Matt Ballou Photos courtesy of Ballou family

Matthew Ballou, a South Berwick firefighter and Biddeford Public Safety dispatcher known for his easy smile, quick wit and professionalism, died Wednesday following a complication from surgery. He was 32.

Ballou died at home in South Berwick after suffering a medical emergency stemming from surgery he had about a month ago to repair a torn Achilles tendon, said his wife, Tiffany Ballou.

A 2006 graduate of Camden High School, Ballou was drawn to a public safety career early on, joining the Lincolnville Fire Department as a senior. He went on to attend the fire science program at Southern Maine Community College and earned his Firefighter 1 and 2 certifications. He later became a dispatcher for Knox County Communications.

“We are heartbroken,” the Lincolnville Fire Department said on its Facebook page. “Many of us got to work with him and it was a pleasure. Matt was one of those guys that got along with everyone, and that smile was always there. He made a difference. You will be missed Matt. Rest easy Matty. We’ll take it from here.”

He was a live-in firefighter for the Alfred Fire Department before joining the South Berwick Fire Department in 2017.

“Matty was a hard worker, always willing to pitch in and help no matter what needed to be done,” South
Berwick Fire Department said on its Facebook page. “We will remember Matt as always smiling, with a quick, witty sense of humor that could lighten any mood. Matt, you will be missed. Rest in Peace brother.”

Matt Ballou

Ballou had worked as a dispatcher at the Biddeford Public Safety Communications Center for six years.

JoAnne Fisk, deputy chief of police and director of the city’s communications center, said Ballou was an exceptional employee, and always handled calls with professionalism.

“He did a great job for us,” Fisk said. “He was calm, never rattled. He always came to work with a smile on his face. He handled people exceptionally well. He did his job and did it well. He will be, without question, sorely missed.”

Ballou and his wife married in September 2019 and lived in South Berwick. It was a second marriage for both. She has two daughters from her first marriage, Olivia and Izabella. He has a son, Tucker. In April, she gave birth to their son, Axton.
“He was the best father,” his wife said. “He was so attentive. The kids were always his top priority. Even if he had 100 things to do, he was off fishing with them or taking karate classes.”

She laughed, saying they met each other through the dating website Plenty of Fish.

“It’s awful. I don’t like to tell people that,” she said laughing. “I knew Matt before because our kids went to the same day care, but I never put two and two together. It just had to happen like that I guess.”

His wife said she will miss everything about him.

“He had a great personality and smile,” his wife said breaking down in tears. “He was all around probably the best person I have ever met.”


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