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Mericle worker

This carrier aided a customer stranded outdoors after falling and breaking her leg

Smiling woman stands in a postal workroom
Paulding, OH, Rural Carrier Debra Mericle

Rural Carrier Debra Mericle was delivering mail in Paulding, OH, in January when she heard a cry for help.

She found an older customer on the ground, in pain, near the foot of the steps to the woman’s home.

The customer said she’d slipped on ice while trying to feed her cats and had been stranded in the cold for hours.

The Postal Service employee called 911 and the woman’s children, who live nearby. She stayed with the customer until paramedics arrived.

The woman was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was treated for a broken femur and had to undergo a complicated surgery. She is undergoing physical rehabilitation.

A local newspaper published a letter from the customer’s daughter-in-law praising Mericle as a “guardian angel” and “our hero.”

Employees featured in “Heroes” receive letters of commendation through the Postmaster General Heroes’ Program. The nomination form is available on Blue.