Doing What Came Naturally
Adam Rand always wanted to be a firefighter.
When he graduated from high school, he joined the volunteer fire department in his Bellmore, N.Y., neighborhood. Even after Mr. Rand, 30, became a member of the New York City Fire Department in 1995, he continued to volunteer in Bellmore. For Mr. Rand, fighting fires was a calling.
He reveled in the camaraderie and in learning new techniques that he could teach to younger firefighters.
Mr. Rand's specialty was rescue. On Sept. 11, he joined his fellow members of Squad 288 from Maspeth, Queens, at 2 World Trade Center. He was trying to evacuate people when the building collapsed.
"If he had to die, he died doing something he loved," his mother, Mary Ann Rand, said.
Mrs. Rand said that in addition to his devotion to firefighting, her son lived a life of full appreciation for other activities, like skiing, fishing, hunting and preparing for his forthcoming wedding.
At the firehouse in Bellmore, Mr. Rand will be remembered for his legendary Halloween costumes. He once arrived at the annual party wearing a red wood box. Mr. Rand had cut out a square hole on the back of the box so that his face could be seen. He was supposed to be the missing child on the back of a milk carton.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 23, 2001.