Hundreds of friends and fire service personnel gathered to remember and honor the life of Chief Thomas Wutz, Sr. who passed away from 9-11 related cancer on July 15, 2023. Chief Wutz had a long and accomplished career in Fire Protection and Emergency Services Management. He began his fire career in the Williamsville Fire Department in 1968. He then became a member of the Schoharie Fire Department from 1972 – 1986, serving as Chief of the Department for five years. Upon moving to Colonie he became an active member of the Midway Fire Department.

Chief Wutz had a 31-year career with the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control retiring in 2011 as the Chief of the Fire Services Bureau. In that capacity, Chief Wutz had many great accomplishments and achievements including establishment of New York’s Regional Response Team, NYRRT-1. He also served 24 years with the Air National Guard, retiring in 2001 as Chief Master Sergeant.

Chief Wutz was deployed for weeks to Ground Zero immediately following the September 11, 2001, attacks. He was widely recognized for his expertise and experience as a Team Leader for the New York State Incident Management Team. Chief Wutz was also a founding member of MacBoston 18 Truck Memorial helping to recognize the members of the fire service who passed from LODDs. He and his wife Jeanne worked effortlessly advocating for and helping connect World Trade Center first responders with health care and other services.

The Wutz family has continued the proud tradition of becoming members of the fire service with the Fire Department of New York. Son Thomas, Jr., is a Captain in the 6th Division in the Bronx and son Jared is assigned to 84 Engine in Washington Heights.

Chief Wutz was loved by family and friends, respected by members of the fire service for his mentorship, knowledge and his friendship. He will be forever remembered with each story that is shared and with every glass of bourbon raised in his honor. Rest in peace Chief.

– Submitted by Lori Washburn; photos by Photos By Truck