Adam David Rand was born on July 23, 1971 in Bethpage and grew up in Bellmore, where he was a volunteer firefighter.
Adam always wanted to be a firefighter.
When he graduated from high school, he joined the volunteer fire department in Bellmore. Adam became a member of the FDNY in ’95. He was assigned to Squadron 288 in Maspeth, where he was specially trained to deal with hazardous materials and he continued to volunteer in Bellmore. For Adam, fighting fires was a calling.
He reveled in the camaraderie and in learning new techniques that he could teach to younger firefighters. He frequently lectured on fire safety to young children in the area.
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.
In addition to his devotion to firefighting, Adam lived a life of full appreciation for other activities, like skiing, fishing, hunting and preparing for his forthcoming wedding. He had just become engaged to his longtime girlfriend, Fiona, 3 weeks before 9/11.
At the firehouse in Bellmore, Adam will be remembered for his legendary Halloween costumes. He once arrived at the annual party wearing a red wood box. He 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.
Adam’s Angels was created to make sure Adam’s kind spirit lives on.
I knew Adam from the Bellmore Fire Dept.
There are too many funny memories of him to recount. They have seemed to all meld into one fuzzy pleasant memory. Parties, Booze Cruises, Installations, Santa Runs…
I do clearly remember him conducting a “man down” rescue drill at HQs. He chose one of the biggest (Adam came up to his shoulder…maybe.) guys there, in full gear, tank and all, to be his “victim.” He and my brother strained to get the “victim” up the stairs. Adams face was purple when they finished. But, he did it. Then he made a comment about what was he thinking when he chose that guy.
The first moment he walked into HQs at the Halloween Party, dressed in his milk carton. That memory still makes me roll.
The of course, there are the several times I walked into the rec room…and Adam was doing one of his numerous versions of the prison dance.
I keep trying to tell people of what a truly NICE guy he was. He was always pleasant. He didn’t care if you were popular. If you were cranky or feeling antisocial he would cajole you into smiling. Knowing his family, it is easy to see where he got his personality and his liking of people, especially kids.
I wish I had known him better. I knew him for only 5 years. I am not a member of his inner circle of friends. But, he never made me feel that way. When I heard he was missing that awful afternoon I felt as if the wind had been belted out of me. And then to hear that Kevin was missing, too. It was awful.
I miss his presence. He was always a constant source of good will, in an atmosphere than can get less than brotherly at times.
I told his mom at the memorial visitation that he was a “beautiful boy”. He truly was.