By Crystal Wylie
Register News Writer
MADISON COUNTY —
A Red Lick Volunteer Fire Department truck carried the body of volunteer firefighter Donald Marshall, 59, on Wednesday, leading his funeral procession to the Madison County Memorial Gardens.
Despite the crisp winter air, Marshall’s “brothers” sat around his casket on top of the truck, as is customary when any firefighter dies, said Madison County Fire Chief Jim Cox.
The truck’s lights were covered in black fabric and a black band was placed across badges on every firefighter’s uniform to signify the death of a firefighter, Cox said.
The honor guard, made up of firefighters from local departments, folded the American flag that had been draped over Marshall’s coffin. Afterward, as is customary, a “last call” was put in to 911, and a message was dispatched on the Madison County fire department channel and volunteer channel honoring Marshall and his 13 years of service.
“We do this so that every department will hear and everybody that is listening on their scanners will know about this firefighter and his dedication. He deserves that recognition,” Cox said.
Firefighters from every local department usually attend funerals of other firefighters, whether they are volunteer or full-time, he said.
“It’s a brotherhood. I could go to a firehouse in Wisconsin, and more than likely, they’d put me up for the night,” Cox said. “You’re a firefighter, and that’s what matters.”
Marshall passed away Friday at the VA Medical Center in Lexington. He served as a safety officer, chaplain and past president of the Red Lick Fire Department.