Safe driving no easy accomplishment

Grinnell, KS, Rural Carrier Joe Rehmer

Grinnell, KS, Rural Carrier Joe Rehmer

Delivering mail safely day after day is no easy accomplishment. It takes concentration on the task at hand and a keen awareness of one’s surroundings. Recently, one rural carrier in Grinnell, KS, received an award for his dedication to safe delivery.

Joe Rehmer received the coveted Million Mile Award earlier this month for 30 years of accident-free driving. Since he started in 1985, Rehmer has focused on the safe operation of his vehicle to ensure that he and his customers enjoyed consistent delivery without injury. He looks forward to continuing that effort.

“He’s a great example for others to follow,” said Oakley Postmaster Susie Paintin. “We’re proud of his accomplishment.”


The Promise of Pink

Powell, WY, Post Office is adorned with many reminders of the race to find the cure for breast cancer.

Powell, WY, Post Office is adorned with many reminders of the race to find the cure for breast cancer.

During Breast Cancer Awareness month, many Post Offices decorated their lobbies with visual reminders of the important fight against the devastating disease. Employees at the Powell, WY, Post Office also participated in the awareness campaign and encouraged customers to help join the effort to fund cancer research.


Tree of Remembrance

City Carrier Kenny Ford places a ribbon on the Tree of Remembrance in memory of his mother.

City Carrier Kenny Ford places a ribbon on the Tree of Remembrance in memory of his mother.

During the Ribbon of Hope Campaign to promote Breast Cancer Awareness stamps in Caruthersville, MO, Postmaster Tracy Gathright developed a creative way for customer and employees to show their support. Gathright erected an elegantly simple tree replete with white lights in the lobby of her Post Office, and encouraged those who visited her office to tie a white ribbon onto its branches in memory of a family member that had cancer. For those fighting the battle against cancer or who were survivors of cancer, Gathright encouraged the placement of a pink ribbon on the tree’s branches.

“It gives a lot of significance to the importance of raising funds for a cure,” said Gathright.

Pink for the Cure

Mail Processing Clerks Jackie Townsend, Karen Gordon, Denise Spier, Bob McLean and Tina Valdez-Luna.

Mail Processing Clerks Jackie Townsend, Karen Gordon, Denise Spier, Bob McLean and Tina Valdez-Luna.

On October 16, some of the Medford, OR, mail processing team decided to wear their true colors – pink.

The team wore the special color in support of Wear Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Day.

Fire Prevention Week

Fire Prevention Week

Originally started in 1922, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public safety and health observance on record. Designed to bring awareness to the hazards that cause fire, the campaign is a good reminder to familiarize yourself with your responsibilities in fire prevention and control.

Be on the lookout for the following common fire hazards at work and at home:


  • The leading factor contributing to heating equipment fires was failure to clean, principally creosote from solid fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.
  • Portable or fixed space heaters, including wood stoves, were involved in one-third (32%) of home heating fires and four out of five (80%) home heating deaths.
  • Half of home heating fire deaths resulted from fires caused by heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses or bedding.
  • In most years, heating is the second leading cause of home fires, fire deaths, and fire injuries. Fixed or portable space heaters are involved in about 4 out of 5 heating fire deaths.

Smoking Materials

  • During 2007-2011 smoking materials caused an estimated 17,900 home structure fires, resulting in 580 deaths, 1,280 injuries and $509 million in direct property damage, per year.
  • Sleep was a factor in one-third of the home smoking material fire deaths.
  • Possible alcohol impairment was a factor in one in five of home smoking fire deaths.  
  • In recent years, Canada and the United States have required that all cigarettes sold must be “fire safe,” that is have reduced ignition strength and less likely to start fires.


  • About half (49%) of home electrical fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment. Other leading types of equipment were washer or dryer, fan, portable or stationary space heater, air conditioning equipment water heater and range.
  • Electrical failure or malfunctions caused an average of almost 50,000 home fires per year, resulting in roughly 450 deaths and $1.5 billion in direct property damage.  


  • During 2007-2011 candles caused 3% of home fires, 4% of home fire deaths, 7% of home fire injuries and 6% of direct property damage from home fires.
  • On average, there are 32 home candle fires reported per day.
  • Roughly one-third of these fires started in the bedroom; however, the candle industry found that only 13% of candle users burn candles in the bedroom most often.
  • More than half of all candle fires start when things that can burn are too close to the candle.

Escape Planning 

  • According to an NFPA survey, only one-third of Americans have both developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.
  • Almost three-quarters of Americans do have an escape plan; however, more than half never practiced it .
  • One-third of Americans households who made and estimate they thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening. The time available is often less. And only 8% said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out! 

Smoke Alarms

  • Almost two-thirds (62%) of reported home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
  • Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.
  • In fires considered large enough to activate the smoke alarm, hardwired alarms operated 92% of the time, while battery powered alarms operated only 77% of the time.

You’ve Won! Then Again, Maybe Not…

Foreign lottery scam

Winning a lottery isn’t something that occurs often for somebody, but when the words “you’ve won” appear on a mail piece or are heard by a faceless person over the phone, a persons pulse tend to pick up the pace. When that eagerness and overwhelming sense of joy sets in, pause and take a deep breath. The win may not be everything it appears to be.

A foreign lottery scam will attempt to create excitement and a sense of urgency in a victim. It will lure the person in with the promise of a large sum of money, and will require a small sum in advance for fees and taxes. There’s only a small window of opportunity in which to claim a prize, and the victim will usually be asked to send the con artist money through a wire transfer or cash sent through the mail.

Several red flags alert the potential victim that the lottery win is a scam. First, unless you’ve specifically entered a foreign lottery, it’s almost impossible to have won a prize from one. Foreign countries aren’t in the habit of giving away money to random people in the Unites States. Second, a lottery win that requests money before you can receive the prize is probably a scam. No legitimate lottery should ask you to pay for fees and taxes up front before you receive the prize. Third, if you’re being pressured into sending money quickly before the opportunity expires, the request reeks of a scam. A legitimate lottery official won’t pressure you to send money immediately to avoid forfeiting your prize.

More than $42 million has been lost by Americans in the last three years to foreign lottery scams. Learn to recognize tell-tale signs that a lottery award is not what it appears to be by going to

Supporting the Fight Against Breast Cancer

October is breast cancer awareness month, bringing focused attention to the mission of finding a cure for this global disease. The Postal Service supports this mission by continuing to offer the Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamp.

Since its introduction on July 29, 1998, the Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamp has raised more than $75 million. The proceeds are distributed between the National Institutes for Health and the Medical Research Program at the Department of Defense in support of breast cancer research.

For more information on breast cancer, go to:

To purchase a Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamp, go to:

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