One of the hottest jobs in North Texas during this heatwave might just be helping drivers get back on the road. With temperatures topping 100, the monitors at the North Texas Tollway Authority’s Safety Operations Center in Plano showed the road surface temperature nearing 140-degrees this afternoon.
“What that tells us is what everybody knows,” said Eric Hemphill, Director of Incident Management. “If you’re not used to changing a tire on a surface that’s 135-degrees, you could suffer reactions, either heat exhaustion or heat stroke. And none of those are good for you or us.”
NBC 5 followed along on a Courtesy Patrol ride. Kareem Williams, RSS Team Lead, said he sees one call more than anything else.
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“Flat tires. That is number one,” Williams said. “You’ll know when it gets real hot. They’ll blow, they’ll pop, they’ll leak air.” Williams said every driver should check their tires for tread, leaks, and pressure, before heading out on the roads.
Fifteen minutes into our ride-along, Williams got a call for a motorist with a flat in Plano.
“I was actually heading to the tire shop to get a new tire,” explained Tysha Mangum. “That’s a sign that I’m definitely doing what I need to be doing today.”
A few minutes later, Williams had the spare tire on the car and Mangum was on her way.
“I always believe you should help your fellow man,” said Williams. “And this job give me the power to do that.”
The NTTA Courtesy Patrol is free. You can call for help by dialing #999.
On Dallas highways and service roads, the Dallas County Sheriff's Department offers the same service 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call 214-320-4444 for help.