Grand Strand fire departments mourn loss of beloved first responder
MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WMBF) - A number of fire and rescue departments in the Grand Strand are mourning the loss of a beloved first responder.
The Murrells Inlet-Garden City Professional Firefighters Association said that Lt. Matthew Piontkowski passed away from what was described as line-of-duty cancer early Friday. He was surrounded by his family in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, the group said in a statement.
“Brother Piontkowski has made an impression on each individual he has had contact with throughout his entire career,” the group said. “He will be truly missed, but never forgotten.”
The association also thanked a pair of International Association of Fire Fighters chapters in Cleveland for their support of Piontkowski during his time back in Ohio.
“He was a brother, mentor, friend, and coworker to many first responders in Horry and Georgetown Counties, eaving a lasting impression on everyone he encountered throughout his career,” the Murrells Inlet-Garden City Fire District said in its own statement.
Piontkowski formerly served with Horry County Fire Rescue from 2010-2017, according to the agency. HCFR added that he made “many long-lasting bonds with the crews that have made up our ranks.”
Midway Fire Rescue also shared its condolences, calling Piontkowski an “incredible paramedic, mentor, co-worker, friend and more.”
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