Thomas Schoales, 27, was the youngest of six and the son of a Battalion Chief. He was highly competitive and particularly good at baseball and basketball. At Engine 83 where he began his career, the first one to the back step would be able to have control of the nozzle. “It was hard to beat him to the back step. He was always there.” After a year he was transferred to Engine Co. 4 in lower Manhattan, but he continued to picnic and play basketball with E83.
Among his many nieces and nephews he had a different reputation. “Uncle Tommy was a softer touch than a bunny’s ears.”