Sunday, May 17, 2009

H.E.R.O. - Highway Emergency Response Operators



You can see these yellow cars called the H.E.R.O.'s cars around Atlanta's Highway. The Highway Emergency Response Operators program is a freeway service Patrol operated in metro Atlanta, GA - USA by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT). It is a part of GDOT's Office of Traffic Operations. Both the program and the individual vehicles are typically referred to by the acronym HERO. The program began in Atlanta in 1994 and has since been expanded in association with GDOT's Navigator Intelligent Transportation System program.

But, What is the H.E.R.O. Program?

The Highway Emergency Response Operators program is a freeway service patrol operated in metro Atlanta, USA by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT). It is a part of GDOT's Office of Traffic Operations. Both the program and the individual vehicles are typically referred to by the acronym HERO. The program began in Atlanta in 1994 and has since been expanded in association with GDOT's Navigator Intelligent Transportation System program.

The HERO unit's primary purpose is to minimize traffic congestion by clearing wrecked or disabled vehicles from the roadway lanes and providing traffic control at incident scenes. As a secondary service, HERO's function as a service patrol; assisting stranded motorists who may have a flat tire or are out of fuel. In addition to their normal duties in metro Atlanta, HEROs have been deployed in the past to assist with traffic control at the The Master golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia and along Interstates 75 and 16 during hurricane evacuations.

HERO truck operators are GDOT employees, distinguishing the program from freeway service patrols in other states, such as California, which are operated under contract by private tow truck companies. The HERO day is split into four shifts - Alpha (morning), Beta (afternoon), Charlie (weekend) and Delta (overnight). The program operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Typically, HEROs work between 55,000 and 60,000 incidents per year.

Motorists needing HERO assistance may dial 511 (and press 1) to reach a HERO dispatcher. 511 is also the number for general traffic information throughout the state of Georgia.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

They don't do what they're saying...
My wife was late at work after she got a flat tire right 1/2 mile away from HERO's parking and after she called 911 and they said that somebody was coming to replace the tire.45 min passed and i've got there(I-85-S exit 86)from Gwinnett county(Lawrenceville)and all 5 or 6 ''HERO'' vehicles that passed by didn't stop.What kind of service they perform?IT was to hot maybe for them to get out of the nice clima they have in theyr cabin.THEY WASTE MONEY ON GAS DRIVING AROUND FOR NAOTHING.

L. MyyA said...

I just want to say thanks for the flat service assistance on 11/16 on the 285 S corridor. I was preparing to call AAA and HERO pulled up. Very nice service providers, and explained how the service works (calling 511).

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous commenter lady that call 911 for a flat tire, in my opinion this lady should be arrested for abusing the 911 system the only responder should have been a GA state trooper.

Kitty V said...

I had a flat tire on I-285 Outer Loop, just after Spaghetti Junction, and called my husband and then 511.

Terry M. in truck 532 arrived within 5-10 minutes. Not only was he friendly, he was efficient and professional. He changed my tire as my husband arrived.

I have to tell you that the sight of that yellow truck pulling up behind me was truly wonderful.

That day, I had TWO knights in shining armour!

Anonymous said...

Thank you to H.E.R.O. for changing my son's tire within 5 minutes after his flat on hwy 85. Before I could even get them on the phone they were already at the scene and are greatly appreciated by my family. Its a great program, and makes the roads much safer! You are our Hero!

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say thank-you to the HERO driver for changing my tire yesterday.6/17

I didn't get his name but he
was very fast, professional and
caring. I was near I-285 and Spaghetti Junction just after Buford hwy. What a great service.
Thanks again
Jackie b.

DEEDEE said...

Thanks so much for Dwayne Simpson , from the H.E.R.O unit. Badge #578. He did an excellent job changing our flat tire on I285 today at about 2:30 - 3pm 8/19/13. He was fast, polite and efficient with helping to move our vehicle from the left side of the highway to the right to change our flat tire. Me and my friend,Theresa C.were so very THANKFUL!!!!! We love what you all do to make it safe for ladies like ourselves. We called AAA but they never got there as quick as H.E.R.O did. THANK YOU HERO from the bottom of our hearts. WE LOVE YOU!!!!!! And Mr. SIMPSON you are WONDERFUL. WE LOVE YOU MUCH!!!!!

Deloris C. & Theresa C.

Alvin Savage said...

I was on my way home when from work when I had a flat. A hero came up and fix my tire in 5 minutes flat!!! I have nothing but good things to say about this company. I thank you guys for all you do....

Alvin S.

Alvin Savage said...

I was on my way home when from work when I had a flat. A hero came up and fix my tire in 5 minutes flat!!! I have nothing but good things to say about this company. I thank you guys for all you do....

Alvin S.

Anonymous said...

Stuck on 85s right now awaiting my husband at 5:00am. Why? Simply because I just called 511 and dispatch informed me that the trucks dont start until 8:00am. Ummm I know I just read in plain english that H.E.R.O operates 24/7. What did I miss here?

Wilson Phillips said...

The day that Mayor Bill Campbell announced the creation of the HERO program was the proudest day of my life. Allow me to elaborate a bit.

I lived right outside Lawrenceville at the time and had my own refrigeration service company. When driving to and from service calls over the metro area, I would stop and help stranded motorists. I had tools and no boss, so it made it easy for me to help people. Over several years, I helped a lot of people. I changed tires, boosted dead batteries, loaned my cell phone for people to call someone to come help them, etc.

My wife always called me her Knight in Shining Armor, so as a joke, I printed a bunch of business cards with nothing but Knight in Shining Armor on them. No phone number or any other info to identify me. After I would help someone, they would always offer to pay me for getting them out of a bind, but I never accepted any money. However, I would always hand them my calling card. It always gave the person a laugh and helped them feel better.

Periodically, there would be a news story about the mysterious Knight in Shining Armor, but I never divulged who I was. I never wanted the recognition. I did not help people for money or recognition. I did it because it made me feel good. I did it because I have been stranded on the side of the road and I know how helpless it makes you feel to be in that situation.

One evening, I was watching the news and the Mayor was making a big deal about announcing something that would help to make Atlanta an Olympic City. This has been 20 years, so I will try to get as close to what he said as possible, but I cannot quote him exactly. He said that over the past few years Atlanta has had a mystery man who stopped and helped stranded motorists. He goes by the name of Knight in Shining Armor. Sir, I don't know who you are, but a couple of our Atlanta Police officers say they know you personally and they refused to give me your name. Sir, I just want you to know that you have made a difference for our city. You set an example of what we need to do to make this city Olympic ready. If a motorist is stranded on our highways, we need to make sure that they have help available for them. How can we be an Olympic city if we can't even do this one simple thing? The camera panned over to a brand new H.E.R.O. truck. The mayor said, we thought it would be rude to take your name, so we came up with our Highway Emergency Response Operator or HERO, for short. Sir, I just want to thank you for making a difference.

Immediately, the phone is ringing. My best friend is yelling, "Did you see the mayor talking about you on TV? You're superhero famous!"

Yes, that was the proudest day of my life. After 20 years, I guess I can go ahead and divulge my secret identity.

Thanks for taking the time to read my confession,
Wilson Phillips
Natchez, MS