Joseph M. Patterson, Firefighter/EMT

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Firefighter/EMT Patterson and 2 other firefighters were in the process of draining compressed air from a number of used Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA) air cylinders in preparation for valve removal and hydrostatic testing.  In some cases, the cylinder valve was inoperable, so a firefighter was partially loosening the pressure-relief burst disc plugs on these cylinder valves.  In the process of draining a cylinder with a loosened plug, the plug separated from the cylinder and the air in the cylinder began to rapidly vent through the opening.  The cylinder became airborne and struck a wall, shearing off the cylinder valve.  The cylinder continued to be airborne, glancing off of an apparatus and striking Firefighter/EMT Patterson in the head.

Firefighters immediately came to the aid of Firefighter/EMT Patterson and he was flown by medical helicopter to a regional hospital.  Firefighter/EMT Patterson was pronounced dead at the hospital.  The cause of death was reported to be blunt force trauma.

For additional information regarding this incident, please refer to NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program report F2018-10 at

Department information

Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District
640 North Washington Street
U.S. National Grid: 17S KD 9447 5912
Greenfield, Ohio 45123

Chief: David Manning

Joseph M. Patterson was included in the USFA’s annual report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States.
Age: 33
Rank: Firefighter/EMT
Classification: Part-Time (Paid)
Incident date: June 24, 2018 14:15
Date of death: June 24, 2018
Cause of death: Struck By
Nature of death: Trauma
Activity type: Not On Scene
Emergency duty: No
Duty type: Other On-Duty
Fixed property use: Store/Office