Troy Fire Department Lt. Patrick Durham, selected as the Troy Firefighter of the Year, serves at Station 4, where he was part of a team that helped with the construction plans for the new station.

Troy Fire Department Lt. Patrick Durham, selected as the Troy Firefighter of the Year, serves at Station 4, where he was part of a team that helped with the construction plans for the new station.

Photo provided by the Troy Fire Department


Troy Firefighter of the Year brings mechanical know-how to FD

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published May 29, 2019

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TROY — Troy Fire Station 4’s Lt. Patrick Durham was chosen by his peers as the 2019 Troy Firefighter of the Year.

Durham was part of a team that helped with the plans to construct the $4 million, 10,500-square-foot Station 4 on Maple Road, which opened in August 2017.

He credits his wife, Danielle, for his start in the fire service starting in 2006, when they lived in Chesaning after he graduated from Lake Superior State University.

“Our first house was real close to the fire station,” he said.

His wife encouraged him to go talk to the volunteer firefighters, and he served at the Chesaning Fire Department for three years, then moved with his family to Red Lion, Pennsylvania, where he also joined the volunteer fire department.

He moved back to Michigan in 2010 to work for BAE Systems and decided to live in Troy, largely because the city had a volunteer fire department.

Durham joined the Troy Fire Department and is a firefighter at Station 4. He currently works for CSP in Auburn Hills as a research and development engineer.

He’s received numerous commendations and awards, including a commendation for an extrication requiring stabilization and lifting a vehicle to free a victim, merit awards for actions during structure fires, and citations for helping to control rapidly spreading structure fires on Hylane Drive and at the Northfield Hills condominiums — saving the building and two cats.

In the 2016 Hylane Drive fire, working in temperatures exceeding 90 degrees with high humidity, firefighters confined the fire to the garage, according to reports. However, the home was not habitable, and the damage reportedly was estimated at more than $100,000. Two dogs perished in that fire, and three firefighters were evaluated for heat-related injuries.

“I tend to like technical rescues, vehicle extrication and machine rescues,” Durham said. “I have a good idea how a machine works.”

Durham trained in a variety of areas, including Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings Awareness training recently in New Mexico, which he will provide to other Troy firefighters.

“As a firefighter, you’re expected to know a lot about everything,” he said. “You’re never going to be an expert. You learn as much as you can. You train in a variety of topics. We’ve got about 180 firefighters — doctors, lawyers, mechanics with a lot of experience — looking at problems and solving them.”

He said he enjoyed being part of the new construction at Station 4, which his wife and five children — Abigail, Lillian, Griffin, Ryan and Violet — enjoy visiting.

Durham estimates that he spends at least five or six hours each week training or on calls, sometimes much more, depending on the call volume.

Troy Fire Chief David Roberts noted that whether firefighters are career or volunteer, they have the same training.

“I interview all the new applicants,” Roberts said. “I make sure the family is aware of the training involved, especially the first year. It’s a commitment by the individual and family as well.

“The Troy Fire Department is very proud of Patrick and the skills he has brought to our community,” Roberts added.

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