In many ways, firemen are real-life superheroes, risking their lives to save people from what can often be incredible danger. According to this touching story, not only did one firefighter fully embody this courage and selfless service himself, but his co-workers stepped in and showed these same qualities to his family when he lost his life.
Tyler Deem was about to go through his first-grade graduation at Lieck Elementary in San Antonio, Texas, when he endured the death of his father, Scott, a firefighter, the week before on May 18. A video of Scott’s funeral service can be seen below.
However, Tyler was not alone for his graduation ceremony, as other members of the San Antonio Fire Department (SAFD) were in attendance to offer him their support, as well as honoring their lost friend and comrade.
According to the firefighters, they did not alert any media to what they were planning on doing beforehand. As reported by My San Antonio, “I, just like yourself, was overjoyed by this showing of support for one of our brothers’ son,” said David Cevallos, one of the firefighters.
“We are a brotherhood unlike no other and I have brothers from all over this country that work in various departments that would, in an instant, drop what they are doing if I, or any other brother, needed something.”
The firefighters later took photos with little Tyler, and some of them depicted Tyler wearing a firefighter uniform, which is believed to have been given to him as a gift by the department. The graduation ceremony had been Tyler’s first day back at school after losing his father, and the team ensured it was an enjoyable and memorable day for him.
Monique Zigmond, a counselor at the elementary school, thanked the firefighters for helping Tyler through this time. She also explained what a deep impact Scott even had at the school. “We used to jokingly ask, ‘Do you ever sleep?’” she said. “His presence here will be greatly missed.”
She also recounted an incident which showed how close Tyler was with his father. “One of the last lessons I did with Tyler’s class, about three weeks ago, was about safety and tricky people,” she added, “When I asked the class who our ‘safe strangers’ were, Tyler raised his hand and answered, ‘My dad is a safe stranger. He is a fireman and he saves people’s lives — kind of like a hero.’”
SAFD is also raising money for the Deem family with a T-shirt fundraiser here. According to the website, more than $36,000 has been raised for the family. Reportedly, the Deem family has a third child on the way, who will sadly never know their father.