Letter Carriers Manage Dangerous Heat

Letter carriers for the United States Postal Service have to deal with the conditions at all stages of the calendar.

Paul Crooks, over his 29 years serving the Greater Hartford area, has had to deal with the sweltering heat and the bitter cold.

The hottest day he ever had to work, he said, “The degree I think was 107 I can remember delivering on Park Street and I can remember no wind, still, super humid, that was one of the worst ones that I could remember.”

Crooks says the job has evolved over that period of time.

His scanner, the same device he uses to scan letters and packages in and out of his load for the day, also provides him with alerts and reminders to be mindful of the hot weather, and to keep consuming water throughout the day.

“There’s such a safety concern, now,” Crooks said. “They don’t want anybody getting hurt. Before, there was some things that were sort of foolish that we were doing. Now, they pump us full of water. They have little notifications on the scanner, ‘make sure you hydrate.’”

Crooks says he keeps about one and a half gallons of water with him on extremely hot days, along with a towel. He also says he will plan on where to park on certain streets to stay out of the sun.

“I’ll readjust my route to park in the shade.”

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