A HERO’s Work in Georgia

June 13, 2014 at 1:21 PM

HEROThe other day, my wife and I were on our way to Alpharetta. As we were driving along I-285N, the car seemed to lose power. I pressed the accelerator and nothing. In fact, the engine had died and at first I didn’t know why. Glancing at the gas gauge told me what I needed to know. Yep, out of gas. Of all the stupid, non-thinking things. How could I have let that happen? It’s not like me to ignore something as important as gas.

Fortunately, I was able to glide over to the side of the road but ended up dead on arrival in an exit ramp. Not good. People started piling up behind me even though I had my hazard lights on. I got out and propped my hood open to help people understand I wasn’t able to go anywhere. While my wife called our roadside assistance, I stood at the back of the vehicle, but to the side, so that folks would know I was having difficulties.

At any rate, a few moments later, a HERO pulled up. HERO stands for Highway Emergency Response Operators and you can reach them by dialing 511 in Georgia. I went to the passenger side of their truck and the gentleman inside asked me what the problem was with my vehicle. I told him I was completely out of gas. He said they would give us a gallon of gas so I could get to the next exit and fill up.

The driver popped out, grabbed a gas container, walked backwards to my car, and began pouring a gallon of their gas into my car. I asked how much it was going to cost me. His reply? “Nothing sir. This is paid for by your taxes.” Wow, imagine that, a roadside service that is run by the state government designed to help drivers can back on the road.

HERO has four stated goals:

  • To minimize major disruption of freeway traffic flow at incident locations.
  • To focus on the factors that cause disruption in the flow of traffic and remove those factors.
  • To relieve congestion and maintain a consistent flow of traffic at incident locations
  • To reduce response time to traffic-related incidents

You can read more about them via the link above but among their duties, they participate in the following to make life safer for motorists:

  • Change flat tires
  • Jump start weak batteries
  • Provide fuel or water
  • Provide transportation to safer areas
  • Provide courtesy use of a telephone

They are real heroes. They gave us a gallon of gas, we were on our way, end of traffic problems at least on that exit ramp. I’ve never really known what HERO does, but now I have firsthand knowledge.

I’m very grateful they do what they do and it is certainly something that I don’t mind my taxes being used for because it is a very much-needed service for people like me who at times, fail to pay attention to the gas gauge. Lesson learned.

Entry filed under: Dr. Fred, Life in America. Tags: .

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