Name: Steve Greene
Department: Guilford College Fire Department (NC) (1977-1981) & DeWitt Fire Dept. (NY) (1981-1985)
Bio: I grew up the middle of 3 boys, outside Boston. Loved fire trucks but wanted to be a rabbi. Life changed. I moved to NC to work in a synagogue and a combo station was less than a mile away. I stopped in. I liked it. I walked out with an application. Never looked back until an injury knocked me off the line.
1. What made you join the fire service?
I had already passed every level of the Red Cross as a kid. I loved the show, “EMERGENCY.” This was my way to help someone.
2. What aspects of the job do you enjoy the most?
I loved it all. In 3 years, I qualified as a firefighter, driver-engineer, and high-level rescue. Had a spent a 4th summer in NC, I would have been an officer.
3. Who in the fire service do you look up to as a mentor?
My Chief, Bobby T. Wilson was my first mentor. He saw something in me that he wanted to cultivate. One of the three paid caretakers (24-on/48-off), Roger Brooks, was a former Air Force firefighter and he took me and my friend under his wing and taught us anything and everything he could, whenever the three of us got together at the firehouse. Roger is still a dear friend today.
4. How do you handle the stressors of the job?
I was relatively newly married, no kids. I worked 60 hours a week at my synagogue job. The fire service was my relief valve. And, I met another young man when we were voted in, who is still my best friend and a business partner today, 40 years later.
5. What book(s) are you currently reading?
I like mystery-thrillers by David Wood and military-style thrillers by Alex Lukeman.
6. If you could pick any career field outside of emergency/public service, what would it be?
Jewish education. It’s what I’ve been doing since I was 13. Yes, I started teaching when I was thirteen!
7. What do you outside of work for fun?
I’m retired. I have one of our daughters getting married in the spring. I’m dedicating a lot to that! But I love to travel with my wife and my best friend and his wife. And of course, I love producing and hosting, the “5-Alarm Task Force” podcast!
8. What advice would you give young firefighters or men and women thinking of becoming part of the fire service?
Never, ever, give up your thirst for knowledge. And never, ever forget to pay it forward!
9. What is the driving force behind your success?
Success? Who me? I think I’m more lucky than successful. I’ve had more jobs of varying types, that have come and gone. I’ve made some terrible mistakes too. My success? I can look at our two daughters