Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to gather, spread good cheer, and catch up on life. The feeling of gratitude runs deep in the MFD. We reflect and appreciate the community—and each other. The holiday has always been a good time in the department.
This Thanksgiving was a sad time for the MFD family.
Casey Carlin was a young firefighter hired in April of 2003. He had much promise in the organization and had all the characteristics of a great firefighter. He cared about the community and serving the citizens of Madison.
Unfortunately, Casey was involved in a snowmobile accident in December of 2003. He survived but was paralyzed from the neck down. Casey passed away this Thanksgiving after a 13-year battle with quadriplegia.
As the department often gives thanks for what we have, we were all able to give thanks for knowing Casey. He always had good thoughts and conversation. I’m sure he had bad days, but he never showed it to any of his brothers and sisters in the MFD. He was truly a genuine person who loved life, even when confined to a wheel chair. We all learned lessons from Casey as the years went on.
Casey’s father, Virgil Carlin, was also a Madison firefighter. In 1983, Virgil was fighting a car fire next to a home on the east side when the car began to roll down the driveway, pinning Virgil between the fire engine and the burning vehicle. Virgil lost the lower half of his leg in the incident and was given a duty disability.
Both Virgil and Casey were unbelievable in their passion and care for the residents of Madison. If anyone knew Virgil, it was easy to see where Casey developed his passion for life.
This Saturday, December 3, we will gather at Olbrich Botanical Gardens to honor and reflect on a great person. One who taught each and every one of us important lessons in life. He will be remembered for his strength, passion, and great big smile.
Thank you to Casey, Virgil, and the surviving Carlin family for your dedication to the City of Madison community.
Casey, you will be missed! Forever Rest In Peace.
Pictured: Virgil and Casey Carlin