Community remembers former fire chief Thomas Outlaw

Published 8:53 pm Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The death of retired Troy Fire Chief Thomas Outlaw on Monday sent ripples of sadness across his hometown of Troy and throughout the county.

Outlaw went to Pike County High School and worked with Meek’s Termite and Pest Control before finding find a home at the Troy Fire Department in 1981.

He rose through the ranks at the Troy Fire Department and served the city as its fire chief from 2007 until his retirement in 2016.

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Charles Meeks, retired Troy City Council member and former business employer, said Outlaw was one of the finest men he has known and a dependable and dedicated employee.

“Outstanding,” he said. “Thomas Outlaw was an outstanding employee at Meek’s and an outstanding employee for the City of Troy.”

Meeks said he could have honestly recommended Outlaw to the city or to any employer.

“Thomas was the kind of employee that you wanted working for you,” Meeks said. “He was dependable and he was a hard worker. You could count on him to do a job and do it right.”

When Outlaw joined the Troy Fire Department, he would work three days and be off several days.

“For a while, Thomas would come back and work for me on those days,” Meeks said. “He was loyal to me and to the city and the community.  He was a good family man, a good friend. A good man all around. He was like family to me. He will be missed by me and many others.”

Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas said he got to know Outlaw in 1985 went he went to work for the Troy University Campus Police that was housed next door to the Troy Fire Department on George Wallace Drive.

“I’d go over and visit with the firemen and I got to know Thomas right well,” he said. “After I went to the sheriff’s department, we remained friends. Thomas was an outstanding fireman and fire chief. He was a dedicated public servant and an asset to the City of Troy. He will be missed by many people and in many ways. I will miss him as a friend.”

Carroll Rhodes’ association with Outlaw was through the E-911 board. He represented the Goshen Volunteer Fire Department on the board.

“Chief Outlaw was an outstanding person,” Rhodes said. “He was always organized and he had things working like clockwork. He had good ideas that he had really thought out. He was always looking out for people in the community and for ways to keep them safe. He was a community servant.”

Former Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said he was proud to be a part of the team that selected Outlaw as the city’s fire chief.

“Thomas was highly qualified and he was the kind of person that could get along with anybody, Lunsford said. “The fire fighters looked up to him and respected him as did the people in the community. He was held in the highest regard personally and professionally.”

Lunsford said Outlaw was a forward thinker.

“He instituted changes in the Troy Fire Department that included more EMTs and paramedics, that was his baby,” Lunsford said. “He wanted his department to be ready to respond to any emergency and he made every effort to make sure it was.

“Thomas was also a great family man. He was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather, an all-around family man. He was highly respected in the community and he will be missed.”