LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As extreme temperatures cause dangerous conditions across Southern Nevada, 8 News Now rode along with the Nevada Department of Transportation Freeway Service Patrol, as they see a spike in heat-related calls.
NDOT Freeway Service Patrol Supervisor Stephen Sanfillipo is pretty good at saving the day.
“We’re like a first responder’s first responder,” Sanfillipo said of his work.
He spends his workdays driving up and down the I-15, stopping to help people with flat tires, dead batteries, overheated engines, no gas, and those involved in crashes.
“You also get to help people, which is really satisfying,” Sanfillipo said. “That’s the best part of the job.”
In a city like Las Vegas, Stephen is always on the go, but he said the summer’s extreme heat brings a whole new slew of issues.
“I can’t even put a number on it,” he said of heat-related calls. “But it’s multiplied quite a bit.”
He told 8 News Now tires and hoses tend to fail in triple digits, and he also sees issues with low fluids.
“Make sure all your fluids,” Sanfillipo said. “Whether that is your coolant, your oil, and your radiator as well, make sure that’s all topped off.”
He also said as gas prices soar, more drivers tend to push their tanks past empty.
“They end up in some serious, hazardous locations,” he said of issues like this.
Therefore, before drivers get stuck in these kinds of serious situations, he encourages everyone to make sure their vehicles are maintained and ready to handle the unbearable temperatures Southern Nevada throws our way this season.
“If you get a vehicle that overheats and shuts off in this weather,” Sanfillipo concluded. “In turn, you have no AC.”
The NDOT Freeway Service Patrol is state-funded, so services are free to drivers.
If you are stranded and need help, dial *647, or call 911 in emergencies.
The NDOT Freeway Service Patrol has more information on its website.