HE’S the man behind the spanner, and although Jason Sylvester has just been named as one of the best roadside patrolmen in the state, he says it’s all in a day’s work.
A finalist for the NRMA Patrol Officer of the Year, Mr Sylvester has been on call for Tamworth’s motorists for eight years and has just about seen every mechanical problem in the book.
Saying the majority of call-outs are for flat batteries, keys locked in cars and changing tyres, he’s ready to go at all hours of the day or night with his trusty set of tools.
He said the thing he liked most about his job was having the Tamworth and district countryside as his office, and having a banter.
“Best job in the world. I get to see the sunset every day and have a yarn to everybody,” Mr Sylvester said.
He is one of three finalists in NSW and it’s not the first time for the humble mechanic, achieving the same honour three years ago.
NRMA Group chief Tony Stuart said Mr Sylvester had been awarded the honour twice because of his consistent commitment and dedication to helping others.
“Mr Sylvester goes above and beyond the call of duty,” Mr Stuart said.
Sometimes the call of duty proves to be quite comical, as Mr Sylvester found out during a call-out a few weeks ago. A gentleman had been frustratedly trying to start his Ford Falcon without luck and told Mr Sylvester the keys didn’t seem to work.
After arriving at the house, Jason found two Falcons, with the man trying to start the car with the wrong set of keys.
“He was laughing about it eventually. He waited for an hour to find out he was trying to start the ute with the sedan keys,” he said.
You’d think his most popular tool would belong in the toolbox, but Mr Sylvester says it’s his mobile phone that gets the biggest workout.
“Always have it on me,” he said.
As for the age-old debate about which sex is in need of the most mechanical help, he says it’s pretty even stevens.
“Men always leave it to the wives to call,” he laughed.