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Employees save lives off the clock

Rescue workers stand near emergency vehicle
USPS employees, from left, Mike Winters, David Marquardt, Corlin Winters and Ron Oller, who are colleagues at the Springfield, IL, Processing and Distribution Center, volunteer for a local rescue squad.

For four USPS employees in Illinois, serving their community doesn’t end when they finish their shifts at the Springfield Processing and Distribution Center.

Plant Manager Michael Winters, Operations Support Specialist Ron Oller, Custodian David Marquardt and Corlin Winters, a postal support employee, all volunteer for a local rescue squad.

The squad, which serves as backup for local fire and law enforcement teams, prepares for a variety of emergencies.

“We are trained in fire support, search and rescue, water rescue and vehicle extraction,” Michael Winters said. “You never know what kind of call you will get, so we are always ready for anything.”

Corlin Winters, Michael’s son, and Marquardt are the squad’s lieutenants and perform all functions, including firefighting and high-angle rescues.

Oller is the team’s rescue diver, a job that has its downsides.

“A lot of what we do in the dive realm is recovery,” he said. “It’s never good news when they need someone to search underwater, but it does give the family closure.”

Michael Winters said that many of the calls they receive are due to people taking risks, such as not wearing their seatbelts.

“It takes 3 seconds to put it on,” he said. “If folks would just keep safety in mind and act responsibly, they wouldn’t put themselves or others in danger.”

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