Keeping the front lines rollin’

Modern Auto Service in Fruitland, is pictured on April 27. The shop is offering free oil changes to health-care workers, including support staff, until May 15.


While many people’s cars are idled to some degree during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, those belonging to health-care workers on the front lines aren’t. To help the men and women fighting for the health of their communities during the pandemic, Modern Auto Service in Fruitland is offering free, sterilized oil changes for their cars until May 15.

Ryan Baxter, owner of Modern Auto Service, told the newspaper in April 25 that the offer came about as a way to respond to public scrutiny in the best way he knows how.

“The reality is that I can’t please everyone, so I have to do what I believe is best,” said Baxter. “Our employees rely on us for their livelihood and our customers rely on us to keep their vehicles safe and reliable. While we continue to serve the public which gives us added exposure, we are not on the front-lines like the healthcare professionals in our area. Whether they are serving COVID patients or helping navigate other ailments that are causing unusual panic, we figured they deserve some kudos.”

Baxter said his shop, despite the economic effects of COVID-related government orders, is actually holding up during the pandemic.

“We have been able to continue operation and meet our financial obligations which makes us feel extremely grateful to our community. We have always offered to pick up and deliver locally and we have a courtesy vehicle available so we are utilizing those services a little more than usual. Despite the hardship, it has been neat to see the community pull together with a renewed desire to support local.”

Baxter said that help to pay for the free oil changes, which will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis, comes from his partners at NAPA Auto Parts and Conrad & Bischoff.

“NAPA agreed to supply our oil filters at no charge and Conrad & Bischoff offered to supply a large donation of oil, like they do for our free event for veterans each year,” he said. “We are still on the hook for the time and labor but we are happy to offer the service to our community!”

Baxter reminds the public that this time is an opportunity to reflect on what’s really important: our loved ones.

“Despite all the negative in the world right now, we have been given the opportunity to slow down and come together as families. I hope we can use this time to reflect and grow and be better!”

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