Getting a flat tire on the highway in the middle of rush hour is every driver’s worst nightmare. A few weeks ago, Ed Marcin found himself stuck on the Stevenson expressway near the Central Avenue exit ramp with a flat. Cars passing by him at 55 miles per hour made him hesitant to even get out of his vehicle. But before he had the chance to call for assistance, Local 700 member and IDOT Minuteman Tommy Morreale arrived to help.
IDOT’s Emergency Traffic Patrol workers, also known as Minutemen, are often dispatched to take immediate action to correct traffic disruptions and potential safety problems caused by accidents, disabled vehicles or hazardous debris. Morreale was out on patrol in the area when he spotted Marcin’s car on the side of the highway. He changed the flat tire in five minutes, chatted briefly with Marcin and made sure he merged back onto the road safely.
As a creative way to say thank you, Marcin, the Vice President of Public Affairs for Clear Channel, had his team install digital ads at multiple locations to honor the IDOT Minutemen for a job well done. The signs ran from Nov. 30 – Dec. 6 and were located along I-290, I-57, I-55 and I-94.
“I felt that it was important because to recognize the IDOT Minutemen because of the service that they provide,” said Marcin. “I think they offer a tremendous value to the Chicagoland area and they are all good, hardworking people.”
Roz Varon of ABC 7 Chicago also featured the story during her regular traffic segment. She noted to viewers that if and when they break down or get into an accident on the expressway, the best thing to do is “stay in your vehicle because the IDOT Minutemen will be there very quickly.”
Morreale has been an IDOT Minuteman since 2007. “I love what I do,” said Morreale. “No two days are the same. It’s rewarding when you know the moment you wake up in the morning you’re going to help somebody. It’s an awesome job but thankless at times. I was really surprised by all the recognition. Thank you to Mr. Marcin of Clear Channel, Roz Varon of ABC 7 Chicago, Gianna Urgo of IDOT Media Relations and Teamsters Local 700 for all this wonderful recognition. This was never expected but greatly appreciated. On behalf of everyone at Emergency Traffic Patrol, and myself, thank you!”