Mike Field, a Valley Stream native, an EMT who was a first responder during the Sept. 11 attacks, and a former captain of the village Fire Department, died on April 8 at Mount Sinai South Nassau hospital of complications of the coronavirus. He was 59.
Field, a village employee, was known for his community activism, kindness and dedication to the fire services. An active member of Valley Stream Fire Department EMS, he died after transporting a patient suffering from Covid-19, and for his sacrifice and service was posthumously promoted to the rank of chief.
“He was the best,” outgoing Valley Stream Fire Chief Jason Croak said. “He was a guy that would do anything for anybody at the drop of a hat.”
Field was a member of the department since 1987, and active in the Nassau County Junior Firefighters Association and the Valley Stream Junior Fire Department. In addition to the fire services, he was a Cub Scout pack leader and Little League coach. He was also involved in organizing the Nassau County Fire Riders’ Christmas in June toy drive for patients at the Cohen Children’s Medical Center.
“He was there for everybody, and always had a smile on his face, and always joking around,” Croak said. “He loved everybody. He loved his wife, he loved his family.”
Before working for the village in the Department of Public Works, Field was an emergency medical technician for the New York City Fire Department, and was on the scene before and after the collapse of the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001. He was also a lifelong Valley Stream resident and a 1979 graduate of Central High School.
“He was dedicated, and loved what he did. He was just a great guy,” his son Steven said. “He was loved by all, and he loved them back. He was always there for everybody.”
All three of Field’s sons are active members of the Valley Stream Fire Department.
On Friday, his fellow Valley Stream firefighters, as well as some of the junior firefighters he mentored, assembled outside of Mount Sinai South Nassau to salute him as he was placed into Ambulance 349, the same vehicle in which he made his last call.
He was transported to Moore Funeral Home. The department, friends and family members paid their final respects to Field on Tuesday, after which he was transported to Beth Moses Cemetary in West Babylon.
In addition to the fire services, Field was known to be an avid pet lover, volunteering with various local pet rescues and non-profits.
According to Sharon Bissell, founder of Valley Cat and Friends Animal Rescue, for years Field and his wife, Stacey, fostered pet cats for the organization as they awaited adoption, and often helped the cat rescue in various capacities.
“They volunteer at adoption events and are always the first to help if we needed transport of supplies,” Bissell said, recounting an instance in which the couple rescued a litter of kittens with their mother that they had found at a soccer field, and fostered them until they were ready for adoption.
“He was an amazing guy, and one of the funniest people,” said Danielle Scala, founder of Paw it Forward, a Valley Stream-based, nonprofit-backed pet pantry.
Field, she said, volunteered to install shelving and light fixtures for the pantry, and the two became fast friends, discussing ways to continue supporting Paw it Forward, and had planned to celebrate their birthdays together on March 22. But, when Field fell ill, that became impossible.
“We had so many plans,” Scala said, “so many things to do. It’s a life cut so short.”
Field is survived by his wife, Stacey, and sons Steven, Jason and Richard. A funeral service was scheduled for Tuesday, after the Herald went to press.