David Venziale

David Venziale – AutoBase Team Member

What are some of the new issues that have come up this year AutoBase? How are you addressing them?

ANSWER: We’ve found it valuable to include more advanced training for our drivers so they are prepared for a wider variety of situations on interstates and commuter highways. We’ve also added training that takes into account issues with newer, more automated and hybrid vehicles. Our team members put initiatives into action. Our goal is to keep our workers safer while they help more and more drivers. It pays off when they can work more effectively and AutoBase can help keep highways and thruways safer for everyone.

How has your background helped in this job?

In 2002 I graduated from high school and 3 months later I was hired by the City of Philadelphia to work on a tow truck as the driver. My job had me assisting the Philadelphia Police Department and the Pennsylvania State Police on the streets and the highways. I was helping with everything from minor fender-benders to the worst possible accidents.

Another aspect of my job was clearing accidents –moving the damaged vehicles out of the way and making sure all streets and lanes were debris-free and open for the public. The in-depth experience in my background has helped me in my job with AutoBase today.

Do you have one story that represents the best of your team and your work?

One day in January 2015 I was patrolling my stretch of the highway when I came across a vehicle roadside.

I pulled up behind the vehicle, got out and saw the woman driver and her daughter, about 4.

I walked to the vehicle and asked what the problem was. The woman and the child had been crying and the woman seemed very upset. She told me that her car had just shut off. I asked if she wanted me to look at it and she said: “Yes. Please!” Both the mom and the youngster were noticeably chilled and I asked if they wanted to sit in my truck which was warm, and wait while I examined the vehicle.

I helped them into my truck where they could be comfortable while I turned my attention to her car. It was clear that there was a major engine problem. I went back to explain the situation –and the woman started crying again. She said there was no one she could contact to pick her and the child up from the road.  (Continued…)

It took some doing to arrange to get her towed from the roadside and it was going to be a while before the tow could get there. By now, the daughter was upset again and was crying, asking for food. The mother explained that: “as soon as we get home you can eat”, but apparently, she had no money.

We were near an exit with a gas station and convenience store just ahead. I drove them to the station and bought them refreshments with my personal money because they had none. They were so happy they cried more. We returned to the broken-down car at roadside and waited for the tow truck. It was still a long wait, but my passengers were warm and happy. I was so glad that I could help this mother and child when times were hard for them. The tow truck pulled up; the woman and the daughter both hugged me a million times and thanked me so much. I then continued on my shift.