“Choose to think of him as a hero in death,
and I will tell you that he was a hero in life.”
On June 16, 2006, ex-captain Michael J. Greene died in the line of duty. While removing a salvage cover that had suffered fire damage, Mike was electrocuted when he came into contact with a sign that was unknowingly energized.
Mike joined the West Babylon Fire Department in April 1994. He served as lieutenant and captain from 2001 through 2004. Mike was proud to be a member of the truck company. He loved to get his hands dirty and was always one of the first to arrive for an alarm. He was skilled on the various Hurst tools, especially the Jaws of Life. Any time the truck left the firehouse and Mike was part of the crew, you knew the job would get done. He was also an outstanding interior firefighter when it came to search and rescue. He never backed down from a challenging scene and was always the guy you wanted by your side. On December 19, 2005, Mike and other firefighters entered a burning house to search for a trapped woman. Mike found the woman and brought her out. For this act of heroism and bravery, Mike was awarded Firefighter of the Year and the Silver Medal of Valor from the Suffolk County Fire Academy. Mike used his experience, knowledge and leadership to train and mold the future of the company. Knowing how adamant Mike was about training, the district dedicated their new fire training facility to him, naming it in his honor. Arnold Avenue in West Babylon has also been named for Mike. Mike’s memory lives on through the members he trained and the ‘Mike-isms’ that can be heard around the firehouse.
Mike was a devoted husband to his wife, Liz, a loving father to his son, Colin, and daughters Katie, Kristen and Meghan. Mike loved to surf and spent as much time as he could in the water. He was just beginning to share his passion for surfing with his son, which was a dream of his since Colin was born. Colin truly shares this passion with his dad. Mike also relished spending time with his three girls, whether it was attending their sporting events, dance recitals or just simply taking them out for Italian Ices. He was a devoted son and brother, and considered family time to be of great importance. In addition to family time, he enjoyed relaxing barbecues with friends and hanging out and vacationing with the neighborhood families, which always brought many laughs. At his funeral, his wife Liz talked about all the normal, everyday things he did that made Mike such a great guy. Mike continues to be remembered for all he did for his community of family and friends through this foundation, which was established to honor the memory of what a truly great guy he was.
He is missed and will never be forgotten.