Joe's Job: Triple-A rescue tech

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by Joe Flanagan, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on October 2, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 3 at 5:28 PM

NORFOLK-Who do you call when your car breaks down? Thousands of people in Hampton Roads pull out their Triple A card and call for help.

What's it like to be a roadside rescue tech? Victor Jones, who works out of AAA's Norfolk office, showed me the ropes. AAA responds 24/7.

On the day I trained with Jones, we responded to a man whose car had a dead battery. He was stuck in the Harris Teeter parking lot on Colonial Avenue in Norfolk. As we hooked up the hand-held battery analyzer, owner Brandon Nuckles told us he hadn't started his car for a couple of weeks.

The battery took the charge and started up.

"We came, we saw and we got Brandon Nuckles mobile again. It's a good feeling," said Jones.

AAA workers tow cars, too, and LaVelle Perkins showed me how to secure an SUV on the tow truck.

"We do tows, we do lockouts, change tires and wench-outs when people get stuck in the mud or show," Perkins stated.

Last but not least, AAA does tires - as in changing flat tires. Jones suggests leaving that job to the pros, if you can, and says it's important for drivers to change their habits when they're on a spare. "It's not a limit on the distance (you drive) but the speed is what really counts. You want to go no more than 50MPH on it," Jones stressed.

AAA manager Mike Wooten says the tech can be also be a source of assurance for stranded drivers.

How did I do as an emergency driver assistance tech?

"After Joe has trained with me, I think he can do fine, yeah," Jones concluded.

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