NEWINGTON - While others are home safe and warm during this seasonâ€™s snow events, police, firefighters and plow drivers are out weathering the storm. At least they have a place to grab a coffee and a quick snack, thanks to Turnpike Motors Autobody.
The full-service collision-repair facility has opened its doors to local emergency response workers and those passing through. In its 42-plus years in business, this has always been the case, but not until recently did word spread.
Customer service manager Dan Hovey put the invitation out there on Facebook and Twitter early last Thursday morning, before a foot of snow hit the region.
â€śPeople seemed to react pretty positively,â€ť Hovey said. â€śWe had almost 2,000 likes on that post and it was shared off our page almost 500 times. We were a little surprised with how well it resonated with the community.â€ť
Many users tagged people they knew who are first responders or plow drivers to spread awareness, he pointed out.
A few stopped in later that day.
Along with passenger cars, the repair shop handles large vehicles like tractor-trailers, fire engines, school buses and motor homes.
â€śWe fix most of the DOT plow trucks here and a lot of emergency vehicles,â€ť Hovey said. â€śItâ€™s a pretty natural fit for us to provide disaster relief to these folks.â€ť
Newington Community Services Officer Jamie DeSimone was not surprised when she found out about the shopâ€™s offer to police.
â€śTurnpike Motors is such an asset to this community and constantly supports not only first responders, but many members of our town, whether residents or commercial businesses,â€ť she said. â€śAs you can imagine, working in extremely dangerous, cold and hazardous conditions does not always allow officers to come inside the station or go somewhere to eat, so having this option available is a lifesaver.Â What a kind gesture.â€ť
Turnpike Motors comptroller Marty Smith is always happy to see a policeman or firefighter stop in and say hello.
â€śAnyone out serving the public can feel free to come in and get something to eat,â€ť she said. â€śTheyâ€™re out there doing a tough job and we want to make it easier for them. They can always come and hang out here if they need a break.â€ť
Turnpike Motors has been a friend to police and firefighters for many years. In 2012, 32 different fire departments from across the state came for a seminar on vehicle extrication. Training focused on new and hybrid vehicles, which contain high-voltage electrical systems and different hazards. It was an unmatched opportunity for participants.
Newington police want to remind local residents about the overnight parking ban in effect through April. The ordinance prohibits parking for more than 30 minutes on any street between 2 and 6 a.m. During bad weather, that ban extends to all hours of the day.
Erica Schmitt can be reached at 860-801-5097, or firstname.lastname@example.org.