Tom found his true calling when‚ at age 18‚ he joined the fire service family by becoming a member of the West Paterson (now known as Woodland Park) Volunteer Fire Department. He later became fire marshal for the township. Upon moving to the Flanders‚ New Jersey‚ area‚ Tom joined the Flanders Fire Department as a volunteer member. He later rose to lieutenant and then to assistant chief.
Tom spent his entire fire service career as a volunteer‚ dedicated to helping those in need in the communities where he lived. He was a fireman’s firefighter‚ often taking the time to educate those in the fire service about firefighting techniques‚ but also why to apply them and how to make the techniques better. Tom owned his own company‚ Security Designs Concepts and Controls‚ which specialized in alarm systems for property protection‚ but it was the fire service that was his passion. Tom was often seen at the fire house‚ having a good time by playing practical jokes on his fellow members. He was often heard saying‚ If I had two‚ I’d be a king.
Tom was regarded as a friend to everyone he met. People were drawn to him. It was said in his eulogy‚ It didn’t matter if Tom knew you for two weeks‚ two months or two years‚ he would make you feel special. He was the kind of person‚ who brought you in under his wing. Within a matter of minutes‚ you felt like you could go out and have dinner with him. He was that friendly kind of guy‚ so caring for other people that he made you feel special.
Above all‚ Tom was a loving and dedicated father to his two sons‚ Gregory and Brandon‚ and husband to his wife‚ Nicole. Tom actively took part in his sons activities‚ as they played football and baseball. Tom could be seen wearing his red and white Devils jersey at many a home game. Tom was active in the scouting program with his sons‚ taking trips and helping to support his community. When Tom was not at the fire house‚ he could often be found at the local Dunkin’ Donuts having a cup (or two) of coffee. Tom enjoyed spending time with his friends at a BBQ in his backyard‚ often followed by a dip in the hot tub.
Tom passed away suddenly‚ after responding to a call involving a small child needing assistance. His passing has deeply impacted those whom he touched. Those who knew Tom feel a deep void‚ but also feel lucky and blessed to have had a person like Tom in their lives.