Keeping traffic moving during Masters week

Tuesday, April 9, 2019
News 12 First at Five

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Keeping traffic flowing through Augusta this week is not an easy task. Hero units from Atlanta are helping the city of Augusta and the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

News 12 got to ride along with one of those units to take a look at their role this week.

This week, you can find Mike O'Connor behind the wheel of a big truck. He's a hero operator.

“Our main job is to basically identify any hazards that may cause a problem to traffic," said O’Connor.

These units actually got their start more than 20 years ago at a well-known sporting event.

“We started in the 1994 Olympics is when hero was developed, it was developed to keep the traffic flowing in Atlanta," said O’Connor.

Their home is metro Atlanta but this week Mike and another unit are helping out for the Masters.

“If it's a car accident our job is to give first aid, and treat the patients and then move those vehicles out of the lane as soon as those patients can be transported," said O’Connor.

Their goal is to keep traffic flowing and not backed up for too long.

“They found on through studies that every minute that traffic is stopped it takes about 7 minutes for it to clear back up," said O’Connor.

Which is why each unit has everything they might need to keep cars moving on the road at all times.

“We keep everything from fire extinguishers, first aid equipment, we have tools to work on minor issues to cars, tire change equipment such as a jack four-way, flares," said O’Connor.

When they are not getting called to help, both units are driving around Augusta, making sure if there is anyone in need they can lend a helping hand.

The hero units are only in town this week but you can always call 5-1-1 if you need roadside assistance.

G-DOT also has champ units that can help you change a flat or give you enough gas to get off the side of the road.