No matter how big or small a fire could be, Thomas—better known as “Roydsy”—was always there. Whenever his pager would go off, he would be flying down the stairs, racing over to the fire house, ready to help people. He served with purpose and intent and was an example I would only wish to live up to.
Tommy started his firefighting career early in 1989 as a volunteer at the Union Fire Association. He worked as a volunteer for 30 years before being promoted to career firefighter in 2019. Tom was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in 2021. On July 27, 2022, following his death, he was promoted to the rank of captain at Union Fire Association. He also volunteered at Clifton Heights, as a captain, and at Belmont Hills.
Tom was energetic and was always ready to work. He made bonds with the younger firefighters, showing them the ropes and guiding them to be the best they could be. Tommy was always willing to help, no matter what you would ask him. We valued this trait in him, and it’s something we will always remember him for in our hearts.
One thing he loved was his community. He worked for Charles Friel Landscaping when not working at the firehouse. While working for Charles Friel, he was able to connect with and make many friends throughout the community, and he was cherished by them. Landscaping was one of his many hobbies, and you could often find him perfecting his lawn on the weekends. He also enjoyed sports and was a fan of all the Philadelphia sports teams.
As Tommy’s partner of thirty plus years, I am saddened by the senseless accident that took his life. I know he loved two things for sure: his family and firefighting. I know he knew the sacrifices of being a firefighter, since he was a member of three companies. His love of firefighting may have been what caused his death, but not many people can say they died doing exactly what they loved. This has provided me and our children with much comfort.