NORTHERN CALIFORNIA — As the coronavirus crisis continues, AAA Northern California announced Friday that it is offering free roadside assistance for first responders and health care workers. The initiative to get these heroes back on the road so they can continue to save lives and keep their communities safe is valid immediately. The offer for all first responders and health care workers, including those who may not be AAA members, continues throughout the month of May, the agency announced.
"First responders and healthcare workers are on the front lines of this crisis," said Tim Condon, president and CEO of AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah. "Offering free AAA Roadside Assistance when they break down is a small way AAA can help get these heroes back on the road to where they’re needed most.
"As a member service organization and leader in roadside assistance, AAA is proud to lend our services to ensure the safety, security and peace of mind of the communities we serve," Condon said.
Roadside assistance from AAA is an essential service during shelter-in-place orders, and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Services include fixing flat tires, towing, charging dead batteries, fuel delivery to motorists who run out of gas, and helping drivers who are locked out of their car.
When in need of AAA's free roadside assistance, first responders and health care workers are encouraged to take the agency up on the offer by calling 800-AAA-HELP.
"Our call receivers and prompts will have validating questions members/non-members will have to answer," AAA NorCal Spokesperson Sergio Avila told Patch. "That will be everything they'll need."
Some changes made by AAA during the COVID-19 pandemic include:
Temporary suspension of giving drivers and their passengers a ride in the cab of the tow truck, should their vehicle need to be towed.
Road service technicians must limit physical contact during service calls, remaining contact-free.
Should a caller's vehicle need to be towed but the caller is unable to secure a ride on their own, the AAA dispatch team helps secure alternate transportation.
Prescreening health questions must be asked and answered so that AAA can confirm and coordinate service calls.
The company's branches are temporarily closed to the public during the coronavirus crisis, but can reached by phone.
In addition to Friday's rollout of free roadside assistance, here are some ways AAA is helping NorCal communities respond to and recover from the COVID-19 emergency:
AAA auto insurance members whose policies were active as of April 30 are to receive a 20-percent refund for two months of auto premiums except where prohibited by law. Customers do not need to take any action to receive their refund, which they can expect to receive by May 31. AAA continues to evaluate the refund program based on the length of shelter-in-place orders.
Member Wellness Calls
AAA Northern California employees — more than 4,000 employees represent 6 million members across NorCal, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska — are mobilizing to ensure members are safe and secure at home, and to connect members to other public resources as they adapt to these challenging times.
Virtual Car Seat Inspections
The agency is offering free virtual car seat inspections with nationally certified child passenger safety technicians. Learn more about virtual car seat inspections.
Vehicles For Good
In NorCal, where AAA operates the GIG Car Share service, its Gig4Good program helps local organizations. Community partners receive free driving credits and dedicated Gig cars to help mobilize their community efforts, including food delivery and distribution. GIG is offering two hours of free driving credit Tuesday, April 21, for members to make essential trips, such as grocery shopping. Learn more about Gig4Good.