BEN AVON (KDKA) — “Neither snow nor rain nor heat…” Well, “heat” is not the problem these days. But subzero temperatures and wind chill?
Mail carrier Bill Silay is wearing five layers on his upper body, three pairs of pants, and he says, “Couple pairs of socks, coverings on my feet, to keep my feet warmer. Earmuffs, neck, hat, trying to cover everything up.”
He also wears two pairs of gloves. Criss-crossing the yards and porches of Ben Avon, he says the key is not stopping.
“Just keep moving,” he says. “Once you feel a little warm out there, you keep moving, try to keep going. A lot of people want to offer you to step in the house, and that’s the worst thing I could do, step in somebody’s house and warm up and try to go back out in the cold. So, I stay out there and keep moving.”
Silay says this job isn’t nearly as hard in this kind of weather as the one he does for no pay at all. He’s also a volunteer firefighter.
The 24-year postal veteran says icy conditions are worse than the cold. And there’s never been a day when the post office kept the carriers home.
Postal service spokesman Tad Kelly, a former mail carrier himself, says it’s left up to the individual.
“If our employees are feeling that they need to get off the street, they just let us know,” he explains. “But at the same time, our job is to make sure the mail gets delivered. We are an essential service.”
The Ben Avon postal carrier agrees, saying, “The idea is get the mail delivered, get the job done.”