another firefighter when the truck traveled off the roadway onto the west shoulder and lost control. The truck then spun counterclockwise as it flipped across the roadway before hitting a tree and landing on its passenger side in the ditch. Firefighter Bobby “Blue” Smith was pronounced deceased at the scene. Investigation into the incident continues.


Firefighter Lloyd Ruediger

New Haven-Berger Fire Protection District, Missouri

EOW: June 26, 2023 | Age: 84 | Tour: None

On Sunday, June 25, 2023, Firefighter Lloyd Ruediger responded to the scene of a residential fire. At approximately 10:30 p.m., he returned home. The next morning, Monday, June 26, 2023, he was found deceased at his residence from an apparent heart attack.


Chief Hal Matthew Hanenkrath

South Richland Fire Department, Ohio

EOW: June 27, 2023 | Age: 40 | Tour: None

On Tuesday, June 27, 2023, Chief Hal Matthew Hanenkrath was at the scene of a residential fire when he started experiencing shortness of breath and chest pains. He was immediately treated at the scene and was then rushed to the local hospital where he passed away a short time later from a pulmonary embolism.


EMT Kymber Nezat

Arcadia Ambulance Service, Louisiana

EOW: June 27, 2023 | Age: 28 | Tour: None

POINTE COUPE PARISH, La. — An Acadian Ambulance EMT was killed and a paramedic injured when their ambulance was involved in a head-on collision with a tractor-trailer on June 27. A patient in the ambulance was also killed. The Pointe Coupee Sheriff's Office identified those killed as EMT Kymber Nezat, the driver of the ambulance and Albert Bordelon, the patient, WBRZ reported. The truck driver and another person in a third vehicle were also injured. The Louisiana State Police told WBRZ that Nezat was driving the ambulance when she struck a car in front of her, crossed the center line into the oncoming lane and hit the truck head-on.  Acadian Ambulance released a statement about the crash, "Acadian Ambulance can confirm that one of our ambulances was involved in a vehicle accident this morning. There were two fatalities. We are cooperating with the law enforcement officials investigating the scene and have no other information to release at this time. The entire Acadian family extends our deepest sympathies to the families of the victims and of the injured." WAFB reported that a blood drive is being held for the injured paramedic, Hunter Fruge. The Louisiana State Police are investigating the crash.


Trooper Aaron Smith

Indiana State Police, Indiana

EOW: June 28, 2023 | Age: None | Tour: 5 Years

Trooper Aaron Smith was struck and killed by a stolen vehicle at about 8:30 pm while deploying spike strips to terminate a vehicle pursuit on eastbound I-70, near 6 Points Road in Plainfield. Other troopers initiated a pursuit when the vehicle fled as they attempted to stop it. Trooper Smith was on I-70, deploying spike strips, when he was hit by the fleeing vehicle. The car crashed after hitting Trooper Smith. The driver and vehicle passengers, including a juvenile, were taken to local hospitals. The driver was charged with murder, and one of the passengers was charged with auto theft. Another passenger was reported as a missing juvenile from Missouri and will not be charged. Trooper Smith was a United States Army National Guard veteran and served with the Indiana State Police for five years. He is survived by his wife.


Firefighter Stuart G Hunt

Ancram Volunteer Fire Department, New York

EOW: June 15, 2023 | Age: 37 | Tour: None

On Thursday, June 15, 2023, while performing traffic control duties at the scene of a motor vehicle accident, Firefighter Stuart Guy Hunt suffered a medical emergency. Personnel immediately began life saving efforts and was then transported to the hospital, where he passed away a short time later. The cause of his death has yet to be determined.


Firefighter William "Bill" J. McCale

Vermilion Township Fire & Rescue, Ohio

EOW: June 10, 2023 | Age: 50 | Tour: None

On Monday, June 5, 2023, Firefighter/Medical First Responder William “Bill” John McCale was attending training and pulled a 5-inch large-diameter hose from the hose bed to connect to the intake when he was found by a fellow firefighter at the pump panel. Medics immediately assisted Firefighter/Medical First Responder McCale to the back of the ambulance. He was transported to Mercy Regional Medical Center where he was treated and released on Thursday, June 8, 2023.


Firefighter Brice C. Trossbach

Naval District Washington Fire Department, Maryland

EOW: June 27, 2023 | Age: 25 | Tour: None

On Tuesday, June 27, 2023, firefighters from the Naval Air Station Patuxent River responded to a mutual aid call at a residential fire located on Deer Wood Park Drive in Leonardtown, MD. Firefighter Brice C. Trossbach, while fighting the fire on the first floor, fell into the basement. He was rescued and immediately rushed to the hospital where he passed away from the injuries he sustained in the accident. Firefighter Trossbach was also a volunteer firefighter with the Leonardtown Volunteer Fire Department and the Bay District Volunteer Fire Department.


This information is supplied by the Officer Down Memorial Page (www.odmp.org) and the U.S. Fire Administration (www.apps.usfa.fema.gov).