In New Jersey, members of the Long Valley community recently gathered at the local post office to honor the heroic actions of a truck driver who saved the life of one of his elderly customers.
Rural carrier Eric Ficter was delivering mail on a frigid January day when he came across 88-year-old Gilbert Taylor, a resident on his rural route, badly injured and lying in the middle of the road. Positioned in a very dangerous spot after falling from his mobility scooter, Ficter knew time was of the essence.
He pulled over and flagged down an oil truck driver for help. Together they moved the wounded man to safety, called 911, and helped stop the bleeding. At the hospital, Taylor was treated for a puncture wound to the head, a severe laceration to his thumb and missing skin from his forearm.
For his quick thinking and heroic efforts, Ficter received an outpouring of appreciation from the community.
“We are all very proud of Eric for coming to the aid of one of our residents here in Long Valley,” Postmaster Linda Brookins told NJ.com.
“I trust the entire community agrees that Eric is a real Long Valley NJ hero,” she announced as she presented Fichter with a USPS Hero Award.
In a congratulatory letter to Ficter, Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe wrote, “I want to commend your heroic actions and selfless display of civic duty.”
“Your efforts remind us all of the ties that bind communities and our country together,” he added. “We are fortunate to have employees of your caliber represent this organization. Thank you and well done.”
In 2013, the Postal Service recognized 262 employee’s who, like Ficter, go beyond the call of duty, with some even risking their own well-being to save the life of a customer.