Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

I Was a USPS Letter Carrier. We Need More Protection From Extreme Heat

August 21, 2023


  • Mike Kurz worked as a USPS letter carrier for 44 years before retiring this May.
  • Kurz says he experienced varying degrees of heat-related illness throughout his career.
  • He hopes the USPS improves conditions by providing training and air-conditioned vehicles.

Throughout my career, I suffered heat-related illness often, with at least one incident every few years.

My most recent incident of heat-related illness happened over two summers ago, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. I was delivering mail and had to pull over to go into an air-conditioned church because I was dizzy and nauseous, which are two symptoms associated with heat illness. Plus, it was a day with high heat and humidity — and I had no air conditioning in my truck.

I always worried during the pandemic. People were secluded in their houses so if I fainted in my truck or while I was walking outside because of the heat, nobody would be out there to actually see it happen.

Thankfully, that never happened, and I didn’t have to go to the hospital that day because I was able to tell the signs before they escalated. I took off the rest of the day and went home.

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