USPS: Clear the way for your mail carrier

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — As cold and snowy conditions continue in West Michigan, the United States Postal Service is asking the community to help keep letter carriers safe.

Letter carrier Rusty Bussler makes more than 600 stops on his Wyoming route.

“They’ve got their medicines, drugs, all their packages, they’ve got their checks coming through the mail,” Bussler said.

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Typically, regardless of what the weather conditions are, he must be prepared to face them head-on.

“Summertime, you’ve got 95-degree weather: You’ve got to drink a lot of fluids, it gets pretty hot. In the wintertime, you’ve obviously got this (snow, ice and freezing temperatures),” Bussler said.

Letter carrier Rusty Bussler trudges through several inches of snow in Wyoming on Jan. 17, 2024.
Letter carrier Rusty Bussler trudges through several inches of snow in Wyoming on Jan. 17, 2024.
Letter carrier Rusty Bussler trudges through several inches of snow in Wyoming on Jan. 17, 2024.
Letter carrier Rusty Bussler trudges through several inches of snow in Wyoming on Jan. 17, 2024.
Letter carrier Rusty Bussler trudges through several inches of snow in Wyoming on Jan. 17, 2024.
Letter carrier Rusty Bussler trudges through several inches of snow in Wyoming on Jan. 17, 2024.

Bussler has experienced firsthand the dangers that winter weather can bring.

“There have been years I fall two or three times. You walk along, you hit the ice and next thing you know you’re on your back looking up at the sky, hoping everything’s alright,” Bussler said.

USPS is urging customers to make sure their sidewalks, steps and porches are cleared of snow and ice. Bussler added that creating shortcuts also goes a long way.

“If you walk around everything, it’s going to slow you down. It’s nice if customers make a path between the houses, from one house to another. Some customers do that,” Bussler said.

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Not only will removing snow and ice keep letter carriers safe, but it will also help mail be delivered on time.

“It’s up to the carrier’s discretion on how safe those steps are and how safe those sidewalks are,” Bussler explained. “We can cut that mail if we need to. Safety comes first.”

As carriers continue to brave the snow and cold, Bussler said to keep in mind their role in the community.

“I might be the only face they see on a daily basis. So … we’re friends and family,” Bussler said.

In addition to stairs and sidewalks, the USPS says it’s also important that snow and ice are cleared near blue collection boxes so mail can be dropped off and picked up.

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