A Lifelong Ambition
A librarian in the elementary school that Peter Brennan once attended found his name on a card in a library book and gave it to his wife, Erica. The book? "I Want to Be a Fireman."
Mr. Brennan joined the Lakeland Volunteer Fire Department at 16, served for years as a volunteer, most recently in Hauppauge, and six years ago finally became a New York City firefighter.
It was his dream, even while he was a New York City police officer for several years. (Walking a beat in Queens, he rescued an elderly couple from an apartment fire.) More recently, he stopped at a fire in Ronkonkoma and — in street clothes — saved three trapped volunteer firefighters.
On Sept. 11, Mr. Brennan, who would have been 31 today, came off vacation to fill in for a colleague in Rescue 4, an elite unit that specializes in saving lives. "He died doing what he loved at probably the greatest fire he'd ever been to," said his wife, Erica Brennan, who is expecting their second child. "I can see him on the truck being excited on the way."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 24, 2001.