Wakefield postal worker commended


March 22, 2019

Bryan Hellios/Daily Globe

WAKEFIELD POSTAL employee Sandy Olson, left, stands with Drew Tikkanen, Wakefield postmaster, as they both hold up Olson's commendation she received from the Postaster General.



Wakefield - When Wakefield postal worker Sandy Olson smelled a "awful" smell while delivering a package, she knew something was not quite right.

"I didn't really think anything about it until I got out of my vehicle," she said.

The smell was so bad, she said it almost made her puke.

Once she discovered the source of the odor was a gas leak, Olson said she pounded on the door. Receiving no response, she checked the garage to see if the homeowner's vehicle was there.

"The car was gone, so I felt better," she said.

Having no cellphone, she drove to a fireman's home who happened to be on her route and informed him about the leak before continuing on to finish delivering the mail.

Olson said she was so worried about the situation she called the fire station as soon as she could to check up on her customer.

"I found out they were going to do something so I felt better," she said.

The following Monday, she said the fireman informed her the individual in the home was already "sleeping" and there were dangerous levels of carbon dioxide inside and outside the home.

"He told me if I hadn't done what I had done the person would have died," she said.

Wakefield Postmaster Drew Tikkanen said she submitted Olson's story to a internal publication of the post office called "Heroes Corner."

She said the story was published and Olson received a commendation from the Postmaster General.

Tikkanen said reading stories in the newsletter about how observant mail carriers can be and notice when someone does not pick up there mail or does not greet them at the door shows how the job can involve more than just delivering the mail.

Mail carriers are often the only daily contact some elderly people interact with, she said. When something goes wrong they can become a lifeline for people, she added.

"It's really amazing what postal carriers can do," Tikkanen said.

For Olson, getting to know the approximately 450 customers on her route is something she looks forward to doing.

"You meet a lot of good people, and you can help people if they need it," Olson said.

She said the work is hard and sometimes the days are long, but she could not picture doing anything else.

"I look forward to coming to work every day," she said. "It's one of my favorite jobs I've had."


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