ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Lower temperatures are still around in the stateline, but work still needs to be done even in the cold.
Rain or shine, or bitter cold in this instance, will not stop letter carriers from dropping off the mail. However, there are some things that these women and men do in order to get the job done safely during the winter.
“Lots of layers,” said Tim Dorsey, a city letter carrier. “I think I got four layers on today, and a fifth would have pushed me over the top. I don’t think I could have fit it on.”
Dorsey, a Rockford native, has been a USPS city letter carrier for 27 years. He has learned a thing or two about how to stay warm while working in the cold.
“Hand and toe warmers, they’re big. They keep my fingers and toes warm. Ice cleats if’s icy,” Dorsey said.
Dorsey added that walking his route when wind chills are below zero is difficult, but it is not just mail carriers working in these conditions. Amazon, UPS and FedEx drivers all have to be careful in these temperatures, since more people are ordering online.
“I don’t think people realize if your just out short, just to run to the car, just how bad it is for the people who are out in it all day long and can’t really get some place warm,” Dorsey said.
“It’s really important to take these precautions ahead of time when you’re heading out into the cold to avoid illness and injury,” added Amy Henderson, a physician assistant at OSF Healthcare.
Henderson said that prevention is key, and that starts with warm layers. Residents should also make sure to pay attention to their bodies. They should get inside if they have shortness of breath or lack of coordination.
“If you are starting to experience pain, discoloration warning sign get inside, warm up as soon as you can,” Henderson said.
While Dorsey agrees that there is no stopping mother nature, there are some ways to help him out.
“Make sure you are shoveling and salting your sidewalks and your walkways for us, because it just makes it so much easier,” he said. “The cold we can’t do anything about, but that’s the thing that, you know, somebody can control. That’s the thing we can control.”
Doctors encourage residents to stay inside on these cold days if they can, and to not push through any warning signs that something could be wrong.