GREAT FALLS — Former Black Eagle Volunteer Fire Chief Tom Martin was honored at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland, earlier this month.
Martin passed away in August 2017 in his home and was one of many fallen firefighters honored during the event.
Black Eagle Fire Chief Mike Deshayes said that Martin was a shining light for not only the fire station, but the entire community.
“He was the backbone of the department. He got us, when he took over as chief, he worked tirelessly, night and day, to get the department where we're at now,” said Deshayes. “To get our new property so we could build a new station, to upgrade our equipment, and to make sure we had the right training and stuff. His presence in the community was huge, even county-wide. Everybody looked up to Tom”
Firefighters, families and friends from all over the country flocked to Maryland to honor the fallen heroes. Deshayes went with some members of Martin’s family and said that not only was it one of the hardest things that he’s ever done, but that it was incredible to see that amount of support from firefighters all over the country.
You can read the tributes to Martin and to the rest of the honored firefighters in the 2019 National Fallen Firefighters Remembrance Book .
Here is video of Tom's peers and friends remembing him: