TAMPA, Fla. — Road Rangers help reduce delays and improve safety for the public and first responders. They will clear debris from travel lanes, clear disabled vehicles from roads, change flat tires, and assist first responders during traffic crashes.
Randy Alvarez has worked as a Road Ranger for 10 years. His job involves changing flat tires, jump-starting cars, and looking for disabled vehicles.
"We get hugs. I mean there's people that say, thank God, we saw you. They're really appreciative," said Alvarez.
Last year, Road Rangers received about 600 calls for debris from October to December.
Rangers collected items like mattresses, tires, and shopping carts.
"I picked up a couple tire treads earlier this morning, but relatively quiet," said Alvarez.
Rangers do more than just remove debris from roads. Alvarez stopped to help a driver who was pulled over because of a flat tire. Cars zipped passed Alvarez as he changed her tire.
"We know the job is dangerous, but we're use to it," he said.
The program started in 2000. It's a service provided by the Florida Department of Transportation.
State officials say the benefits of the program include: reduction of crashes, removal of road debris, and increased safety at crash sites.