AA Patrol of the Year 2010

This year's roadside and recovery winners

10 May 2010

Patrol of the year

Motorsport fan Paul Leather from Weston-super-Mare is gearing up for a year in the spotlight after being crowned Patrol of the Year – the crème de la crème of the AA's roadside patrols – at the recent AA Employee Awards.

AA breakdown patrol of the year Paul Leather In his new role, Paul will spend the next 12 months as the 'public face' of the company, representing the UK's biggest motoring organisation within the motor industry and before the media.

The judging began in January with local managers nominating roadside patrols who were then interviewed and whittled down to a final five. In February, the finalists were put through an intensive day of technical and driving tests, panel interview and mock live TV interviews near the AA's training centre in Leicestershire.

The 34-year-old, who is married with a daughter, was one of the AA's youngest patrols when he joined aged 18 and follows in the family footsteps as both his father and grandfather were mechanics. Something of a petrolhead, when he's not working on or driving his AC Cobra replica car, he loves following motorsport, especially rallying and classic car racing.

Paul says: "I am extremely pleased and humbled to be awarded Patrol of the Year and really look forward to the year ahead as an ambassador for the company. Being a patrol, you get a good sense of achievement by meeting and helping different people in all manner of situations but this tops it off."

Steve Dewey, AA Road Operations Director, says: "All our patrols pride themselves on delivering excellent service, so to beat around 3,000 others is some achievement. Paul's a long-serving and experienced patrol whose professionalism, performance and customer care at the roadside impressed the judges, so it's great to be able to recognise this."

Recovery Patrol of the year

In a double success for the South-west, the new AA Recovery Patrol of the Year is Alan Price from Bristol. Alan, and his fellow recovery patrols, rescue vehicles that can't be fixed at the roadside in flat-bed recovery trucks and spend the longest time on the road with AA members.

AA recovery patrol of the year Alan Price The 51-year-old, who is married with two children, has had a varied career with the AA starting out as an AA roadside patrol in 1977. He worked his way up the ranks before working for the AA's European operation in France. After working for a contractor for three years, he was keen to return to the road and rejoined the AA as a recovery patrol.

Alan has made some memorable rescues in his time at the AA: getting the singer Duffy to a venue after a breakdown nearly threatened her first gig after getting to number one; rescuing a lottery winner; recovering Del Boy's Reliant van; and, most importantly, meeting his future wife at the roadside in 1980 – she broke down on the way to work.

He's interested in most team sports, particularly rugby and cricket, enjoys military history and still speaks fluent French from his time working over there. A keen motorcyclist, his dream bike would be a Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra.

Alan says: "I was stunned but very proud to carry the flag for the AA recovery patrols. I've worked in various parts of the AA but always loved working as a patrol – you get to help different people every day and see many parts of our wonderful country."

Steve Dewey, AA Road Operations Director, says: "Alan's had a long and fantastic career with the AA, so this award caps this off nicely. He's 'yellow-blooded' and typifies the dedication to service and professionalism that our patrols pride themselves on."

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11 May 2010