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Firefighter saves lives after death; 5 people helped through organ donations

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MEGAN GRAY

The Ellis County Press

LANCASTER – Families and department heads are still mourning the loss of Fireman Joel Otwell since he succumbed to a head injury at his church last Thursday, July 22.

Being an organ donor, he was able to continue his love of saving lives to those of five others.

Otwell joined the Lancaster Fire Department in April 1989 and was promoted to Driver/Engineer in November 1999 where he contunied to serve until his death.

Funeral services were held on Monday, July 26 at the Denton Bible Church on the 2300 block of E. University Drive.

Some memories from the funeral services:

By Captain Wayne Hillary, Joel’s Captain for almost 8 years and long-time friend: " Joel is the Driver /Engineer we aspire to be. He’s the Fir-eman everyone wanted to be. He was so good at his job."

By long-time friend Mark Davidson: " You can’t choose family but you CAN choose friends. In Joel, I had both."

Since Lancaster Police Officer Craig Shaw was killed in the line of duty a little over a month ago by Dallas Police Chief David Brown’s son, the town has grown closer than ever.

With the fire and police departments being in the same building the two departments rely heavily on each other for support.

"Joel was a wonderful person. Your all-around good guy," said Captain Dee Dee Hillary.

"It’s hard to narrow it down to a few lines. To summarize the guys in the Lancaster Fire Department, he’s going to be sorely missed."

A trust fund has been established at Chase Bank on 1522 Pleasant Run Road as well as to the memorial of Joel Otwell at any local branch.


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