Remembering Rich Adams

The fire-rescue service lost a great champion when Rich Adams passed away from a rare virus infection on Oct. 29, at the age of 53. Rarely are we privileged to know a person like Rich and I can describe him in one short phrase: "A man who had so much to...


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Rich had a wacky, ironic sense of humor and a fine singing voice. Our happiest times came when our bluegrass band ("The Informed Sources") got together. Rich played the bass, sang lead and harmony and, as usual, gave it everything he had whether we were playing at home in the basement, on stage before a huge crowd or at the White House.

We shared these good times as a big extended family that included spouses, children and friends of the band members. His wife, Sherry, is a nurse who specializes in emergency medicine and she and their children, Ben, 12, and Whitney, 8, were the focal point of his life. With all of his activities, they came first and always knew how much he loved them just as Rich knew the love they had for him.

You could feel the respect and affection so many people had for Rich at his funeral service. The church was filled with his family and friends, his colleagues in journalism, and hundreds of firefighters, paramedics and EMTs in uniform. They came from all over the country because their lives had been touched by Rich Adams.

He never faltered in his duty to journalism, to the fire-rescue service, to his family and friends. His life was built on the performance of his duties and in showing, by example, how much he cared. We will miss him and always remember the beauty of his life. Now, we must carry on by continuing to work toward the goals that Rich was dedicated to achieving for the fire-rescue service. That is the greatest tribute we can offer to his memory and it's what Rich would want us to do.


Hal Bruno, a Firehouse® contributing editor, is ABC News political director and served many years as a volunteer firefighter.