ST. MARY’S COUNTY, Md – Deputy State Fire Marshal Josh Matthews has been selected as the Southern Region nominee for Deputy State Fire Marshal of the Year. He will join other investigators chosen throughout the state for the 2021 James C. Robertson Deputy State Fire Marshal of the Year Award during the Maryland State Fireman’s Convention in Ocean City this June.
Before starting his career with the agency in August 2018, he was a summer intern as part of his studies at Hood College in Frederick. Through this internship, he learned about the day-to-day functions of the State Fire Marshal’s Office, which ultimately led to him applying and eventually becoming a sworn employee.
In 2021, DSFM Matthews was highlighted as the primary investigator on twenty-five fire and explosive investigations and assisted on the scene of thirty-two other incidents. Nearly half of his investigations were concluded to be arson, contributing to a significant caseload. With 6 cases resulting in the felony arrests of 7 individuals, Matthews had one of the highest closure rates in the agency at 55%, far exceeding the national average. Deputy Chief John Nelson, commander of the Southern Regional Office, credited Matthews’ success with his in-depth criminal investigations, including tracking down leads, thorough scene examinations, and obtaining search warrants for digital evidence.
“DSFM Matthews has worked hard to deserve this recognition not only for his dedication and commitment to Southern Maryland but throughout the entire state,” stated Nelson.
Being selected for the investigator of the year comes on the heels of him being awarded the St. Mary’s County Department of Aging and Human Services 2022 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. This joint award with Triad and Senior and Law Enforcement Together or S.A.L.T Council promotes a three-way commitment among law enforcement agencies and older citizens to reduce criminal victimization and enhance services to senior citizens.
The Southern Regional Office consists of Charles, St. Mary’s, and Calvert counties, including state-owned properties in Prince Georges and Anne Arundel counties.