Giving Away His Time
If it moved, he was on it. If it was water, he was in it. Michael Thomas Quilty, 42, flew a plane, owned a boat and rode his bike from his home on Staten Island to Ladder House 11 in Lower Manhattan, where he was a lieutenant in the Fire Department.
On Sept. 5, Lieutenant Quilty celebrated his 20th anniversary with the Fire Department. Most of his career was spent at Engine 282 and Ladder 148 in Brooklyn. A year ago, he moved to Ladder 11. "There's a picture of him in uniform there," but not in his gear like the rest of the firefighters, said his wife, Susan. "He wasn't there long enough to have a new picture."
The Quiltys met 23 years ago. "He was a lifeguard at my pool," Mrs. Quilty said. "My mother said, "Go out to the pool. There's a cute lifeguard there.'"
The sports didn't end there. The Quiltys had a boat for waterskiing and fishing. They kayaked in the ocean. This summer, Mr. Quilty took their son, Daniel, 15, to learn to scuba dive, and for eight years he coached the soccer team that his daughter, Kerry, 13, played on. Now the girls on the team have his initials on their jerseys.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 14, 2001.