Spotlight: Tim Casarin


In April 2014, Missassauga firefighter Tim Casarin was caught in an explosion that almost cost him his life. He spent a month in acute care, some of it in a medically-induced coma, until he was ready for rehab. He arrived at West Park unable to walk, with a cervical collar, wired jaw, and other apparatus. With the skilled support of the Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Service, he began an extraordinary journey back to health.

The physical work of rehabilitation was unremitting, but it was the emotional challenges that Casarin found most difficult. “I’m a strong person and I can fight through pain, but if the staff hadn’t given me that light at the end of the tunnel every day, I don’t think I would have been able to do it.”

"They gave me my dignity. They got me through it."

When he had the inevitable bad days, his West Park team buoyed him up. “It wasn’t a big miraculous thing – just a touch, a smile. They made me feel that I wanted to do it for them, as much as for myself.”

Casarin’s recovery is complete. He’s back at home with his family and, after a period of desk duty, he was able to ride the fire engine again. “The people at West Park kept me calm and positive,” he says. “They gave me my dignity. They got me through it.”

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