Service was held
on November 14, 2001.
Role Model by Choice
Keithroy Maynard was black. He was also a firefighter. Those
two things meant everything to him, said his twin brother, Kevin.
"People do look to you," he said. "You're like a role model
in a sense, especially in the black community where there aren't
many black firefighters." The New York Fire Department has been
criticized for its lack of diversity. Firefighter Maynard was
one of those determined to change that. After becoming a firefighter
in 1999 at age 28, he joined the Vulcan Society, a group of
black firefighters. Mr. Maynard visited predominantly black
neighborhoods to encourage others to take the Fire Department
test. He worked with the Vulcan Society to train applicants
to pass the department's physical exam. He was part of Engine
33 in the East Village, but he wanted to get posted to a firehouse
in his home neighborhood of East Flatbush, Brooklyn, so that
children there could know the life of a firefighter, his brother
said. Mr. Maynard was recruited by his father, a New York firefighter
of 36 years. His father drove him to the fire academy at 5 a.m.
on the first day of classes. Months after Mr. Maynard graduated,
his father died, his final dream fulfilled. Mr. Maynard's dress
uniform and spare work jacket now sit in his mother's house.
His nametags are on them. His brother said the only person who
will be able to fill them is Mr. Maynard's 6-year-old son, Keithroy
Jr., another firefighter in the making. Profile published in
THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 8, 2001.