Tom O. “Tommy” Martin was born in the small Montana town of Townsend. He grew up with his parents, John and June Enright, his brothers, Tim and Jess, and his sister, Sheila, hunting and fishing in the heart of Big Sky Country. After graduating from Great Falls High School and attending Eastern Montana College, he worked various jobs, including Orkin, Cascade County, and Fleet Supply, before becoming a fiber optic cable technician for Cascade Electric. He had no children of his own but was adored by his 15 nieces and nephews, 15 great-nieces and nephews, and 2 great-great-nieces and nephews.
Tom’s path in life eventually led to the Black Eagle Volunteer Fire Department in Black Eagle, Montana. He was dedicated to the department to no end and devoted to the community. As a firefighter, he never stopped learning or passing on his knowledge to the younger members of the department. He was well liked and respected by both his department members and his peers in other county fire departments. He was elected chief in 2008.
As chief, Tom implemented his vision for the department, working tirelessly to update equipment. He strengthened the county mutual aid system in Cascade County and with the firefighters from Malmstrom Air Force Base, the City of Great Falls Fire Rescue and the Montana Air National Guard. Tom was proud of his community and began the annual tradition of a 4th of July home decorating contest and a parade through town. One of his biggest dreams for the department though, a new, more modern fire station, was not able to be realized despite his countless hours of hard work.
On August 19, 2017, his department members were the ones to respond first to the call at his home, where he was found unresponsive. Despite their best efforts, Tom passed away, leaving behind a legacy of service to his community. His sense of humor will be greatly missed, as he was able to make a joke out of anything and could make anyone laugh. He will always be remembered for his kindheartedness, love of his family, and his devotion to the fire service.