NEWPORT, Tenn. (WATE) — “‘No one fights alone,'” the Cocke County Emergency Management Agency director stated in a social media post about supporting the loved ones of a fallen first responder out of Claiborne County. The agency will be accepting donations for the fallen firefighter’s growing family at the Cocke County fairgrounds Thursday and Friday.
While family, friends and the emergency responders’ community are still grappling with grief in the wake of volunteer firefighter Capt. Roy L. Sewell Jr.‘s death earlier this week, support for his family and his agency, the North Tazewell Volunteer Fire Department continues ahead of the memorial service on Saturday.
The Cocke County EMA will be there, along with many others for the young captain’s last ride, according to the director’s post.
“This Department, community, and family are hurting right now and we’re gonna go get their backs, because in this family, ‘No one fights alone,'” the post states in part. “The Director, Firefighters, and fire trucks will be departing The Emergency Operations Center Saturday morning to take part in this young man’s final ride.”
The post comes just days after Sewell’s death while responding to a call for a child’s injury in an ATV crash in Claiborne County. Sewell had been driving a fire engine to set up a landing zone for the emergency medical helicopter for the child when the vehicle went off the road and rolled down an embankment, according to authorities.
“The last thing he said was, ‘Where do you need me,'” Joseph M. Esway, the Cocke County EMA director shared in the social post Wednesday night. “I have heard those same words spoken over the radio dozens of times in my 4 years as Director.”
“Those who know me, know that a special place is reserved in my heart for Volunteer Firefighters,” Esway’s post continues. “When you call, they come with little thought to cost or consequence. They are the hardest working, God fearing, community loving people you will ever have the privilege to meet. Their commitment and sacrifice is eclipsed only by those who are closest to them.”
Esway’s Cocke County EMA post went on to share that the agency and others will be accepting donated new items to be delivered to the Sewell family on behalf of all of Cocke County, “our fire trucks will transport them on Saturday. I do not have a list of items so my only advice would be to use your best judgment from the information provided.”
The post also states that Emergency Management and County Fire personnel will accept “whatever you are moved to give” on Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the fairgrounds: 120 Fairground Circle Newport, TN.
Sewell, 27, leaves behind a wife, a toddler and another little one on the way.
Memorial Service Details
The North Tazewell VFD has shared the details of the memorial service planned for Saturday morning to honor Sewell:
“A celebration of life for Capt Roy Sewell will be held on on Saturday, 29 April 2023.
“All friends and emergency service vehicles are requested to line up at DeRoyal Industries (1211 SR-33 New Tazewell, TN 37825) between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Personnel will walk across the street to Claiborne-Overholt Funeral Home and will load Captain Sewell for his final ride at 12:50. The procession is scheduled to depart the funeral home at 1 PM and travel to Claiborne High School for a Celebration of Life Service with Fire Service Honors to be held at 2 p.m.
“Visitation will be held immediately following the memorial service.
“In lieu of flowers, Roy’s family has asked that you make donations to the North Tazewell Volunteer Fire Department.”
Fundraising Efforts in the Community
North Tazewell VFD shared that it is working with Blue Line TN, a nonprofit out of Knoxville that works to raise money for families of fallen first responders: “If you would like to help Roy’s family, please consider buying a memorium T-shirt recognizing Capt Roy Sewell. All profits from these sales will go directly to Roy’s surviving family. Additional (commemorative memorabilia) may also be available. Again all profits will go directly to help Roy’s family during this tough time and the challenges ahead.”
Bubba Brew’s in Maynardville will set one of its famous drink jars on the bar this weekend for contributions going to the Sewell family, according to a social media post shared by the business.