A rewarding career that almost wasn’t

Peyton, CO, Rural Carrier Karen Lash with Post Office Operations Manager Tim Huskey

Peyton, CO, Rural Carrier Karen Lash recently received the prestigious Million Mile Award from Post Office Operations Manager Tim Huskey. Her dedication to safe driving for the Postal Service almost never came to be without the urging of a trusted family member.

Lash started her postal career as a rural carrier associate in Canon City, CO, in 1981. When her brother, a rural carrier, suggested she apply for the job, she wasn’t certain it was for her. After no small amount of coaxing, she relented and joined the Postal Service soon thereafter. Nearly 36 years later, Lash is grateful her brother convinced her to apply to the organization where she’s enjoyed a rewarding career ever since.

“Karen is giving and kind to everyone, but goes above and beyond in customer service for her patrons,” said Huskey.

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Mount Pleasant celebrates success

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Employees at the Mount Pleasant, IA, Post Office recently celebrated the many accomplishments of team members who demonstrated outstanding efforts.

When a 4-year-old boy went missing, City Carrier Betty Lutz found him a few blocks away from his home. Lutz contacted the authorities as well as the boy’s parents, and waited with the boy for help to arrive. After the boy’s parents appeared on scene, the curious child was more interested in asking for a ride in Lutz’s LLV than in going home.

City Carrier Toi Mills noticed one of her customers hadn’t picked up mail from the previous day. Out of concern for her elderly customer, Mills contacted the police and asked them to perform a welfare check. When law enforcement arrived, they found the customer on the floor where he had remained for two days. He was taken to the hospital shortly thereafter.

Acting Supervisor Heather Trimble observed that one her rural carriers seemed ill before going out on the route one morning. She monitored his condition and became concerned that he was in more trouble than he realized. Trimble stopped him from going out on his route, and soon thereafter, it became clear he was having a heart attack. Taking advice from a 911 operator, Trimble performed life-saving actions until the paramedics could arrive. The carrier made a full recovery.

Dennis Coberley, Michael Reschly, Bill Hassenfritz and Shirley Hecker each received a National Safety Council Million Mile Award for their dedication to safe driving for at least 30 years.

Safe drivers celebrate success

Twin Falls, ID, City Carriers Rod Huber, Dean Ambrose, Dick Walker, and Doug Ahrens

Twin Falls, ID, City Carriers Rod Huber, Dean Ambrose, Dick Walker, and Doug Ahrens

Few things speak more highly of a person’s dedication to safe driving than the National Safety Council’s Million Mile Award. This prestigious honor is granted only to those who have driven for 30 years or one million miles without an at-fault accident. Recently, four drivers in Twin Falls, ID, accomplished this remarkable success.

City Carriers Rod Huber, Dean Ambrose, Dick Walker, and Doug Ahrens were each presented with the Million Mile Award by Postmaster Wendy Eckler. The Twin Falls team cheered the success of their coworkers with a donut celebration.

“I am extremely proud to have such safety-conscious drivers on my team,” said Eckler. “Their dedication is a great example for others to follow because at the end of the day, I want everyone to be able to go home safely to their families.”

“You make us proud” – safe drivers celebrate success

Denver, CO, Downtown Station City Carriers

Denver, CO, Downtown Station City Carriers

Denver, CO, Downtown Station recently held a congratulatory celebration for nineteen city carriers who received the National Safety Council’s Million Mile Award. The safe driving award is granted to drivers for having driven the equivalent of one million miles, or 30 years, without a preventable accident. Acting Colorado/Wyoming District Manager Rick Pivovar called the recognition “unprecedented.”

“I’ve never heard of one place with so many safe drivers at once,” said Pivovar. “You are to be commended.”

Denver Postmaster Mark Talbott noted that the accomplishment is especially complimentary of the fact that the carriers deliver in a crowded metropolitan space.

“You make us proud,“ said Talbott.

Safe driving award of honor

Henderson, NE, Rural Carrier Dick Newton

Henderson, NE, Rural Carrier Dick Newton

The National Safety Council recently recognized 75 drivers across all 12 district within the Western Area with an Award of Honor for their safe driving practices. One of the recipients of the award is Henderson, NE, Rural Carrier Dick Newton.

Newton is a 29-year safe driving veteran. His pristine driving record is a both a badge of honor and a reminder to others that the goal of safe driving is an achievable one.

To qualify for nomination, USPS Western Area employees were required to be full-time drivers whose primary responsibility is to operate a motor vehicle on a regular basis in the performance of their normal duties. Nominees must have driven over 15 years or 100,000 miles without a preventable accident.

Recognition for safe driver

Coffeyville, KS, Postmaster Curtis Knipe with City Carrier Leroy Bakken

Coffeyville, KS, Postmaster Curtis Knipe with City Carrier Leroy Bakken

Coffeyville, KS, City Carrier Leroy Bakken is an experienced driver who recently reached a significant accomplishment.

Bakken received a National Safety Council Million Mile Award, proudly presented by Postmaster Curtis Knipe. The award isn’t easy to achieve. It requires 30 years of driving without an at-fault accident. Receiving the award is visible evidence of a commitment to safe driving.

“We are proud of Leroy’s accomplishment to join a club for the elite carriers and delivery drivers of the USPS. I hope that all employees strive for the same accomplishment,” said Knipe.

2016 Joseph M. Kaplan Safe Driver of the Year

Minneapolis, MN, Tractor-Trailer Operator Gary Stout

Minneapolis, MN, Tractor-Trailer Operator Gary Stout

In August 2015, Minneapolis, MN, Tractor-Trailer Operator Gary Stout earned a National Safety Council Million Mile Award for 30 years of safe driving. This year, the National Safety Council recognized Stout’s continued superior driving record with an award of rare distinction.

Stout recently received the 2016 Joseph M. Kaplan Safe Driver of the Year for the Western Area. Only one award is given to a safe driver for each Area in the Postal Service. The honor marks Stout’s driving record as one of seven in the nation that stands out above all others.

Each 2016 Joseph M. Kaplan recipient is invited to attend the 2016 NSC Annual Congress & Expo event for safety, health and environmental professionals this month where they will receive a medallion and crystal award.

Emporia safe drivers

Emporia, KS, City Carriers Julie Schaefer, Robin Hotzel, and Janet Way

Emporia, KS, City Carriers Julie Schaefer, Robin Hotzel, and Janet Way

Emporia, KS, City Carriers Julie Schaefer, Robin Hotzel, and Janet Way have set a high standard when it comes to safe driving. Combined, the trio has a total of 86 years of accident-free driving. That’s no easy accomplishment, and it’s a commitment each takes seriously.

Five years ago, Hotzel received a National Safety Council Million Mile Award. The recognition is a prestigious accomplishment, but she isn’t willing to rest on her laurels. Hotzel continues her dedication to safe driving and has recently earned a 35-year safe driving pin.

Schaefer and Way are a few years shy of earning their Million Mile Awards, but each has a significant safe driving record of their own. Their excellence in safe driving recently earned each a 25 and 26-year safe driving pin, respectively.

Emporia Postmaster Harry Gifford is proud of their accomplishments.

“Julie, Robin, and Janet take tremendous pride in their safe driving records,” said Gifford. “It’s a pride I feel every day by having them on my team.”

Double celebration

Wichita, KS, Corporate Hills Station Alan Cunningham

Wichita, KS, Corporate Hills Station Alan Cunningham (center)

Employees of the Wichita, KS, Corporate Hills Station recently had a double celebration.

The special event, covered by local news media, cheered the accomplishments of City Carrier Alan Cunningham and Rural Carrier Jeff Doyle. Cunningham has achieved an enviable milestone – 55 years of federal employment. He spent the first four years of his career as a U.S. Marine before beginning his career with the Postal Service in 1965. He has enjoyed his job ever since that time and has no plans to retire anytime soon.

“Alan is a great employee who always strives to deliver the best possible service to his customers,” said Manager of Customer Service Kimberly Lange. “We are proud of his dedication, not only to the Postal Service, but for the four years he served our country as a Marine.”

Wichita, KS, Corporate Hills Station Jeff Doyle

Wichita, KS, Corporate Hills Station Jeff Doyle (center)

Doyle’s significant accomplishment is an inspiration to other carriers on the road. Driving for one million miles, or 30 years, is no easy task. It takes paying attention to the road at all times and in any weather condition to avoid an at-fault accident. Lange appreciates Doyle’s commitment to driving safely and was honored to have the chance to present him with the National Safety Council’s Million Mile Safe Driver Award.

“Our carriers deliver the mail in all kinds of weather and face daily hazards on their routes,” said Lange. “So, for Jeff to have driven a million miles without a preventable accident is a tremendous achievement. He stands as a great example not only to our workforce, but to drivers everywhere.

Safe driving three million miles in the making

City Carriers Randy Rabas, Rodney Riesinger, and Roland Barnes with Dakotas District Manager Doug Stephens (center)

City Carriers Randy Rabas, Rodney Riesinger, and Roland Barnes with Dakotas District Manager Doug Stephens (center)

At a recent employee gathering in Billings, MT, Dakotas District Manager Doug Stephens made a surprise visit with employees to celebrate three major milestones.

City Carriers Randy Rabas, Rodney Riesinger, and Roland Barnes each received the coveted Million Mile Award for 30 years, or one million miles, of driving without an at-fault accident.

“Randy, Rodney, and Roland’s achievement is a great accomplishment, and I’m proud of their commitment to safety on the road,” said Stephens.

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