Submitted by his Brother
H. Thomas Tucker
Citizens’ Hose Company #1‚ Inc. – Delaware
Date of Death: August 26‚ 1982
Firefighter H. Thomas Tucker joined the Citizens’ Hose Company No 1 Inc. of Smyrna‚ DE on February 5th 1979. During his probationary membership in 1979 he was awarded for being the second highest in fire alarm attendance. In 1980‚ he was awarded ‘Fireman of the Year’ for attending the most fire department functions of any member. In June of 1981‚ he was voted into full membership and received an award for the Second Highest Attendance in Fire Alarms for the year.
On August 22‚ 1982 at 1245 hours‚ The Citizens’ Hose Company was dispatched to a gas leak inside a trailer at the Duck Creek Trailer Park‚ located on the outer northern side of the city limits of Smyrna. Firefighter Tucker‚ who was riding in the jump seat of Engine 44-2‚ the attack piece‚ was injured as the apparatus rounded the intersection of East Commerce Street at North DuPont Boulevard. He slipped from the apparatus‚ coming to rest alongside the curb of the road. From the time of the accident until his death‚ Firefighter Tucker never regained consciousness.
Firefighter Tucker was also a volunteer with the American Legion Post 14 Ambulance Service where he served as an Ambulance Attendant for 2 years.
On August 28‚ 1982 Firefighter Tucker was transported to his final resting place aboard Engine 44-1 a 1928 American LaFrance known as ‘Old Mom’ – the department’s oldest piece of apparatus. As he was transported by the fire station‚ the fire siren sounded one last time for Tucker‚ honoring him for his service to the community.
Approximately 600 people were in attendance at the funeral which was attended by 52 departments throughout Delaware and Maryland.
Thomas was a 1981 graduate of Smyrna High School.
Thomas and I joined the Citizens’ Hose Company at the age of 16. We both enjoyed serving the community in which we served‚ and my best memories were when the alarm sounded‚ we would make it a competition to see which one of made on the apparatus the quickest and we would have bragging rights until the next alarm where we would be in competition again.
We both loved riding the departments 1948 American La France Ladder Truck. If that truck responded to the call‚ we made sure we were on that truck somewhere.
I remember the accident and the night before it as we both served on the Ambulance crew and we responded to several calls together‚ one being a serious automobile accident and later a homicide across the street from the fire station in which we served. It was one of the busiest nights that I served with my brother since we joined and I had no idea that it was going to be the last time I would be able to work with him or even speak with him again.
This is the first and hopefully the last line-of-duty death our department will experience.