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Patrick Wolterman Memorial Highway just 3 steps from becoming a reality

Firefighter and Paramedic Patrick Wolterman Memorial Highway is just three steps from becoming a reality in Hamilton.

Ohio Rep. Wes Retherford’s bill designed to rename part of Ohio 4 — from North Fair Avenue to High Street — for fallen firefighter/paramedic Patrick Wolterman was added to Senate Bill 86 this month and passed today out of the House State and Local Government Committee.

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

Wolterman, 28, died Dec. 28, 2015, while battling a blaze at a Hamilton home.

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. (CONTRIBUTED)

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It was later determined that the fire was intentionally set. Lester Parker and William Tucker were found guilty in November 2017 of murder and arson and sentenced to life in prison.

Retherford reached out to Hamilton firefighters union, I.A.F.F Local 20, following the trial to determine if the road re-naming was something the family and department wanted. That proposed portion of Ohio 4 to be re-named is also where Wolterman’s fire station, Station 25, is located.

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“By amending it into a Senate Bill during the House committee process, we can get the legislation on a faster track to passage,” said Retherford, a Hamilton Republican. “We are now that much closer to paying proper honor to the memory of a true hometown hero who paid the ultimate sacrifice serving Hamilton.”

The funeral procession for Hamilton firefighter Patrick Wolterman passes by his fire station. Wolterman died in 2015 from injuries he sustained when he fell through the first floor of a home while battling a fire on Pater Avenue. (GREG LYNCH / STAFF)

Retherford also said folding his bill into Senate Bill 86 was serendipitous because Wolterman’s now-retired badge number was 86.

The Ohio House will need to vote on the bill, which includes several road and bridge namings.

If the House approves the bill, the Ohio Senate will consider the changes with a “yes” or “no” vote. If it passes out of the Senate with the changes, it will go before Ohio Gov. John Kasich for his signature.

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

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