Firefighter/Paramedic TJ Booms Up For
MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - Like all Meridian Township firefighters and paramedics, TJ Booms works 24-hour shift, being alert to any call for help that may come in.
"We're here, just in case."
To Booms, the long shifts are just another reason to have time to give back to the community.
Booms received the EMS Appreciation Award from Sparrow Hospital in 2015 for helping build a garage for a quadriplegic resident of Meridian Township, who had gotten stuck in his car.
"He just needed to be put in for the Firefighter of the Year Award for the American Legion," Meridian Township resident and American Legion member Marilyn Britten said. "That's an annual award that we do. He competed with firefighters from all over the state of Michigan, and I am happy to say he won."
Britton was the one who put Booms up for the statewide award.
"This guy's a real overachiever. He's the all around super firefighter of the year as far as i'm concerned," Britton said. "And he's married and has four kids."
Meridian Township Fire Chief Fred Cowper interviewed Booms over 10 years ago. Cowper said he knew Booms was someone who would go above and beyond his duties as a firefighter and paramedic.
"He has aspired to that level eve since he's been here," Cowper said. "He exceeded out expectations and he was a proven asset to this department."
As soon as Booms joined the Meridian Township Fire Department, Fire Inspector Tavis Millerov took him under his wing.
"His work with the community, the guys doesn't stop," Millerov said. "He's like the energizer bunny. He comes up with ideas for doing community projects, kind of outreach things. He started the community outreach program."
Being a firefighter and paramedic is Booms' passion, but the long hours make him miss his wife and kids.
"You miss things at home sometimes. It might be a first step, first words, a birthday party. My wife usually takes pictures, sends them to me," Booms said. "It makes it difficult not seeing the kids for 24 hours at a time, but that much sweeter when you get home and you open the door and they all come running."