Koob honored with national Towman Award

Steve Koob, owner of Koob Automotive in Monticello, was recently honored with the Order of the Towman Award in Maryland. His son, Wes Koob, pinned on the award. Both father and son are Towman Award recipients. (Photo submitted)

Koob was nominated for the Towman Award by Monticello Police Chief Britt Smith. He acknowledged Koob’s service over the years in assisting on the scene at accidents, during the winter, and servicing the department’s vehicles. (Photo submitted)
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Local automotive and towing business owner, Steve Koob, was recently presented with the prestigious Order of the Towman Award. He was nominated for the honor by Monticello Police Chief Britt Smith.

     “An honor like this feels good,” commented Koob. “It’s nice to be appreciated, and I really appreciate Britt taking his time to do that.”

     Smith said he learned about the Towman Award from a law enforcement publication he subscribes to.

     “It talked about the importance of the working relationships with the towing and recovery specialists in your area,” he said. “It described the award that recognizes their efforts and dedication and it immediately made me think of Steve Koob.”

     Smith said that’s when he wrote a letter to American Towman Magazine, who gives out the award, describing Koob’s efforts and dedication, nominating him for the award.

     “We didn’t know he was nominated for the award until we got a letter in the mail,” said Cinda Repsel, Koob’s daughter. Koob was the only towman in the State of Iowa to receive the Towman Award this year.

     “It’s a positive award that hopefully indicates I’m doing the right thing,” joked Koob.

     Koob and his family flew to Baltimore, Md., for the 28th Annual American Towman Exposition. Koob’s son, Wes Koob, owner of Red’s Towing & Automotive Repair in Anamosa, pinned the medal onto his dad. Koob said he did the same for his son when he received the award a few years ago.

     Koob has a long history of working with the City of Monticello, the Monticello Police Department, and the Jones County Sheriff’s Department. He said he’s been assisting for decades.

     Koob said he purchased his first wrecker in the late ‘70s. It wasn’t until the early 2000s that he started serving the MPD’s fleet of vehicles.

     “Not only has Steve been the areas only towing and recovery specialist,” noted Smith, “but Koob Automotive serves the department as our primary fleet mechanic.”

     Koob lends his service in the event of a local accident, no matter the time of day or weather circumstances. He assists the city is removing vehicles off the road during snow emergencies. He’s offered his services to the Monticello Fire Department as well, and served on the department from 1986-2006.

     “Through my interactions,” Koob said, “I’ve developed personal relationships with many of our service agencies.”

     Koob said his equipment, which he’s upgraded and expanded upon over the years, allows him the capabilities to move vehicles when needed.

     “It doesn’t cost me much, so it’s really not a big deal,” he said of the task. Daughter Repsel said he dad isn’t one to bask in the attention.

     Koob said, much like the fire, ambulance or police departments, he gets called out at random hours of the day and night, leaving his family or other work obligations.

     “It’s not 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in this business,” he said. In fact, last Thanksgiving, Koob was called away for a semi accident. “We’re 24/7. You have the sacrifice family events, and you don’t get much sleep.”

     Last week, he missed his grandkids’ Christmas concert due to a call as well, in which his son assisted, too.

     Koob has been called to remove vehicles from accident scenes, something he said can be difficult to see.

     “You go and do your job and end up thinking about it afterwards,” he said.

     Koob said one his first accidents was a head-on collision on Highway 151.

     “There were two fatalities,” he said. He was also on the MFD at the time.

     He recalled a one-vehicle accident near Central Park one year. The vehicle landed with its tail end tied up on a post in the ditch after rolling several times.

     “We couldn’t move the car to get her out, so I assisted by hoisting the car up,” he explained.

     Koob was also called to assist in removing the car of the Anamosa teacher that ended up in the Wapsipinicon River at the State Park in March 2012.

     “There have been quite a few accidents,” he remarked.

     Smith said in the event of an accident, it’s important to safety remove the vehicle(s) in a timely manner. He said Koob and his business “have always exemplified the knowledge and professionalism we demand.”

     Koob Automotive has interstate authority, allowing him to be on scene all over the country, not just within Jones County, Iowa.

     Koob also helps in removing abandoned vehicles on public property, and heads out during blizzards to pick stranded drivers off the roadways, bring them back into town.

     “It’s easy for me to get around,” he said. “I do what I can to get people off the highways.”

     According to the press release from American Towman, those who receive the award “enter into an elite organization of towing professionals nationwide.

     “Inductees take an oath to continue their unparalleled dedication to their towns.”

     Smith said that is exactly why he nominated Koob. “Steve was worthy of this award because he represents everything that this award stands for.”


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