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AA considering training patrol men as plumbers

The yellow-jacketed patrol men of the AA could soon be trained as plumbers, as part of a potential expansion of emergency services provided by the roadside aid organisation.

A trial of the Patrols as Plumbers initiative has been underway in Northern Ireland since the summer and its success is leading bosses to thinking about making it a nationwide plan.

The AA’s operations manager, Keith Munns, said that they are looking to see what happens with the Northern Ireland pilot scheme over the winter period.

“We have trained up a number of roadside patrols to carry out basic plumbing activity,” he said. “By the time we get to winter we will know whether that has worked and it may well be that we have rolled that out a little bit further.”

The initiative is an extension of the AA’s Home Emergency Repair service, which it launched two years ago. The service provides emergency on call assistance, much like its flagship auto repair service, but to people’s homes instead. The company provides “trusted and skilled tradesmen” that can undertake a range of urgent repairs in the home.

The plan has not been welcomed by some trade unions, however, who have labelled it a cost-cutting exercise. The GMB’s Paul Grafton said, “This is all about money.”