CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – When you think of a First Responder, you see law enforcement, firefighters and E-M-S personnel.
But there’s another agency that is frequently a life saver for drivers – those Yellow T-DOT Trucks on the interstate.
The first woman driver of those trucks in Southeast Tennessee has seen a lot in her career.
That’s why Robyn Redd is our First responder of the month.
News 12 Now’s Bill Mitchell has her story.
One of the best ideas they ever came up with in Tennessee was the TDOT help truck. You may need help changing a tire….or getting to the next gas station…or it may be your first indication there’s trouble ahead.
Robyn Redd…a paramedic by trade…is a supervisor in the Help truck program. They provide a valuable service that helps keep a bad situation from getting worse.
ROBYN “if you need a little bit of gas to get to a gas station..we do a lot of tire changing, and we also respond to emergency traffic..which is where people get in wrecks ..and help them to get out of the road so they don’t get hit. We also help clear the way so we don’t have secondary..because those can be far more dangerous than the first initial accident.”
While those help truck drivers are trying to keep you out of trouble…they are also in danger.
ROBYN “it’s extremely dangerous, we’d had a couple of operators in different counties that were killed…on the job…in Memphis and Nashville…and a couple of operators here hit ..the vehicles hit …and one was hospitalized and off work for about 16 months.”
Robyn has been on the hob 12 years now. Friends say she is a compassionate person who even talked a young man off a bridge where he had intended to end his life. But, Robyn says it’s a job she loves.
ROBYN “as one of my co-workers said, I bleed TDOT. I love the program, and I love working up here and I love helping people.”
Next time you see that big yellow TDOT truck up ahead…slow down and remember it’s there for your protection.
We’re happy to name one of those drivers…Robyn Redd… our First Responder of the Month.