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Anonymous (not verified)

February 21, 2020

Hi Donna:
I have written before of how I tell my class of Brian's bravery and his relationship with Kevin. I will again tell my students how wonderful your husband was, and of your terrible loss so that his sacrifice will always be remembered. I teach at the Mesa Academy in Mesa Arizona and I'm a proud nephew of Long Island firefighters and shared a love for Long island and the Yankees. All my prayers and thoughts are with you and your family this weekend.
Joe Reilly

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In Remembrance
Place of Residence:
Bethpage, NY
Location on 9/11:
Fire Department of New York | Captain, Rescue 4

Brian was born on June 11th, 1954 in Queens, NY, the first-born child to Raymond and Florence Hickey. He was two years old when he and his parents moved from their two and a half room apartment in Jackson Heights in Queens, NY to the house on 10th Street in Bethpage where for forty eight years the Hickeys still reside. Bethpage was the only home Brian ever knew. After completing his education through the Bethpage elementary and high school system, at age eighteen he decided to join the Bethpage Volunteer Fire Department, sparking a career he loved and excelled in for the rest of his life.

A couple of the ‘vollies’ were also members of the FDNY and after inviting Brian to come in and ‘ride’ with their ‘big city’ fire companies…Brian was hooked. His number one goal was to become a New York City Firefighter. After working at a few odd jobs, he was employed by the Grumman Corporation as a member of the ‘crash’ crew. During his employment with Grumman, he entered the US Air Force for a four year enlistment attaining the rank of sergeant, then returning to Grumman until September 5th, 1981 when the ‘first part of his dream finally came true being sworn into the FDNY. Thirteen days later, the second part of his dream evolved….he married Donna, the love of his life since they first met in high school, together raising four great kids, Danny, Dennis, Jackie and Kevin.

Brian started his life in the FDNY in Engine 36, in East Harlem, Manhattan. After a few years he transferred to Ladder 38 in the Bronx and from there to Rescue 4 in Queens. A few years later he was promoted to Lieutenant and after a couple of years ‘covering’ all over the city, wherever a Lieutenant was needed, an opening came up for a permanent spot in Ladder 126 in Jamaica, Queens. Brian was not a tall man and the first day he entered the firehouse, as is common with firefighters they started ribbing Brian about his height, saying, “Gee Lieu, we didn’t know you would be so small…we’ll put a pillow under your seat in the rig”…but to this day they all agree, “we soon found out he was ten feet tall.” Once again, in just a few years and after much studying, Brian was promoted to Captain and had to leave Ladder 126…to the disappointment of the members who had grown so fond of him, not only as an officer, but Brian the ‘man’.

Bouncing around again for a while, he received a call from Ray Downey who said, “there’s a spot open in Rescue 4 for a Captain Brian and it’s yours if you want it, I’d like you to think about it”. Being a Captain of a Rescue company is an offer that few men would refuse. Brian didn’t have to think for long…he took the position. Brian lost two of his men from Rescue 4 at the Father’s Day fire and collapse in Astoria, Queens, June 17th, 2001. He himself was injured quite badly and was put on medical leave. His first tour back to full duty was 6pm Wednesday, September 5th, a ‘24’…6pm Wednesday night to 6pm Thursday night.

His next tour was another ‘24’…6pm Sunday, 9/9/01 to 6pm Monday, 9/10/01 when he returned home. By all rights, he ‘should’ have still been home on Tuesday morning, September 11th, but being so into the ‘job’, he accepted an ‘overtime’ tour with Rescue 3 in the Bronx…leaving home that morning never to return. All that was ever found of Brian was his battered helmet and a tiny piece of bone. His memorial was held on June 11th, 2002….his 47th birthday.