Elderly woman falls after trash haul – rescued by local carrier

West Plains, MO, CDS Driver Greg Krecker

West Plains, MO, CDS Driver Greg Krecker

West Plains, MO, CDS Driver Greg Krecker was on his route recently when he spotted a customer on the ground. The woman had fallen while attempting to return trash cans from the curb to her home and was unable to get up on her own. Though the weather was clear, the freezing temperature outside made a lengthy stay on the cold, hard concrete hazardous at best.

Krecker approached the woman and asked if she needed help. The customer accepted the offer and provided Krecker with her son’s cell phone number. Not long after Krecker connected with the man, the son arrived and worked with Krecker to take the injured woman inside her home. She received prompt medical care and suffered no permanent damage as a result of the fall.

The mother-in-law of the injured woman, Lori Young, expressed her family’s gratitude for Krecker’s help in a letter to the editor sent to the West Plains Daily Quill.

“We are very grateful to him for everything he did and continues to do,” Young stated in her letter. “I firmly believe that angels do walk among us, but if you ever want to meet one, just head on down to the West Plains Post Office.”

Icy weather nearly freezes elderly man out of home

Alliance, NE, City Carrier Assistant Aaron Beckstrom

Alliance, NE, City Carrier Assistant Aaron Beckstrom

While delivering along his route on a cold, winter day recently, Alliance, NE, City Carrier Assistant Aaron Beckstrom came across an elderly customer half-way up the steps to his apartment. Beckstrom asked the man if he needed help, to which the man gratefully accepted.

The customer had returned from a shopping trip, and while he managed to toss his bags onto the porch, he quickly discovered that he couldn’t traverse the thick winter accumulation on his steps to make it into his apartment. He was ill-prepared to handle the bitter cold for an extended duration and wore neither a hat nor gloves to protect himself from the weather. Beckstrom recognized the difficult situation the customer was in and assisted the man safely back into his apartment.

“This is just one example of the caring things our carriers do routinely and think nothing about doing it,” said Alliance Postmaster Roberta Dye.

Don’t Let Caution Slide While Driving on Ice

Don't let caution slide Driving in winter weather is no easy task. Navigating across black ice can be even more perilous as it’s sometimes overlooked as a potential life-threatening danger. Use the following tips to help keep yourself and loved ones safe when encountering the slick hazard.

  • Hone your awareness: Your best bet is to learn when and where you’re likely to encounter black ice. It’s nearly invisible because it’s transparent. It forms in thin sheets without the air bubbles that give normal ice its distinctive appearance. It typically forms right around the freezing point, most commonly at night or in the early morning, and you’ll often find it on parts of the road that don’t get much sun. Bridges, overpasses and underpasses are likely spots for black ice. Watch for a slight sheen or subtle discolorations in the road ahead during winter driving.
  • Slow down: Gently decelerate by taking your foot off the gas pedal if you hit an icy stretch. Black ice usually forms in fairly short, patchy sheets, so reduce power and gently pass over them.
  • Remain calm: It’s tempting to slam on the brakes or turn sharply when you feel your wheels starting to slide. Icy conditions greatly reduce the friction between your tires and the road, so aggressive maneuvers actually increase the chance of losing control completely. Keep your reactions feather-light and gentle if you feel ice under your vehicle.
  • Avoid hard braking: It’s better to not even touch your brakes on black ice if you can avoid it. If you have to brake, lightly tap the brake pedal repeatedly to avoid starting a potentially fatal slide.
  • Downshift: A safer way to reduce speed on ice is to use your transmission instead of your brakes. Shift your vehicle into low gear to slow down gradually.
  • Keep your distance: An icy road is NOT the place to tailgate. Tailgating is dangerous under any conditions, but ice requires even more stopping space than dry asphalt. Try to leave at least 200 feet between yourself and other vehicles. Driving on black ice means you can’t do anything quickly, including stopping.
  • Turn into a slide: If you start to slide, turn the steering wheel in the same direction the rear of your car is sliding. It sounds counter-intuitive, but turning WITH a slide actually helps regain control much more quickly.

Stay Warm During the Storm

Stay warm during the storm

With winter storm Juno affecting many parts of the country, dressing properly is an important solution to staying safe. Dressing for cold weather isn’t difficult, but careful planning helps. Some important things to consider include:

Layering

Choose your clothing carefully. Layering is the best way to keep warm. Add a first layer consisting of a light fabric that will wick sweat away from your body. Avoid pure cotton, linen, or other similar materials, because these fabrics retain moisture and can cause you to become colder. In addition, layer a knit sweater or sweatshirt over the top of the first layer. Finally, add your coat or jacket as the top layer. Not only will the multiple layers keep you warm, but if temperatures increase, you can easily remove a layer to remain comfortable.

Protect Face and Extremities

Your face and extremities, such as your hands and feet are the most vulnerable when exposed to cold and windy temperatures.  It is important to protect your face and extremities from the cold and wind. Wrap a scarf around your neck and pull it over your mouth and nose to guard against the cold air. Additionally, wearing a winter hat can protect your ears and head before going outside, and lastly, keep your hands warm with gloves or mittens.

Stay Dry

When planning how to dress for cold weather, staying dry should be a top priority. It is usually a good idea to get a coat that has a waterproof or water-resistant outside layer, especially if you will be exposed to rain, sleet, hail or snow. Additionally, waterproof or water-resistant shoes or boots will help keep your feet dry on wet days. If your clothes get wet, it is important that you remove and replace them to avoid frostbite.

Gear Up

Gear up

Don’t let winter weather leave you out in the cold. Use the following tips to help stay warm and dry during these chilly months:

  • Wear loose, lightweight, warm clothing in several layers. Trapped air between the layers acts as an insulator. Layers can be removed to avoid perspiration and subsequent chill.
  • Outer garments should be tightly woven, water repellent and hooded.
  • Always wear a hat or cap since body heat is often lost through an uncovered head.
  • Covering your mouth with a scarf protects your lungs from extreme cold.

Postal Hero

City carrier saves customer from chilly fate

On January 10, Pueblo, CO, City Carrier Rod Downey was recognized for the extraordinary care and concern displayed for one of his customers.

While delivering on his route, he noticed a customer lying on her porch. She had fallen and been incapacitated for more than 20 hours with temperatures below freezing.

Downey acted quickly to get the customer inside the home, called 911, and stood with her until emergency responders arrived.

Staying Warm in Frigid Temperatures

Staying warm

With cold temperatures and snow arriving throughout many parts of the country, dressing properly is an important solution to staying safe this winter. Dressing for cold weather is not difficult, but careful planning helps. Some important things to consider include:

Layering

Choose your clothing carefully. Layering is the best way to keep warm. Add a first layer consisting of a light fabric that will wick sweat away from your body. Avoid pure cotton, linen, or other similar materials, because these fabrics retain moisture and can cause you to become colder. In addition, layer a knit sweater or sweatshirt over the top of the first layer. Finally, add your coat or jacket as the top layer. Not only will the multiple layers keep you warm, but if temperatures increase, you can easily remove a layer to remain comfortable.

Protect Face and Extremities

Your face and extremities, such as your hands and feet are the most vulnerable when exposed to cold and windy temperatures.  It is important to protect your face and extremities from the cold and wind. Wrap a scarf around your neck and pull it over your mouth and nose to guard against the cold air. Additionally, wearing a winter hat can protect your ears and head before going outside, and lastly, keep your hands warm with gloves or mittens.

Stay Dry

When planning how to dress for cold weather, staying dry should be a top priority. It is usually a good idea to get a coat that has a waterproof or water-resistant outside layer, especially if you will be exposed to rain, sleet, hail or snow. Additionally, waterproof or water-resistant shoes or boots will help keep your feet dry on wet days. If your clothes get wet, it is important that you remove and replace them to avoid frostbite.

Keep the Path Clear

Keep the path clear

Frigid temperatures and heavy snow storms this week have forced the cancellation of thousands of flights across the country and prompted many citizens braving the arctic chill to add several extra layers to their clothing to keep warm. When thinking of your safety during this frosty time, be sure to consider the safety of your mail carrier.

U.S. Postal Service mail carriers are braving the winter storms to ensure their customer’s mail is delivered safely and on time. To help aid them in their task, keep the following tips in mind when the weather outside is frightful:

–        Clear snow and ice from paths leading to the mailbox at your residence.

–        Make sure any steps and porches leading to a mailbox are also clear of snow and ice.

–        Remove snow accumulation on the street in front of your mailbox that may have been left behind by plows.

Follow the safety tips above after each winter storm to help make this season a safe one for all.

Deep Freeze Shipping

Deep freeze shipping

Using dry ice to keep temperature sensitive shipments cold is a common practice. With a new option by one particular shipper to replace its use with an alternative product, dry ice makers may be left out in the cold.

FedEx recently began using an innovative way to keep shipments cold. The new Deep Frozen Shipping Solution uses liquid nitrogen dry vapor technology to keep frozen items cold longer.

Geared towards biogenetics and biomaterials, Deep Frozen Shipping touts a sustained, level temperature throughout the shipping process for up to 10 days at -150 degrees Celsius. Dry ice, by comparison, is geared toward shipments that need to remain at -20 degrees to +25 degrees Celsius.  Liquid nitrogen also evaporates harmlessly in the air while dry ice releases carbon dioxide that can negatively impact an individual’s health with prolonged exposure.

Do you think USPS should introduce a deep freeze shipping option to its customers?

  • Hello, I'm Benny the Blogger: I'm the world's most famous postal employee. My hobbies are snappy quotes, kite flying and publishing. I was born Jan. 17, 1706, but don't call me old.

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