Ramp it up – Letter carrier helps aging canine

A videographer and crew from The Today Show featured Boulder, CO, Letter Carrier Jeff Kramer who built a dog ramp for an aging dog on his route.

A videographer and crew from The Today Show featured Boulder, CO, Letter Carrier Jeff Kramer who built a dog ramp for an aging dog on his route.

In Boulder, CO, a 14-year-old dog named Tashi has learned to get around a little easier thanks to a ramp installed by Letter Carrier Jeff Kramer.

Kramer first met Tashi a year and a half ago when the dog came outside to greet him on his route.

“He was a very happy dog, but couldn’t move around,” said Kramer of Tashi’s difficulty walking up and down the porch steps.

As time passed, Kramer noticed that Tashi’s owner had to carry him up and down the steps, so the letter carrier decided to help by donating the ramp he had used for his own elderly dog, Odie.

“I had it, so I figured why not let them use it,” said Kramer. “I hate seeing useful things have to go to the trash.”

Kramer stopped by Tashi’s home on his day off to install the ramp, which helped the dog reclaim his independence. Kramer went through the same thing with Odie and sympathized with the family.

“I didn’t want them to make any difficult decisions because of Tashi not being able to move around anymore,” he said.

Kramer was interviewed by several local media outlets and was featured on The Today Show on Jan. 21.

Carrier saves elderly man from hard fall

Oberlin, KS, City Carrier Assistant Tyler Bruggeman

Oberlin, KS, City Carrier Assistant Tyler Bruggeman

While Oberlin, KS, City Carrier Assistant Tyler Bruggeman was delivering along his route recently, he heard desperate cries for help coming from of a nearby residence.

Bruggeman knew that the elderly man who lived at the home depended on a walker for mobility, and feared he had fallen. With great concern, the newly hired CCA immediately leaped into action to investigate.

When he knocked on the man’s door, he heard the man call for his help from the other side. Bruggeman entered the home and discovered that his customer had fallen several hours earlier and was unable to get up on his own.

Bruggeman called for emergency medical assistance and the man’s family to let them know what had happened. He then stayed with the man to provide comfort until help arrived.

“This young man was very composed and handled the situation well given the circumstances,” said Postmaster Alexis Basgall.

Elderly woman narrowly escapes tragedy thanks to clerk’s concern

Clio, CA, Retail Associate Kelly Hughes

Clio, CA, Retail Associate Kelly Hughes

Clio, CA, Retail Associate Kelly Hughes was going about her day as usual recently when a troubling thought occurred to her. One of her regular customers, an 84-year old woman, hadn’t been to the office recently. Almost like clockwork, the customer would arrive each day to collect her mail and talk with Hughes. The customer’s uncharacteristic absence prompted Hughes to call her at home.

Though Hughes tried dialing the customer’s number many times, there was no answer. Since the individual lived alone and had no nearby family, Hughes’ concern grew more intense. When a Highway Patrol Officer stopped into the office to collect his mail, Hughes asked him to perform a wellness check on her customer. He agreed.

The officer discovered the customer alive on the floor in her home where she had remained for two days, but having suffered two strokes she was in poor health and severely dehydrated. A helicopter transported the elderly woman to a nearby hospital where she spent time recovering from her nearly fatal experience.

“I think that customers are the most important thing to remember,” said Hughes about her contribution to the elderly customer’s recovery.

Elderly woman rescued from injury by worried carrier

Lincoln, NE, Indian Village Station City Carrier Jean Foree

Lincoln, NE, Indian Village Station City Carrier Jean Foree

While Lincoln, NE, Indian Village Station City Carrier Jean Foree was delivering along her route recently, she discovered four day’s worth of mail in a customer’s mailbox. For this particular elderly customer, two days of accumulation was a rare occurrence. The more sizeable volume of mail in the box concerned Foree, so she investigated further.

She approached the home and spotted four editions of the daily newspaper sitting on the porch. The discovery prompted Foree to ring the bell and knock on the front door to check on the customer’s well-being, but there was no response. She followed the perimeter of the house to see if she could view the customer inside, but when she found an unobstructed window, she discovered neither the customer nor anything out of the ordinary.

Foree continued on her route and returned to the station afterward, where she discussed the situation with her supervisors. They recommended she contact the local police and ask them to perform a welfare check. Foree followed their advice and agreed to meet officers at the customer’s home. Once there, officers were able to get the customer to respond to their presence, but the elderly woman was unable to get to the door. With paramedics and firefighters standing by, officers forced entry through the front door, allowing paramedics to retrieve the customer to take her to a hospital for care.

“Jean’s actions are a testament to the great work our carriers do every day,” said Postmaster Kerry Kowalski. “Jean is always watching out for her customers and her persistence and genuine concern for Ms. Rouser on March 12th probably saved Ms. Rouser’s life. We are proud to have Jean as part of our Team!”

Money order scam foiled by concerned clerk

Long Pine, NE, Retail Associate Charity Fay

Long Pine, NE, Retail Associate Charity Fay

When an elderly customer in Long Pine, NE, repeatedly sent money orders via Certified Mail to an address in Florida, Retail Associate Charity Fay evaluated the situation and told the woman that she was likely the victim of a scam. The woman accepted that conclusion and agreed to refrain from sending any additional money to the recipient.

The following week, the elderly woman sent several additional money orders to the same recipient via Priority Mail Express. Fay concluded that the woman didn’t fully understand that she was the target of a scam, so the concerned associate contacted the Postal Inspection Service for assistance.

A postal inspector visited the woman and her husband at their home and explained the situation to them. That’s when the husband told the inspector that they’ve lost approximately $40,000 in the last 10 years to scams.

While the elderly victims aren’t able to recover the majority of their losses, Fay’s concern for the welfare of her customers allowed the Postal Inspection Service to recover $965 that the woman recently sent to scammers.

Sweepstakes jackpot too good to be true

Edmonds, WA, Retail Associates Fritzie Ramos, Larry Hall and Patty Garcia saved an elderly couple from a fraud scheme.

Edmonds, WA, Retail Associates Fritzie Ramos, Larry Hall and Patty Garcia saved an elderly couple from a fraud scheme.

Alert Retail Associates in the Edmonds, WA, Post Office recently stopped an elderly couple from sending their life savings to collect an alleged sweepstakes jackpot they had won.

Retail Associates Larry Hall, Patty Garcia and Fritzie Ramos convinced the couple, who wanted to purchase $6,500 in money orders, not to do so. The couple indicated they had already mailed $2,000 to an address in Iowa and were told they needed to send an additional $6,500, all the money they had left in their bank account.

Garcia contacted the Post Office in Iowa where the checks were to be sent and had the Postmaster intercept the earlier mailing, saving the couple their $2,000.

Scammer plot foiled by concerned clerk

Bellevue, NE, Retail Associate William Reynek

Bellevue, NE, Retail Associate William Reynek

Bellevue, NE, Retail Associate William Reynek was serving customers behind the counter when an elderly woman approached him. She presented $2,300 in cash and asked for help to send it Priority Mail Express to the intended recipient. Reynek recognized that the woman could be the victim of a scam, and that if she sent cash to the recipient, she’d likely never receive what the other individual promised in return.

Reynek convinced the woman to convert the cash into money orders as a safer alternative to cash. The woman agreed. After 30 minutes, the woman returned to the counter and told Reynek that she needed to change the payee on the money orders to a different person or send cash as the recipient originally asked her to do. With this new information in hand, Reynek knew she was likely being manipulated by a scammer.

The customer was still on a telephone call with the scammer during this process, so Reynek asked to speak with him. He asked the caller about his relationship with the woman, to which the individual replied, “I’m a relative.” Reynek asked additional questions, but the caller hung up before answering. That’s when Reynek convinced the woman she was dealing with a scammer and told her not to send the money.

“If it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” said Reynek.

Postmaster Elizabeth Norton appreciates Reynek’s efforts to prevent a customer from losing her hard-earned money to a scammer.

“There was a customer in line when this all happened and she posted some very positive comments on Facebook,” said Norton. “It’s getting a lot of hits.”

Desperate call for help answered by conscientious carrier

Willmar, MN, Rural Carrier Becky Knutson

Willmar, MN, Rural Carrier Rebecca Knuteson

When Willmar, MN, Rural Carrier Rebecca Knuteson approached the home of a customer while delivering along her route, she heard a distinct cry for help. Knuteson couldn’t see the person calling for help inside the home, so she immediately dialed 911 on her phone.

Shortly after notifying the dispatcher of the situation, paramedics arrived on scene. Both the paramedics and a neighbor were able to make their way into home where they found the customer laying on the floor of the basement. The woman had fallen to the ground and remained there for four days until help arrived.

The customer was so appreciative of the assistance that she thanked Knuteson and first responders publicly in a letter written to and published by a local newspaper. “I am lucky to be here and am so grateful to these angels,” the customer said in her letter.

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.

The Cycle of Life

Boulder, CO, Valmont Station City Carrier Tim Mctearnen.

Boulder, CO, Valmont Station City Carrier Tim Mctearnen.

When 79-year-old Jane Norton passed away in her home recently, her usual routines were no longer maintained. That included collecting her daily mail.

When Boulder, CO, Valmont Station City Carrier Tim Mctearnen noticed that Norton hadn’t retrieved her mail for a few days, he knew something was wrong. The customer usually picked up her mail promptly and didn’t allow it to sit in her mailbox for long. Mctearnen tried to reach the customer, but she didn’t answer her door. That’s when he approached Norton’s next door neighbor Kate Hallberg and asked her to look in on Norton.

When Hallberg investigated the situation, she discovered that Norton had passed away. Later on, Hallberg contacted the Valmont Postmaster to express her thanks for Mctearnen’s concern and for watching out for the neighborhood.

  • 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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