Breckenridge Texan

Breckenridge Fire Department honors Rhyder Patterson with ceremony

Breckenridge Fire Department honors Rhyder Patterson with ceremony
April 21
11:45 2021

By Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

After Rhyder Patterson saved his family from a house fire last month, Breckenridge Fire Chief Calvin Chaney was so impressed with the 9-year-old Breckenridge boy that he arranged a special recognition ceremony to honor the young hero on Monday evening, April 19.

Rhyder Patterson, wearing his new BFD shirt, shows the honorary badge Fire Chief Calvin Chaney presented to him in a ceremony on Monday evening. The badge number is 911. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/ Breckenridge Texan)

“This is all special recognition for his actions that happened on March 4, 2021, about 1:40 in the morning when everybody else was asleep,” Chaney said. “What happened was Rhyder was in his bedroom, and he was awake. He saw a fire outside his house, outside his room, and he went to the other end of the house and woke his parents up and said, ‘Hey! The house is on fire.’ He did this, like an adult. He was super calm; he was super ‘this is what we have to do.’ He ran back to the other end of the house and got the rest of the children out of the house. And the smartest thing (he did) — we can tell you from our experiences, — he shut the bedroom doors. That is just remarkable for somebody of his age to have the knowledge of an adult.”

Rhyder’s actions that night not only saved his family from the fire but also helped contain the fire to one room of the house. Then, he helped try to extinguish the fire.

With Rhyder’s family gathered at the fire station, Chaney presented him with a letter from State Rep. Glenn Rogers. Additionally, Rogers sent a flag that had flown over the Texas Capitol.

The next item presented to Rhyder was a framed copy of the Breckenridge Texan article about the March 4 events. Breckenridge Texan Publisher Tony Pilkington had given the printout of the story to Chaney, who had it framed.

Then, Ann Duncan with the National Fire Safety Council gave Rhyder two certificates and a variety of items from the council. The National Fire Safety Council provides fire departments with materials to distribute at elementary schools as part of their fire safety programs.

“We were so excited that Rhyder was able to put into action what he had heard the firemen say year after year,” she said. “That’s pretty cool.”

To wrap up the ceremony, Chaney and other firefighters presented Rhyder with a collection of items from the Breckenridge Fire Department, including an engraved glass plaque and a Breckenridge Fire Department shirt. Chaney explained that the BFD shirts are not something that is routinely given out. “They’re very protected; you have to earn them,” he said. “I think somebody in this room earned his own shirt.”

The Fire Chief had one last gift for Rhyder. “There’s something else that only a few of us wear. We do not give them out like candy; they’re earned,” he said as he presented Rhyder with an honorary BFD badge. “You earned the right and the honor to wear a badge. And, this badge is a real badge. It’s just like ours, except it’s your size. (Your) actions during that house fire exemplify the traits of being a hero. I know you don’t like that, but you need to be recognized.”

Ann Duncan with the National Fire Safety Council presents a certificate to Rhyder Patterson for his actions on March 4 that saved his family from a house fire. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Cutline, top photo: Rhyder Patterson, center, was honored with a recognition ceremony on Monday evening, April 19, by the Breckenridge Fire Department. Pictured, from left, are: Firefighter Branson Kristek, Captain Brett Chaney, Rhyder Patterson, Chief Calvin Chaney, Ann Denton with the National Fire Safety Council, and Firefighter Cody Riddle. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)


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