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Contract driver gets help for sick firefighter

Hero Timothy Hammerberg
Clatskanie, OR, Highway Contract Driver Timothy Hammerberg

Clatskanie, OR, Contract Driver Timothy Hammerberg suspected something was wrong earlier this year when he noticed mail accumulating in the box of Walter Vern Ferguson, one of his customers.

Hammerberg drove to the local fire station and asked someone to check on Ferguson, a volunteer firefighter who lives alone.

Paramedics discovered Ferguson lying on the floor of his home. He had suffered a stroke three days earlier and was unable to move.

Ferguson was taken to a hospital and treated. He has since recovered and is eager to resume his firefighting duties.

“Tim knows the community, knows when something’s not right,” Joe Kaczenski, the local fire chief, told The Chief newspaper. “Without his quick thinking, Vern probably wouldn’t be alive today.”

Hammerberg also alerted the fire department to another customer in trouble a few years ago.

Kaczenski praised him as a “shining example of what a postal carrier should strive to be — [someone] who always has a good attitude, a watchful eye and exhibits great pride and dedication to his job.”

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