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NC firefighters honored for commitment, dedication to community

Daniel Loflin and Capt. Tim James said they both became firefighters because they wanted to help those in need


By Sharon Myers
The Dispatch

LEXINGTON, N.C. — Firefighters are the people who show up during some of the worst times to make things better. Recently, the Lexington Fire Department recognized two of its own for their dedication to the department and their commitment to the residents of the city.

Daniel Loflin received the 2016 Firefighter of the Year award and Capt. Tim James received the Fire Officer of the Year award.

Loflin said he was surprised but grateful to receive this distinction.

“I was very honored and shocked at the same time,” Loflin said. “I don’t know what I did that impressed people, but I must have done something right.”

Loflin, whose wife is Carolyne, has been with the Lexington Fire Department for four years. He was born and raised in Silver Valley and previously volunteered with the Fair Grove Fire Department for 10 years.

He said he wanted to become a firefighter because of his desire to aid those in need. Loflin said he also tries to improve any situation when he can.

“I think what drives most of us is that you want to help people,” Loflin said. “My idea is I like to take a bad situation and make it better. When I leave someone, I want it to be better than when I first got there.”

Hartley said that the firefighter of the year is someone who exhibits a good attitude, dedication, competence and initiative. He said Loflin was chosen because he displays all of these qualities, as well as being someone who goes over and beyond what is expected.

“Daniel has always had a great attitude and is a joy to work with,” Hartley said. “His peers like him, the supervisors think very highly of him. He is highly deserving of the firefighter of the year award. … We have a saying here that we strive to get a little better every day, that you come in each day you are scheduled and you work hard and strive to learn something new. Daniel does that every day.”

Although he is in the early stages of his career, Loflin says he plans to continue working as a firefighter. He also said that he didn’t receive this distinction without the help of his fellow firefighters.

“I would like to thank all those people who helped push me to get me there,” Loflin said. “I wouldn’t be where I am without my coworkers who are out there pushing me and making me get better every day. … I come to work every day determined to better myself and to make life better for someone else. If nothing else, I want to make someone smile.”

James received the Fire Officer of the Year award in recognition of many of the behind-the-scenes projects he organized to better the department. One of these projects included the implementation of medium rescue state certification for the Lexington Fire Department, which includes water rescue training, rope rescue training and vehicular extrication training.

James said he was grateful to be recognized for his contributions to the department with the award.

“It is a great honor,” James said. “It is the first time I have ever got an award like this. … I would like to thank the people on shift A and ladder 1A. The entire department on a whole is great; it is a very progressive department. Everything we do here is a team effort.”

Hartley said James is one of those people who works toward the betterment of the entire department, and he deserved recognition for his efforts.

“There are a lot of things that the officers do that firefighters are not required to do,” Hartley said. “Tim was very instrumental in helping us get our statewide medium rescue certification. There are so many good employees like him who work behind the scenes year in and year out, and we wanted to make available the chance for them to be recognized.”

James, who is a 19-year veteran of the LFD, was born and raised in Lexington. He is the son of Gwen James and he has a fiancée, Ella Sams. He said that he has always wanted to be firefighter because of his desire to help people.

“Rescue is my forte,” James said. “It is something that I have always done. … I grew up watching the television shows like 'Emergency,' so it was the only thing I ever wanted to do. I like to fix things and the satisfaction of seeing people in trouble get helped.”

Copyright 2016 The Dispatch

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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