Firefighter/EMT Joe Patterson was laid to rest Friday in Chillicothe with full fire service honors, including a procession of more than 100 emergency vehicles, an assembly of bagpipes and drums, and a final radio call that sounded out over emergency stations across the area.
Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District Public Information Officer Branden Jackman said Friday that other departments showed an overwhelming amount of support for the district and Patterson’s family in the days following his death, adding that the funeral itself was “a true testament” to the camaraderie of the fire service.
“It wouldn’t have been possible without the outpouring of the brotherhood,” Jackman said.
Patterson lost his life Sunday in an accident at Paint Creek’s station in Rainsboro. Officials said he was working with a compressed air tank that experienced “catastrophic failure,” resulting in unsurvivable injuries. Patterson was flown to Kettering Medical Center, where he was met by firefighters from nearby departments, Jackman said. He later died from his wounds.
Patterson’s funeral services were held at Southeastern High School in Chillicothe, and a graveside ceremony was held at the Londonderry Cemetery. Pastor John Evans officiated.
On Friday, two fire trucks along the funeral route crossed their aerial ladders with a flag hoisted in the middle, and a group of bagpipers and drummers performed “Amazing Grace.”
Jackman said more than 70 emergency agencies and hundreds of individuals participated in the funeral and procession.
“We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to anybody and everybody who has helped,” Jackman said. “It was incredible.”
Shortly before 5 p.m. Friday, Communications Officer Damon Haught at the Highland County Sheriff’s Office sounded off Patterson’s final call over the radio, a funerary tradition in the fire service.
Haught described Patterson as “a loving father, husband son, brother and friend of many.”
“Firefighter Patterson, your fun-loving antics and outgoing personality will be missed by so many people,” he said. “You have made such an awesome impact on many lives, and you will be sorely missed.”
After observing a moment of silence, Haught continued, “Firefighter Joseph Patterson, may you rest in peace knowing that your strength lives on in your children, in your loving wife, and your honor lives on in all of us. Firefighter Joseph Patterson, thank you for all your dedicated service. You are clear to remain with the Lord forever. Goodbye, dear friend. We have it from here, Joe.”
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.