Texas Mail Man Drops Dead While Delivering in Dangerous Heat
Eugene Gates, Jr was a USPS mail carrier in Dallas for the last 36 years. He was a dedicated, loyal, and hard-working employee. However, recently, Gates received a disciplinary letter from his employer for not working fast enough.
USPS SCRUTINIZES GATES PERFORMANCE
Gates had recently received a negative performance review after the postal service investigated an isolated incident on May 11. The letter claimed Gates displayed "unacceptable performance – expanding street time."
According to the letter, Gates had stopped by the USPS office twice in a day and during the same day he stopped "so many times on [his] way back to the station, it took him an extra 45 minutes to complete his shift.
STAYING PREPARED FOR THE HEAT
Gate's wife, Carla, revealed he bought an ice machine so he can fill his cooler every day for his shifts in the excruciating Texas heat. "He has this cooler that he'd been taking to work for years," she said.
However, his wife believes the extreme heat and expectations took her husband's life. As Gates was doing his door-to-door deliveries, he suddenly dropped dead. His wife says, "Most definitely it was heat related," she said.
DELIVERING IN DANGEROUS TEMPERATURES
Eugene would start work at 8:30 am but soon after he started his shift, temperatures would skyrocket and even get into the double digits. After Eugenes death, Texas USPS changed their start time to 7:30 to help them get ahead of the heat.
However, other carriers do not believe that is enough. There was a point when carriers began their shift at 6:30 am to reduce the time they are making deliveries in some of the highest temperatures of the day.
USPS RESPONDS TO THE CONDITIONS
According to WFAA News, USPS responded to the concern of heat safety for their carriers:
"Our carriers deliver the mail throughout the year during varying temperatures and climatic conditions. This includes during the summer months when the temperatures rise throughout the country. The safety of our employees is a top priority, and the Postal Service has implemented a national Heat Illness Prevention Program (HIPP) for all employees. In connection with the HIPP, the Postal Service provides mandatory heat-related and other safety training and instruction to all employees and assures they have the resources needed to do their jobs safely."