The TxDOT El Paso District will launch the Highway Emergency Response Operator (HERO) program Monday, June 15.
Officials say he program, aimed at improving safety for motorists and first responders, consists of a fleet of patrol vehicles that will assist on El Paso County’s three major highways.
“This is a great addition to the El Paso District,” said TxDOT El Paso District Engineer Tomas Treviῆo. “Safety is our top priority and these crews will be helpful in keeping our roads clear and drivers and first responders safe during vehicle incidents on our highest traveled roadways.”
The program has its own dispatchers and will receive additional vigilance from our team at the TransVista Center, who keep watch via our camera system.
Federal funding for the HERO program was awarded from the El Paso Metropolitan Planning Organization.
A similar program, called the Courtesy Patrol, existed more than 10 years ago and most recently a towing program assisted drivers on I-10 from Thorn to Viscount during multiple active TxDOT construction work zones. The HERO program is currently funded for two years.
Starting Monday, specially trained staff, will begin patrols on I-10 from Transmountain Rd.(MM6) to Horizon Blvd. (MM38); Loop 375 from I-10 West (RM11) to Santa Fe Street (RM60) and US 54 from McCombs (RM34) to Loop 375 (RM20).
Each shift will consist of five trucks and one tow truck. Each vehicle is branded and all staff will be dressed in safety yellow uniforms. The program will operate Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Motorists in need of assistance can call 915-790-HERO (4376).
Crews will provide the following services at no cost:
- Emergency temporary traffic control at incidents
- Clearing of light debris from incidents
- Assist law enforcement move minor non-injury incidents off the highway to reduce secondary crashes
- Remove stranded or abandoned vehicle from travel lanes and/or shoulders
- Change flat tires, add air to low tires
- Provide gas, diesel, water
- Battery jump start
- Minor vehicle repairs
- Cell phone service, drinking water to stranded motorists