Saturday, May 11, 2013
RRU: CALFIRE/Riverside PIO Cheri Lynn Patterson Will Be Missed. #CaFire #CALFIRE
One of the voices for CalFire/Riverside County Fire Department is silent.
Cheri Lynn Patterson, 46, who had been a 911 dispatcher and public information officer in the county for 26 years, died May 4 at Hemet Valley Medical Center after a four-year battle with breast cancer.
Mrs. Patterson was one of the voices people heard on radio and at fire scenes. She was a seasonal firefighter in San Bernardino County before she sustained burn injuries and switched to command center work.
“What an asset, with her command center background and her fire background, and to develop those relationships with the media and the public,” said Julie Hutchinson, of her friend and coworker.
They both joined the public affairs bureau in 2005.
Hutchinson, now CalFire Southern Region public information officer, came to know Mrs. Patterson when Hutchinson was a fire engine captain for 16 years.
“I can’t tell you the relief I had when Cheri came on the radio,” Hutchinson said. “She understood what it was like to be on the engine.”
And Mrs. Patterson “had that passion for training people and training them to the highest level,” including many who promoted to higher fire service positions.
Born on Halloween, one of her nicknames was “Scary Cheri,” but she was also everyone’s mom and someone Hutchinson called a “nurturer.” Being a mother came first.
Son Tyler Mello said he will remember her for “her sense of humor.”
Mrs. Patterson, a Salinas native, lived in Hemet and retired last year.
In addition to her son Tyler, she also is survived by her husband, Glenn Patterson, a Riverside County deputy fire chief; two other sons, Brandon Mello and Garrett Patterson; her parents; and three siblings.
A celebration of her life is scheduled at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 11, at Valle Vista Assembly of God church. Miller-Jones Mortuary in Hemet is handling arrangements.
****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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