Edward Rall: In the Rescue Squad

Edward Rall's grandfather, a couple of his uncles and a couple of his cousins were firefighters, and Edward Rall always wanted to be one, too. "It was worth it. He absolutely loved what he was doing," said his wife, Darlene. He was "very, very proud" of having belonged to Rescue 2 for six and a half years, she said.

Firefighter Rall, 44, worked a second job to support his three sons, now 17, 15 and 13, until they were old enough to go to school, she said.

"When he wasn't working, most of the time we spent with the kids," she said. "Two of my sons play baseball, and he spent a lot of time coaching them." And he frequently attended the marching band competitions of their other son.

They did not travel much, aside from road trips to Amish country and Virginia, as summers were devoted to baseball. Mr. Rall installed a nice screen porch on the side of their house in Holbrook, on Long Island, and he liked camping with his cousins on the North Shore, where they would set up a 20-by-30-foot party tent.

"He was certainly in charge of first aid, I can tell you that," she said. She remembers him with a cigar and a Coors Light, sitting out on his porch, barbecuing with friends. "It was a very simple life."