CINCINNATI -- The on-duty death of Hamilton firefighter Patrick Wolterman has elicited thank-yous and sadness from people across the Tri-State, extending far beyond Hamilton.
His co-workers, Lt. Dave Holzberger and firefighter Jason Callihan, said Wolterman was "not your typical rookie," and was a natural fit for the job.
"You treat rookies a little different, but with Pat you couldn't do that," Callihan said. "His demeanor and the way he acted, you couldn't help but just let him in. He fit just right in to the core of the group."
Members of the Roger Bacon High School community are now reaching out to share memories of their former classmate and teammate and to offer condolences to Wolterman's family and new bride.
Wolterman was a 2005 graduate of Roger Bacon High School, a Catholic School in St. Bernard.
During his time at Roger Bacon, Wolterman played football and was named an Academic All-Star in the Greater Catholic League.
"Pat was an easygoing person, caring and well-liked," said Michael Kaser, a fellow 2005 Roger Bacon graduate. "He was smart...commited to his friends and family, the school and football program. He will be missed by all who know him."
— Roger Bacon (@RogerBaconHS) December 28, 2015
Current principal of Roger Bacon High School Steve Schad didn't work at the school at the time Wolterman attended it, but he said the Spartan alumnus is "a shining example of a hero."
"Patrick embodies the Franciscan values of service to others, compassion, humility and discipline that we strive to impart to all of our students," Schad said in a press release. "He gave his life in the service of others; there is no greater expression of love."
Wolterman joined the Hamilton Fire Department on April 25, 2015 after serving with the Fairfield and Colerain Township departments.
— Evan Millward (@EvanMillward) December 28, 2015
On the day of his death, firefighters entered the building in the 1300 block of Pater Avenue because they were advised that someone may be trapped inside. But that turned out to be false, fire officials said; no one was home at the time.
"Almost immediately upon entry a 'may day' of a firefighter down was announced," Hamilton Safety Director J. Scott Scrimizzi said in a statement. "HFD members rescued the firefighter and immediately performed CPR while transporting to Fort Hamilton Hospital where he passed away in the line of duty.
Wolterman fell through the floor into the basement and was killed, Hamilton fire officials said.
"This is a terrible day for the City of Hamilton," Scrimizzi said. "Please keep the family and the members of the Hamilton Fire Department in your thoughts and prayers.
A public memorial service is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Thursday at Princeton Pike Church of God, 6106 Princeton Glendale Road. Afterward, there will be a procession to Spring Grove Cemetery followed by a private graveside service.
Wolterman's funeral mass is scheduled for Wednesday evening but is not open to the public.
Hamilton City Manager Joshua Smith said donations in support of Wolterman's family can be made at First Financial Bank. You can leave your condolences for Wolterman here.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) December 28, 2015
— Cincy Fire & EMS (@CincyFireEMS) December 28, 2015
Our thoughts are with the Hamilton Fire Department and the friends & family of Patrick Wolterman #HFDWolterman
— Freestore Foodbank (@FreestoreFB) December 28, 2015
— WCPO (@WCPO) December 28, 2015
WCPO's Evan Millward, Jordan Burgess, Greg Noble and Pat LaFleur contributed to this story.