Dozens of firefighters stood outside Mount Sinai South Nassau to pay tribute to volunteer firefighter Michael Field.
The 59-year-old Long Island man died from COVID-19 after transporting a patient with coronavirus in late March. Field's family never got to say goodbye in person, a devastating new reality for the families of coronavirus patients.
"A couple minutes before he went on the ventilator he asked if we could come see him and we had to tell him no because there was no way possible," said his son, Richard Field.
For 33 years, Field volunteered at the Valley Stream Volunteer Fire Department. He was known for his personality and kindness. Field also served as an EMT with the FDNY for 20 years but even after retirement he stayed with the Valley Stream Volunteer family.
"He was one of a kind, always smiling. He was there at Ground Zero and was there when the planes hit. He survived he was there for the aftermath," recalled Valley Stream Chief Jason Croak.
"He was just that guy, no one has nothing bad to say, he was just that guy," his other son, Jason said.
Jason and Richard, both FDNY EMTs, urged Field to stay home during the pandemic, but he refused, too eager to help with the response. Field's family says that was his nature.
"He had the drive to help people and that was it," Richard Field said.
Field died alone in the hospital. But on Friday, he was surrounded by those who loved him. His fellow firefighters led a procession to the funeral home where preparations are being made to lay him to rest.