PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — While many of us are home quarantining, first responders are out there every day driving to and from work. That means their cars are getting just as much wear and tear as ever before.
The Midas on 4th Street in St. Pete is doing about five or six free oil changes every day for healthcare workers.
“No one planned for this pandemic, so I didn’t get my oil change right before this all happened,” said Rose Garner.
Garner is a medical case manager. She drives her personal vehicle to see an average of 100 clients every month. A free oil change during a stressful time at work is a big deal for her.
“Sometimes things come up and I need to go at the drop of a hat all the way to Clearwater, downtown St. Pete, wherever, so it’s important to have a car that works and to feel safe in it,” said Garner.
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Franchise owner Adam Ford decided to start offering full-service oil changes to our first responders after being particularly moved by one of his customers, who happens to be a nurse.
“She was just telling us how hard she was working. These guys are heroes they are saving lives. So when she came to cash out I said, ‘you know this one is on us.’ You like to do something nice, and then I started chatting with the guys and said, ‘why don’t we do it for all healthcare workers,” said Ford.
Ford said the response has been overwhelming. He said it’s nice to know that his staff is doing their own small part, to make sure those on the front lines are getting to where they need to be.
“I’ve had people, nurses and doctors, just reach out and say, ‘thank you,’" said Ford.
Despite being a place known for grease and oil and fumes, Garner said it’s nice to see these mechanics taking cleanliness just as seriously as the people in her own industry.
“Seeing that they all have masks on, and they all have gloves on, they told me that they are washing their hands, they are staying far away from me, it makes me feel safe knowing they are going to keep my car clean,” said Garner. “It's nice to feel appreciated and even after all this is under control we’ll keep in mind who took care of us during that difficult time.”