Pennsylvania State Police Terminates Agreement with AutoReturn

    artNews is spreading aross the industry that the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) has terminated its agreement with California-based third-party police dispatch service AutoReturn. The controversial dispatch service contracts with municipalities to take over dispatching functions, contracting with local towers who are placed on an AutoReturn rotation list.

    In a letter to Ronald Bressler, president of the Pennsylvania Towing Association, PSP Deputy Commissioner of Operation wrote that the AutoReturn pilot program is discontinued effective November 12, 2014.

    “The Pennsylvania Towing Association was very involved in voicing tower’s concerns in the pilot process,” Bressler says. “We will be meeting with the Pennsylvania State Police about what discontinuation of the program means to towers in Pennsylvania, and we look forward to working with the PSP in the future.”

    The PSP initiated the AutoReturn pilot program in 2013. The AutoReturn pilot program provided dispatch service for PSP emergency calls on state roads and Interstate 80, a news report said, with its own list of towing vendors. The program was originally intended to become statewide. (more…)

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    80-year Celebration

    Parker Service Inc.Parker Service Inc. of Fort Wayne, Ind., is celebrating its 80th anniversary, and for arriving media representatives covering the event, the Parker Service crew set up this display — a 2014 Kenworth T800 twin-steer with a Century 75-ton rotator lifting a 2006 Ford F-550 with a Century 311 Express.

    A resulting newspaper article noted that while today Parker Service Inc. is the largest towing company in northeast Indiana running 73 trucks — all Miller Industries equipment — with a long, rich history in the Ft. Wayne area, the company’s humble beginnings started in 1934 when Homer Parker opened a small gas station/grocery store with a one-bay auto repair shop. His son Larry Parker took over in 1954, adding a bay to the repair shop and purchasing the company’s first tow truck with “a shotgun, movie projector and a small loan from his brother.”

    Larry Parker (pictured in photo) grew the business and in 2008, his son Dan Parker took over. Today, Dan is president and Larry Parker is vice-president.

    Coverage of the 80th anniversary has been positive and the Parkers are pleased with the recognition of this special milestone.

    “It made my dad feel good, and that’s what it’s all about,” says Dan Parker. “I owe it all to him.”


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    Luca“My name is Luca. I’m a five-year old German Shepherd and I go to work with my mom and dad, Robert and Danielle Yoho.

    “I get to play in the impound, nap in the office, occasionally chase Daisy the office cat and go on calls.

    My favorite thing (besides a treat) are the words ‘load up.’”

    Yoho’s Automotive & Towing

    Pinellas Park, Fla.


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Industry News

Geico Donates $2,500 to Survivor Fund
Gieco Donates to Survivor Fund

From left: Mindy West (Director of Centralized Services), Dwayne Fuller (Geico Zone Manager), Jeffrey Godwin (ITRHFM Survivor Fund Committee Chairman) and Kay Martin (Geico National ERS Zone Manager).

The International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum recently announced that Geico presented a donation of $2,500 to the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum’s Survivor Fund. The funds will provide financial support to families of those lost in the line of service.

The Survivor Fund helps provide immediate financial help to families affected by tragedy in the line of service and Geico is proud to support the efforts of the Survivor Fund.

“We are very grateful for the continued generosity of Geico in supporting our Survivor Fund,” said Jeffrey Godwin, ITRHFM Board Member and Survivor Fund Committee Chairman. “As we work to provide funds for families when tragedies occur, we are also working to create an investment position to allow our Fund to meet the needs of our industry on a perpetual basis. Corporate donations like the one from Geico are key to our success in reaching our $1,000,000 goal.”

On average, close to 60 road service professionals are killed each year assisting stranded motorists on the side of busy roadways or performing their duties in towing and recovery. The Survivor Fund, founded in 2006 and managed by the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum, was started to offer financial support to the families that have lost a loved one in the line of service within industry. Since its inception, the Survivor Fund has approved and paid out over 150 claims to support families in their time of need due to tragic accidents.

Source: International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum

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