Capt. Brian Hickey, Res.4 Father: Family could not be prouder Brian C. Hickey’s career as a New York City firefighter began 30 years ago on Sept. 5, 1981. After completing assignments with Engine 36, in Harlem, Ladder 38 in the Bronx and Rescue 4 in Queens, he was promoted to lieutenant and was assigned to Ladder 126 in Jamaica, Queens. Eventually he was promoted to captain, and at the request of Special Operations Chief Ray Downey, he was assigned once again to Rescue 4, now as their commander. Rescue Company 4, as does all five rescue companies throughout the city, rushes to every major fire, not only to fight flames, but mainly to save trapped civilians and firefighters. Brian took it to heart when two of his men were killed at a fire and explosion in Astoria, Queens on Father’s Day, June 17, 2001. He himself was blown out of the building. With his leg in a brace he attended the funeral masses for both men, FF Harry Ford and FF Brian Fahey. His injury caused him to stay out on medical leave until Sept. 5, 2001. Yet the 47-year-old captain, who had suffered burns and other injuries many times on the job, never dwelled on the dangers. Instead, he spoke with pride of the brotherhood of firefighters. On only his second tour back to work since the Father’s Day fire, Brian was filling in for the captain of Rescue 3 in the Bronx on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001 when the World Trade Center was attacked by terrorists. All five rescue companies, many ladder and engine companies and squads and all their crews died — totaling 343 FDNY members — all responding to their final alarm. Brian was a chief instructor at the Nassau County Fire Academy and also a 30-year volunteer firefighter in Bethpage, where he grew up. He married his high school sweetheart, Donna, and had four children: Danny, Dennis, Jaclyn and Kevin. Danny, after completing four years in the Marine Corp, is now a New York City firefighter assigned to Ladder 126, his father’s old company. In 1992, Captain Hickey and his only brother, Raymond, created “Brothers in Battle,” a 45-minute video documentary about firefighting. It is still used as a training film at the FDNY Fire Academy on Randell’s Island. In 1993, Raymond, at age 34, died of cancer. Brian was at his brother’s side throughout Ray’s pain and suffering. We never got the chance to say goodbye to Brian, he was gone from this earth within seconds. But he died … the way he always said he would prefer to, in line of duty, especially so after watching his brother die so slowly through 10 months of agonizing cancer. Brian thrived and thrilled in the work and the adventure of his calling, but he most especially cherished the many great friendships he acquired with the men he worked with, respected, and loved — his “Brothers in Battle.” As for myself, my wife, Florence, and our two daughters, Mary and Lori, we could not be prouder of our two sons and brothers. Our loss leaves a void that can never be filled.