Emmitsburg, Md. – The late Thomas J. Burley of Youngstown, N. Y., was one of 107 fallen firefighters honored at the 2014 National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service, Sunday, October 12.
This annual tribute is sponsored by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s U.S. Fire Administration. More than 5,000 people attended.
Burley was born on June 16, 1993, with a birth defect, and underwent five major surgeries by the age of four. In high school, Tom joined the Air Force ROTC program, and was designated commander of his class.
At the same time, he joined the Youngstown Volunteer Fire Company, learning the skills of firefighting and emergency medical management. After graduation from Lew-Port High School in 2011, Tom joined the U.S. Air Force Reserves in Air Force Security Forces.
He was a police officer with the Security Force of the 107th Air Wing, Niagara Falls, N.Y., a member of the Youngstown Fire Company and an instructor with the Lewiston Police Department Explorers Program.
Burley, 20, died in a motorcycle accident on June 18, 2013 on his way home from a firefighter training course.
For his service in the armed services, he received a posthumous “Letter of Commendation” from the president of the United States and the Air Force Achievement Award. He was named by the Youngstown Volunteer Fire Company as Volunteer Fireman of the Year.