On Call with NRMA – Part 2

NRMA Patrol Officer, Richard Pavlic (35) is a qualified mechanic and auto electrician. He joined the NRMA four years ago and has been in the trade for 17 years. He also did 3-4 weeks of training in customer care and service when he first started.

The majority of the call out jobs are flat batteries, people locked out of their cars and flat tyres. There are electrical and mechanical break downs too. With on board computers in cars these days it can make fixing a problem on the side of the road more difficult. But patrol men do carry diagnostic or scan equipment so that they can at least try to tell a customer what they expect to hear from the mechanic when their car goes in for repair.

Richard says that every job is a challenge in some way or other. A car can always be fixed but helping people in distress can be quite difficult. But being able to help them is the most rewarding aspect of the job, feels Richard, who has often driven people to work, driven kids to school, organised transport for members and even accommodation. Customer communication and member service is therefore really important. Richard says he gets called a ‘life saver’ often and patrolmen are referred to as the ‘white knights on the road’.

As an NRMA patrol officer, you also have to deal with the elements like the rain and other unpredictable and uncontrollable forces (such as cars broken down in middle of intersections and free ways), but Richard says this is what makes his job fun and challenging. Safety is a major issue for NRMA workers, and Richard says it is important that he does not put his own life and the member’s life at risk.

Richard attends approximately 12-14 jobs per day, and sometimes as many as 16. In his down time he just waits for the next job, sometimes others can go home, or meet up with other patrol men, or meet for lunch near the North Strathfield call centre.

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VJ Michael Gumley