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10 Westmoreland County letter carriers join 'Million Mile Club'

| Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, 11:39 p.m.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Tad Kelley, the spokesperson for the United State Postal Service Western Pennsylvania District, takes a photograph of Greensburg mail carriers (from left) Peter Radocaj, Kevin Reidmiller, Kim Ross, Robert Robosky, Edward D'Amico, Laura Trout, John Albright and John Sabatine after they were presented with their National Safety Council “Million Mile Club” award for having successfully driven 30 years without a motor-vehicle accident. Two other carriers, Michael Karichko and Richard Larry, also won the same award but were not present for the ceremony held at the Greensburg Post Office.

Ten Westmoreland County mail carriers received awards on Thursday for embodying the adage: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

For 30 years, the Greensburg Post Office employees have braved the elements to deliver the mail without a single traffic accident.

During a ceremony at the post office, they earned National Safety Council “Million Mile Club” accolades for decades of safe, on-the-job driving.

Each year, the postal service welcomes about 200 to the Million Mile Club, but recognizing 10 employees from one post office is a rare event.

“It's an amazing accomplishment,” said Gary Bluestone, president of the Pittsburgh branch of the National Association of Letter Carriers. “I've never seen more than three of these in an office, let alone 10.”

To win the recognition, drivers must either collect 1 million, accident-free miles or 30 years without a preventable motor vehicle accident. Those honored in Greensburg all earned 30 safe years, said Tad Kelley, a spokesman with the postal service.

“It's an amazing number to have so many people in one office achieve this milestone,” said Joe Scherder, area acting post office operations manager.

The award is the highest honor given by the National Safety Council to professional drivers.

The honorees received wooden plaques and applause from their co-workers who gathered to celebrate.

Jay Phelan, acting district manager for the post office's Western Pennsylvania district, started his career as a letter carrier.

The honor, he said, is “remarkable ... very special and very rare” especially during recent winter storms that brought hazardous road conditions.

“The Million Mile Club is their Hall of Fame,” Phelan said. “Thank you for making safety on the road a priority.”

Careful work is a priority to honoree Kevin Reidmiller, a member of the office's safety committee.

For the recognition, he credits concentration, defensive driving and “just being alert.”

“It's very difficult,” he said. “It is quite an accomplishment. I'm proud of the office.”

Awardee Kim Ross noted frequent warnings issued by the office about dangers such as snow and wet leaves.

“They really stress safety in our office,” she said. “Take time to be aware.”

Employees at the Greensburg Post Office on South Pennsylvania Avenue deliver parcels to Greensburg, South Greensburg, Youngwood and Hempfield. Postmaster Sheryl Velazquez lauded the workers for their “very conscientious” attitude.

“You should be proud of what you've achieved,” she said.

Rossilynne Skena Culgan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646 or rskena@tribweb.com.

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