BURLINGTON — Assistant Chief Andrew Connerty and the members of the Burlington Fire Department wish to congratulate and recognize the service of retiring Chief Michael Patterson.
Chief Patterson will conclude more than 34 years of service to the Town of Burlington when he retires on Jan. 6. Connerty has been appointed as Chief Patterson’s successor. Chief Patterson was recognized for his contributions to the department at the Select Board meeting on Dec. 12 and at a coffee gathering with peers on Dec. 16.
“As retirement approaches, Chief Patterson should be satisfied that throughout his career, he delivered the best service possible to the Town of Burlington, its residents, its visitors, and the business community,” Connerty said. “As he rose up through the ranks, he used whatever authority he had to provide the best support possible for the Firefighters to do their jobs efficiently and safely so that they too could deliver the services they are called on to do. The high-quality equipment and training our members enjoy, and the high level of service our community benefits from, are a direct result of Chief Patterson’s thoughtful and forward-thinking leadership.”
Patterson joined the Burlington Fire Department in September 1988 as a firefighter and has steadily worked his way up the department’s ranks in the decades since. He was named acting Lieutenant in December 1993, named a permanent Lieutenant the following February, and served as an acting Captain at various times from 1994-2002.
He was named a Captain in July of 2002, after which he served as Burlington Fire’s first training Captain. He was subsequently named Assistant Chief in 2010 and has served as Chief since late 2019.
Over the course of his career, Chief Patterson served on several committees focused on core issues addressing firefighter health and safety, apparatus specifications and emergency medical services.
As training Captain, Patterson spearheaded numerous training initiatives meant to make firefighters as prepared as possible to do their jobs effectively, up to and including operating new apparatus as those vehicles evolved over time. He also instituted Rapid Intervention Team training and building construction training, which improve firefighters’ response to fires and improve their safety in doing so, respectively.
Patterson authored numerous Standard Operating Guidelines (SOGs) in use by the Burlington Fire Department today, including its active shooter SOGs, and has supported the procurement of ballistic gear meant to protect first responders entering active shooter incidents.
Burlington’s modern ambulance capabilities are due in large part to Chief Patterson’s work. He spearheaded the transition to Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulances, which provide the highest caliber emergency medical services to the community, filling the void left as private ambulance companies’ availability reduced over time.
Chief Patterson also oversaw enhancements in the department’s radio communications and subsequently spent nearly his entire tenure as chief shepherding the department through the COVID-19 pandemic, which placed unprecedented demands on first responders.
“I would like to thank all those department members I have worked with over the years,” Chief Patterson said. “I would also like to thank Town Administration and our town government for supporting our department throughout the years. Lastly, I would like to thank my immediate family for all their support. It’s been an honor and pleasure to serve the Town of Burlington for the past 34 years.”