He was the one they thought would be chief one day. Hardworking and driven, with a knack for pushing others to excel, Orlando Fire Department District Chief Matthew Negedly had the qualities his brethren wanted in a leader.
"He was getting ready to become assistant chief," his wife, Jill Negedly, said. "He always had a lot of goals and always tried to be the absolute best."
He took on difficult assignments, flying to New York City "as soon as planes were back in the air" to help dig through the rubble after Sept. 11 and was the district chief assigned to Pulse the day after the June 12 shooting, his wife said. Matthew's brother, Steven Negedly, worked with him at the fire department as a lieutenant. Steven Negedly said his brother had his hands in everything; writing department policy, teaching at Seminole State College and lecturing at fire conferences across the country. "He never quit anything," Steven Negedly said. "That's was so shocking about this."