The funeral procession for Hamilton firefighter Patrick Wolterman passes by his fire station Thursday, Dec. 31. Wolterman died from injuries he sustained when he fell through the first floor of a home into the basement while battling a fire on Pater Avenue early Monday morning. GREG LYNCH/FILE

This honor could recognize a fallen Hamilton firefighter for all the community to see

Hamilton firefighter Patrick Wolterman died Dec. 28, 2015, while battling a fire on Pater Avenue in Hamilton. Wolterman’s death was the Hamilton Fire Department’s first in the line-of-duty-death since 1971.
Photo: Contributed

Rep. Wes Retherford, R-Hamilton, introduced on Wednesday afternoon House Bill 534 which would rename Ohio 4, from North Fair Avenue to the High Street, as “Firefighter and Paramedic Patrick Wolterman Memorial Highway.” The road is also where Wolterman’s fire station, Station 25, is located.

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The bill has received bi-partisan support as four of the 11 co-sponsors of the bill are Democrats.

“Patrick Wolterman died a hero in service of his community,” Retherford said. “It is only fitting that the section of Route 4 where his fire station is located is named in his honor. The sign will serve as a reminder to the community of his brave sacrifice.”

Statehouse bills honoring fallen members of the military and former governors, as well as men and women who made contributions to a community, is not an uncommon occurrence. There are hundreds of state-owned highways and bridges around Ohio named for people.

There are several portions of roadways in Butler County, including along Ohio 4, Ohio 63 and Ohio 129, named for a fallen service member.

Wolterman, 28, died Dec. 28, 2015, battling a blaze at a Hamilton home. It later determined that the fire was intentionally set, and Lester Parker and William Tucker were found guilty in November of murder and arson and sentenced to life in prison.

Lester Parker and William Tucker found guilty in Hamilton firefighter murder trial

Issac Sarris, a Hamilton firefighter/paramedic and one of two liaisons for the Wolterman family, said naming a stretch of road for Wolterman will be a permanent reminder “that there was a really good guy, a really good family member that lost his life, and we want to remember how good of a person he was.”

RELATED: 800 people run, walk for Patrick Wolterman (May 2016)

Sarris said Retherford reached out to Hamilton firefighters union, I.A.F.F Local 20, following the Parker and Tucker trial to determine if this is something the family and department wanted.

It was, Sarris said.

“This is a nice reminder for many, many years to come that he was a part of this community,” he said.

Wolterman was the first line-of-duty death for the Hamilton Fire Department since 1971.

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