Polk County EMA Leader is First Responder of the Month

Being a first responder is a tough job almost every day–but it’s even more demanding when your community is hit by a major emergency.
Polk county took a blow from an EF-3 tornado on November 30th, and Emergency Management Director Steve Lofty made sure the response was quick and effective.
He is our First Responder of the Month.

West Polk county near Highway 411 took the brunt of the tornado. In addition to two fatalities, it destroyed numerous homes and also took out the voluntary fire station and even the local post office.
As EMA director, Steve Lofty and his crews sprang into action. They all spent hours with little rest in taking care of the immediate needs.
Lofty, with his long experience was the right man to coordinate the effort.

HENRY HARDEN, VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER  “With the knowledge he has on how to run a scene and the resources that he knew he needed , he was on top of everything.”

Steve Lofty serves his community in a lot of ways. In addition to being the EMA director he’s also the city of Benton Fire Chief, the Polk county fire chief , the 9-1-1 chairman .and a special investigator for the deputy medical examiner. None of those jobs brings a paycheck—they are all strictly volunteer.

STEVE LOFTY, EMA DIRECTOR  “I’ll say this…I’m not a hero but I work with a bunch of them. Uh, my health is such in the latter part of my life my job is geared towards leading and guiding these young men and women.”

RICHARD TAYLOR, CHIEF, EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT  “… he started out very young in fire rescue and, and uh he’s maintained a constant presence in that area..and well deserve of the award.”

Lofty points to other rescue agencies in the area who responded quickly to help the stricken community.

STEVE LOFTY ” I mean we had boots on the ground quick. Uh, we identified they things that initially needed to be taken care off…critical things, you know that would potentially cause life or major suffering.”

And the job is not finished. As to dedication, Lofty says it’s in his DNA to help people.

Steve lofty, we’re proud to name you as the recipient of the News 12 First Responder of the Month award.

If you’d like to nominate a first responder, you can call us..
Or send an email to news at WDEF dot com.

Categories: Environment, Health, Local News, Polk County

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