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July 12, 2024

Public Safety provides jump-start kits for car troubles

March 29, 2007

UW-River Falls Public Safety is offering another measure of protection for students who find themselves in a jam. Jump-start kits can be checked out from the Public Safety office in South Hall at no cost.

“Public Safety is a customer service provider, and this service is a means of accomplishing that,” Public Safety Director Dick Trende said.

Trende said it is important that students are respectful of the units. They need to be returned in one hour; if they are not, there is a $5 usage fee and a $5 fee for every hour thereafter.

For one UWRF student, such a service would have been a huge help back in November.

Freshman Lindley Mattson said that prior to leaving for home for the Thanksgiving holiday, her 2000 Daewoo wouldn’t start in the E lot on campus. She said it was cold that day and it took over two hours to find someone with jumper cables.

“I was afraid I was going to get a ticket if I was unable to get it moved,” Mattson said.

This new service has been available for less than a month, but seven students have already checked out kits during times of automobile distress.

“I wish it would have been available back in November—it is a great idea,” Mattson said.

Tow truck companies such as BP and Jerry’s Towing charge between $50 to $75 for their services. College students working on a tight budget may not have that kind of money to dispose of in such an instance.

“These kits will save money and stress for students who are in a bind,” sophomore Rachel Merrier said.

The units also have an air compressor function in the instance of a slight flat tire.

“The compressors are not that powerful, but they can get the job done,” Trende said.

This tool would have been useful to junior Chris Patterson.

“I had a flat tire about four months ago from a nail—[the air compressor] would have been huge to have,” he said.

All users must provide a valid driver”s license or Falcon ID card in order to check out the equipment. These are kept until the unit is returned. A contract is also required for all users. If the units are not returned, students will be charged for the unit and a hold will be placed on their record until the unit is returned or paid for.

“Now that the weather is nice, I don’t think there will be as much of a need for the units,” Trende said.

Accidentally leaving headlights or dome lights on does occasionally happen.resulting in a dead battery. Such kits can be of use in those situations, if a simple ‘jump’ is all that is needed.

“I left my dome light on last week, but I had no idea that Public Safety had these kits,” freshman Kelly Sorenson said.

Public Safety currently has two units available for student use. More will be purchased on a need basis.

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