Life’s Good for Survivor Winner
By Georgina Brennan, Contributor
December / January 2006
Life has certainly changed for New York City fireman, Survivor: Palau winner Tom Westman, 41 (Irish America cover story Aug/Sept).
After winning a million dollars on the hit CBS show last summer, Westman officially hung his jacket up and retired from the FDNY after 20 years of service.
Recently named by TV Guide as one of TV’s Sexiest Men, Westman, 41, signed on with Caribbean Joe clothing and products, and will be featured in the label’s 2006 ad campaign in magazines and billboards across the United States.
In September, Westman hosted a preview of the latest installment of the Survivor series, introducing the next crop of castaways. Later in the month he was spotted acting as coanchor on CBS 2’s live broadcast of The Tunnel to the Towers Run on September 25. The run is an annual event following in the footsteps of Firefighter Stephen Siller, who on September 11, 2001, ran through the Brooklyn/Battery Tunnel to the Twin Towers to help in the rescue efforts.
In other television appearances Westman was recently on Martha where he taught her how to make Jambalaya. “I had a great time,” he laughs.
The family is thriving on the change of pace. “We are all doing well,” he admits. They continue to be involved with the AG Bell Association, which works to improve the lives of the hearing impaired. Westman’s daughter Meghan, nine, contacted pneumococal meningitis at 18 months and was left profoundly deaf, but thanks to a hearing implant she can lead a normal life. Westman uses his celebrity for the good of the association and became more involved as a spokesperson. “I continue to support hearing related issues through my role as spokesman for AG Bell Association, and we are all heading down to Disney World in February. I will be the keynote speaker at a Cochlear Corporation (which manufactures hearing implants) convention,” he says.
Westman, who has also been working with disabled veterans, was a participant at a Marine Corps celebrity golf tournament in Camp Lejuene North Carolina in October. “That event raised money to support returning veterans who have suffered life changing disabilities,” he explained. He also continues to be involved with his fellow firefighters and was the keynote speaker at the International Association of Firefighters health and safety conference in Honolulu in October. “Nice work if you can get it,” he laughs. ♦