Allan Tarasiewicz, Res.5 STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Patricia Tarasiewicz was looking forward to celebrating her birthday on Sept. 12 with her husband, Allan, with a well-deserved vacation. They planned to spend the entire day together, then leave the following week to go scuba diving in Mexico and to visit her family in Las Vegas and Utah. On the night before the World Trade Center attack, Mr. Tarasiewicz, a firefighter assigned to Rescue 5 in Concord, received a telephone call telling him that he had mandatory overtime. He was told to report to Rescue 4 in Queens the following morning. Dutifully, Mr. Tarasiewicz set aside plans for his day off. After exchanging “goodbyes” with his wife, the 45-year-old firefighter walked from his Concord home around the corner to the Rescue 5 firehouse to retrieve his gear at 8 a.m., before setting out to Rescue 4, and was dispatched to the Twin Towers. Mr. Tarasiewicz, along with six others who worked with Rescue 4 that day, is now among the missing. Eleven firefighters are missing from Rescue 5. “Being a firefighter was his life,” said Mrs. Tarasiewicz. “It was his dream since childhood.” Mr. Tarasiewicz began his career 12 years ago, as a probie with Engine 154, Travis. He was transferred to Ladder 169, in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn, before coming back to the Island five years ago to work with Rescue 5. He had recently been elected as the union delegate for Rescue 5. The Tarasiewiczes bought their home, located one block away from the Rescue 5 firehouse, two years ago. It was a longstanding joke between the couple that he was able to walk to work while she had to drive to Kennedy airport, where she works as a flight attendant. “We had 24 years of beautiful marriage, I couldn’t ask for anything better,” said Mrs. Tarasiewicz. “God gives you one soulmate, and he was mine.” The couple met in Naples, Italy, when she was 16 and he was 18. Mrs. Tarasiewicz was a self described “Navy brat” attending Forrest Hill High School on the base, and Mr. Tarasiewicz was a lance corporal in the Marines. On Feb. 15, 2002, they would have celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. “He was my best friend. He was everything in the world to me, but he died loving what he was doing,” said Mrs. Tarasiewicz. “This is the way he would want to go.” Born in Midland Beach, Mr. Tarasiewicz was a graduate of New Dorp High School. He worked as a coal miner in Paonia, Colo., during the early 1980s. Returning to Midland Beach in 1985, he was employed as a mechanic for the New York City Transit Authority. In 1986, he worked as a welder for Consolidated Edison, before realizing his lifelong ambition to join the Fire Department. As part of his assignment with Rescue 5, Mr. Tarasiewicz was certified in scuba diving last September, along with his wife. “He said if I’m going to do it, you’re going to do it,” said Mrs. Tarasiewicz, who noted that they did most things together. Described as a devoted father and family man, he has been a source of inspiration to his daughter, Melissa, and his son, Allan T. “Firemen, you are not like any other,” wrote his daughter in an excerpt from her tribute to firefighters. “You are our heroes, the men all kids dream to be. “When everyone’s at their weakest, you stay strong and never give up hope. If we could only have more people like you in this world, maybe, just maybe, it really could be a perfect world,” she continued. This tribute has been distributed to firehouses throughout Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens.