A tow truck operator is killed every 6 days in the U.S. on average, according to estimates. Many of these deaths are roadside accidents. Recently we spoke with Todd Chase about the industry’s efforts to remember its fallen heroes, help their families and prevent more deaths. He and Mike Kendro are tow financing specialists at Advantage Funding, where Todd serves as national program manager. Todd is also a part-time tow operator and trainer for the Massachusetts State Tow Academy.
“The Tennessee Tow Show is Sept. 14-16 in Chattanooga, and if you’ve never been to it I recommend attending the Wall of the Fallen ceremony Saturday Sept. 16 at the International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame & Museum,” Todd said. “Names are added to the wall each year for tow operators who’ve died in the line of duty, and it’s a very emotional experience.”
Todd also emphasized that the museum has a Survivor Fund that gives financial support to families who have lost someone in the line of duty. Through fundraising efforts and donations from corporations, individuals and industry associations, the Survivor Fund has been supporting families in their greatest time of need since 2007.
“I also want to mention that a different event in the industry, The Spirit Ride, has been making a major impact as tow operators carry the ‘move-over awareness’ message along the nation’s highways,” Todd added. “The Spirit casket is travelling along America’s roadways in a relay involving tow car carriers across the country. It has been very successful, and other disciplines like fire and police have been involved in escorting the ride through their areas.”
The Spirit Ride will be driving though Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and many more states in the coming weeks. See the schedule at http://atspiritride.com/.
For more of Todd’s insights about industry developments, including rising insurance rates, visit our Q&A with him.