Viewpoint: Praise, thank and protect Montana’s tow-truck drivers
As a past paramedic/firefighter, I want to acknowledge another first responder that is rarely recognized or thanked. Recently one of our county newspaper articles had a thank you given only to the police, fire and ambulance. We do not seem to value our tow truck drivers. They too face the horrors of every bad accident scene; get called out at all hours of the night and work in the worst weather, longer than the other first responders.
More tow truck drivers are killed or injured every year on these calls than police or fire personnel. Why? Because these brave heroes are usually left to finish their jobs alone. Ambulances leave first followed by police and fire. But the wrecker crew is left alone, no walls of flashing lights commanding attention, no fire trucks or police cars to block and slow down traffic protecting them while they work.
They stay cleaning glass, oil and debris off the road, keeping us all safe. They clear vehicles off the roads so we can drive on them without danger. Many times, they’re doing this work alone with no extra protection. Add the fact that many drivers go speeding by, ignorantly refusing to slow down and move over for them… it’s a highly dangerous place for someone’s daddy, mommy or loved one to be.
So please, please, please, when you see a tow truck driver, tip your hats, they truly deserve our utmost appreciation and respect. Most importantly show your appreciation by slowing down and moving over to help them return home to their loved ones.
FYI, as a past paramedic/firefighter, I was one of the worst offenders of this blindness. I should have known their contributions to our safety, but I missed it. I am making a public apology for not giving them the respect and appreciate they deserve.
Join me in doing that by slowing down and moving over. Let’s send them all home to their families as they have served us.
Vincent G. Vaccaro is from Three Forks