We can dump on the Connecticut Department of Transportation all we want.
And we do.
But we also give shout-outs when shout-outs are due.
The other day, Westporter Rob Feakins had a blowout on I-95. He pulled over to the shoulder, and started to change the tire.
Intimidated by tractor-trailers flying by — 2 feet away, at 65 miles an hour — he got back in the car and called AAA.
They said it would be 2 hours before a service truck could come.
After half an hour, Rob got out and started loosening the lug nuts. It took a while, because he kept glancing nervously over his shoulder.
As he was pulling the jack out, a big orange DOT truck pulled up behind.
The driver — Nelson — offered to change Rob’s tire.
At no charge.
Rob said, “But you’re not from AAA.”
No, Nelson replied. DOT offers Patrol Assist. And its trucks patrol I-95 constantly.
Nelson waved off Rob’s offer of help.
Then he waved off Rob’s offer of a tip. He’s a state employee, he told Rob proudly.
Nelson may have just been doing his job. But to Rob — and countless other motorists — he and his co-workers are unsung heroes.
DOT’s Patrol Assist changes tires, jump starts batteries, troubleshoots — and finally, if necessary, calls a tow truck.
The service is underwritten by State Farm, and runs weekdays from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Besides 95, it’s available on the Merritt and Wilbur Cross Parkways, I-84, I-91, I-291, I-395, and Routes 2, Route 7 and Route 8 and Route 15. For more information, click here.
(To nominate an Unsung Hero, email firstname.lastname@example.org)