Fallen BCFD Lt. Matt King honored with Medal of Honor

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It’s been a little over two weeks since four first responders died in a tragic helicopter crash. But for the families of those lost, their pain will last much longer. 

On Monday, the funeral of Rescue Specialist Lt. Matthew King was held. King’s wife accepted a Medal of Honor given to King for going above and beyond the call of duty.  His final act was to call 911 after their helicopter crashed and guided first responders to the scene.

The final alarm rang out for King Monday, a tradition that goes back hundreds of years. 

“Today in our modern fire service we utilize these traditions as symbols that reflect honor and respect for those who have given so much and who have served so well. To symbolize the devotion that these brave souls had for their call.”

King was one of the “brave souls” that lost his life in the Metro 2 helicopter crash in July. 

First responders from across the state were there Sunday to honor him. Those who knew him best remembered how goofy he was.

“Every time I came in contact with Matt he gave me a hug, but I had to remind him please brother love the hugs but no kisses, that’s how affectionate he was,” said Sheriff Manny Gonzales. 

And recognizes what a true hero he was. 

“Under extreme hazardous conditions and having full knowledge of the imminent risk of life and without reservation hesitation or planning, Lt. King performed an act of distinguished heroism above and beyond the call of duty,” said BCFR Chief of Operations Deputy Chief Brian Rose. “I bestow our highest award, the Medal of Honor to Audrey King on behalf of Lt. King.” 

The love for King resonated throughout Tingley Colosseum, and the love for his wife and two kids, now left without a husband and father. 

“Matt was the devoted husband that always provide for and supported Audrey he worked hard to keep the spark alive between them even after 18 years of marriage, they were so in love and that does not happen by accident,” said retired U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Damian Vandevender.

The day for honoring a true hero came to a close with a final salute. 

King was with Bernalillo County Fire Rescue for 11 years. He was 44 years old. 

If you would like to donate to the families of the four fallen first responders, click here.