Pay It Forward: KARK Honors Emergency Manager for Selfless Service

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CONWAY COUNTY, AR. — One look around Jonathan Trafford’s Morrilton office and you’ll see he wears many hats.

“I joined the volunteer fire department when I was 18, when I was still in High School,” said Trafford.

It’s a job he feels he was born to do.

“Conway county is the county that raised me. This is where I grew up,” Trafford added.

Appointed the Conway County Emergency Manager in 2012, Trafford is also the county’s 911 coordinator and a Reserve Sheriff’s Deputy.

“It’s just something I love doing. He goes on every call,” says Cheyenne Austin.

Even if it takes him under water.

As administrator of the dive team, he’s on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Nothing could prepare Trafford for what happened this past January.

“Uh those were some bad contractions that morning,” says Cheyenne.

“We were actually up getting ready about to go to the hospital, which that’s the night that it snowed and there was ice everywhere. They got a call that there were some duck hunters that had ran their truck off into the river and they needed the dive team to pull the car out,” says Cheyenne.

“Cheyenne knew how important this dive was more than others because of the safety factors.”

“I said go ahead and go I’ll be fine.” “I just toughed it out and toughed it out,” says Cheyenne. So I went and we were able to have our safety briefing.”

“I called him and was like Ok, you’ve got to come home because we’ve got to go,” says Cheyenne. So the guys went diving and we went to the hospital to have Madeline.”

Trafford knew something was up, when he came back from lunch Thursday and saw our cameras.

It wasn’t what we did to Trafford’s surprise, we were there to Pay it 4Ward with $250 in gift cards.

“Wow. We’ve got vacation coming up in September. Chyenne and I are planning on getting married, so that will help up greatly,” said Austin.

A surprise turned celebration for this Conway County emergency responder serving a community he loves.

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