• Brian Quinn is a comedian
  • He is best known from 'Impractical Jokers'
  • THIS was his life before the show

Brian Quinn is known to most fans simply as "Q." Quinn has managed to carve out a successful career as a member of the comedy troupe The Tenderloins, known for their hit prank TV show, 'Impractical Jokers'.

As many fans of the show will know, before he was known for his antics on TV, Quinn was a member of the New York City Fire Department. Brian joined in 2005 and served proudly. He then stepped down eight years later as 'Impractical Jokers' was gaining in popularity.

However, many don't realize that while he was on television, he was still fighting fires on the side. He officially retired at the start of season 6, and his firefighter buddies have featured on the show occasionally ever since. 

Q is a real New York hero

Any service member will tell you, that you never really leave the job. That's how Brian feels too. Though he hasn’t been an active member for nearly a decade, Quinn still feels a strong sense of allegiance to the FDNY and firefighters, generally. 

"I think when you become a fireman, that’s your identity. That’s who you are," Quinn told Fox News Digital. "It’s what you do. It’s like a calling or a mission." Now that he is a big reality TV star, he wants to give back to those who still serve.

To show his appreciation for the department, Quinn has volunteered for the non-profit group Friends of Firefighters. Formed in the days after the 9/11 tragedy that shocked the whole world! The group provides free mental health services and organizes charity events for firefighters and their families who are affected by their jobs.

For Brian, the group was on his radar soon after joining the department. The world was in turmoil and so was the city. At that time, 9/11 was still casting a shadow over the department as it was unquestionably the darkest day in its history.

Many members were suffering health problems they developed from their 9/11 response efforts, and the department was still regularly holding funerals when Brian joined.

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Here's how he recalls it: "When I came into the department, I worked with those guys and I mean, the stories they told of those days. It’s just far more horrifying than you could even imagine. What they saw and what they witnessed and what they heard and smelled and lived… these are brutal, brutal events that happened to these guys." 

"[Friends of Firefighters] was so unbelievably helpful in the wake of 9/11," Quinn said. "They really laid the groundwork for helping out however they could."

The whole point and mission of the group is to help remind the public that, despite 9/11 being more than two decades ago, people are still sick, and still dying as a result of that day. The tragedy continues to take from people, and Brian wants to help as much as he can to give some back.

"The fire department takes care of their own and always has, but you need support," he said. "You can’t have too much support… I wouldn’t say [FDNY’s resources] are deficient, but you could always use more love."

For fans of the show, this is unsurprising as Q has always been the more compassionate cast member. Season 19 of the show is still underway, and it's possible members of the NYFD will be there to embarrass Brian again!