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Worcester firefighter dies while using snowblower

WORCESTER — A veteran Worcester firefighter who celebrated his 60th birthday two weeks ago died Saturday after he suffered a heart attack while using a snowblower at his home in Webster, fire officials confirmed Sunday.

Firefighter Patrick E. Germain, an investigator in Fire Prevention, was home Saturday morning clearing his driveway with a snowblower when he went inside and took a nap because he wasn’t feeling well. He later went back outside to finish cleaning up his property and had a heart attack, longtime friend and fellow Worcester firefighter Anthony J. Rossetti Jr. said.

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Deputy Fire Chief Geoffrey Gardell said Germain was taken to an area hospital where he died.

“The one thing that he was more than anything else was a great father to his four children,” Rossetti said. “He’d do anything for his children. He loved them more than anything in the world.”

Fellow firefighters are stunned over the death of Germain, who was considering retiring this year. Germain would have celebrated his 33rd year on the job in September.

He was a father of four grown children, Sara, Daniel, Joseph and Haley; Germain also had a stepdaughter, Ally. He also leaves his wife Kelly Germain.

“It is a tragic thing,” Rossetti said. “Too quick and too fast.”

Germain was leaving for Florida on Tuesday, a state in which he vacationed often. He used to hit the links but stuck to hitting the beach over the past few years.

Retired Fire Capt. William P. Metterville remembered Germain since they were in fifth grade together at Sacred Heart Grammar School in Worcester. Germain went to high school at St. Peter-Marian Junior-Senior High School.

“He was getting ready for Florida. Just so sad,” the retired fire captain said. “He was a great inspector down in Fire Prevention. He was a great firefighter when he was out on the line. He’d give you that tough-guy attitude but he was always joking.”

Germain worked out of the Park Avenue and McKeon Road stations during his career. His birthday was Jan. 28.

“Many times I was his golf partner in the Fire Department golf league,” said Rossetti, a friend of two decades. “He was just a great guy. He has many, many friends. Everybody loved Pat. You could always count on Pat.”

Before the golf partners could even hit the first tee, Germain was cracking jokes, Rossetti said.

Fire Chief Gerard A. Dio, who was Germain’s chief in the south end section, said the firefighters were notified.

“Pat was a popular guy. He was a firefighter and loved the job,” Dio said. “In the end what you’d really like to say is he gave 100 percent all the time and that was Pat. He lit up the room when he walked in.”

City Manager Michael V. O’Brien called the loss tough for the city and the Fire Department.

“We all have very heavy hearts. Firefighter Germain was a 33-year veteran of our amazing Worcester Fire Department,” O’Brien said. “He will be in our thoughts and prayers along with his family, Chief Dio, the department and Local 1009. Very sad news.”

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