The TxDOT El Paso District has begun operation of a free highway patrol service program to assist motorists in need along three of the busiest stretches of road.

The Highway Emergency Response Operator, or HERO, are crews of specially trained staff in a fleet of branded vehicles that will provide services such as change flat tires, provide gas, and assist with minor vehicle repairs Mondays through Fridays at no cost. The field crew are all first-aid and CPR certified, and trained in incident management. The goal of the HERO program is to improve safety and keep traffic flowing.

Crews will patrol I-10 from Transmountain Road to Horizon Boulevard, Loop 375 from I-10 West to Santa Fe Street, and US 54 from McCombs to Loop 375, according to the press release. Each fleet will consist of five trucks and one tow truck that will operate Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Crews will provide the following free services to motorists:

- Battery jump start
- Minor vehicle repairs
- Provide gas, diesel, water
- Change flat tires, add air to low tires
- Add water to radiators, or motor oil if needed
- Provide cell phone service, drinking water to stranded motorists

The program will also improve safety for first responders by helping with emergency temporary traffic control at accident scenes, clearing of light debris from incidents, assist law enforcement move vehicles involved in minor non-injury accidents off the highway, and removing stranded or abandoned vehicle from travel lanes and/or shoulders.

The program has its own dispatchers, and a team that keeps on eye on the roads via the TxDOT camera system.

You should put this number in your phone contacts in case you ever find yourself in need of assistance along the major highways referenced above: 915-790-4376 (HERO). Because the program is federally funded, the services provided are free.

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