For new Dracut Fire chief, it’s a family business – Lowell Sun

DRACUT — Firefighting is a Patterson family business, and on Thursday a member of the family takes the helm as the town’s new top firefighter.

Rich Patterson, a 33-year veteran of the Dracut Fire Department, was unanimously confirmed by the Board of Selectmen earlier this month. For 19 of those years, Patterson has served as a deputy fire chief.

The family business? Chief Patterson’s father and grandfather were firefighters, as are his two sons. One son serves in Sudbury and the other in Salem, N.H. Patterson’s grandfather took him to his first fire when he was 5 years old.

Born and raised in Dracut, Patterson began his firefighting career in 1986 as a volunteer fireman in West Ossipee, N.H., where his family had a summer home.

He became a call firefighter in Dracut in 1988. At the same time, he worked at Frontline Ambulance, becoming general manager and operations director for the company.

He joined the department full-time in 1995 and was…

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