Always to the Rescue
Captain America. That's what Tina Bilcher called her husband, Brian, a firefighter at Squad Company 1 in Brooklyn.
Firefighter Bilcher, 37, was a lot like the patriotic comic book superhero: calm, reasonable, good-looking and quick to the rescue of anyone who needed help.
Car stuck on the side of the road? There was Firefighter Bilcher. Feeling sick? Like a flash, Firefighter Bilcher was at your bedside. The man liked his adrenaline rushes, said his wife. "He once jumped off a lighthouse into the ocean," said Mrs. Bilcher. He even got her to jump with him.
She says now that she did it for love -- "I wanted to impress him."
A strapping 6 feet, 240 pounds, Firefighter Bilcher was working part-time as a bouncer at Coaches Cafe in Staten Island six years ago when Tina, two weeks shy of 21, showed up. He refused to let her in. He told her to come back in two weeks. She did. They talked. They were married June 4, 2000, in Staten Island. The wedding pictures show the twin towers in the background.
Grant James Bilcher was born Aug. 29. The couple named him Grant because he was a grant from God. "Brian always wanted a boy," his wife said.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 15, 2001.