Firefighters volunteer to work for Trey Erwin’s father

(WMC-TV) - People across the Mid-South spent their Fridays remembering Trey Erwin, a Collierville teen who died Thursday from cancer, but area firefighters have a special tie to Trey and his family.

The mayor of Memphis, the Memphis Grizzlies and even NFL star Tim Tebow sent their condolences to the Erwin family Thursday and now a group of Memphis firefighters are sharing their connection to a boy who they say fought his own fire with faith.

As the community learned of 15-year-old Trey Erwin's death, a special salute went out over the airwaves by Memphis firefighters.

Trey's father, Jerry "Jay" Erwin, is a firefighter and paramedic for Station House 24.

"A lot of people that have worked for Jay don't even know him and have never met him," said firefighter Lt. Shane Rhodes.

For the past 5 months, as Trey battled pancreatic cancer, Rhodes and Tony Cain helped organized the schedules to allow Erwin to be with his family.

While social media used the hashtag PrayForTray, Engine 24 created its own hashtag movement: WorkForJay.

"We've been very fortunate that the administration has allowed an exception to allow people to work for Jay longer than what is normally permitted," said Rhodes.

Many firefighters say they've known the Erwin family for more than 10 years and they were amazed at the strength and faith that Trey had during his fight with cancer.

"I remember the kids from a very young age and they were very proud of their dad for being on the fire department and being a paramedic and a firefighter," said Rhodes.

"Trey was like a son,' said a crying Tony Cain.

The firefighters said working for Jay Erwin is part of the special brotherhood firefighters share, but ultimately they had simple messages for the Erwin's.

"Y'all raised a heck of a son," said Rhodes.

"We're here for you and anything you need," said Cain. "We're just a phone call away."

Click here to watch a video, produced by Josh Maze for MERICA NOIR, of one of Trey's last interviews.

Please click here to read Erwin's blog, learn more about Trey's journey, and show your support. 

Click here to find out more about his memorial services.

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