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Postal workers take on freezing cold by dressing warm

Postal worker Joe Cusher is in the middle of his 28th winter delivering mail.

A mail carrier walks up a snowy flight of stairs
Joe Cusher takes on snow covered stairs, and the sub zero temperatures Thursday afternoon, Jan. 6.
Ben Morris / WDAY

FARGO — United States Postal Service workers are always fighting through the elements to deliver the mail. Whether that's rain, wind, snow — or here in our region — frigid subzero temperatures.

Postal workers like Joe Cusher, who let WDAY News reporter Ben Morris follow him around on his typical route Thursday, Jan. 6.

"It's not easy, but you learn how to deal with it," Cusher said. "And dealing with it is just a matter of — you just do it."

Cusher has worked for USPS for 28 years, and the route he took on Thursday has 570 possible deliveries on it. 80 to 90 of those deliveries come with walking outside, and with the sub-zero temperatures, frostbite can happen in just 10 minutes.

To prevent it, means preparation before going out.

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"You just learn over the years how to dress for it," Cusher said. "Layers, layers — you wear your snow pants. And that you just prepare by having gloves, try to keep as much of your exposed skin covered as you can."

One thing you're not going to want to forget if you're outside for a long period of time like they are, is a face covering.

And even after the gloves, snow pants, hat, and face mask, there's stills some frigidness.

"When you're first out there, no matter what you do, you're going to be cold that first relay," Cusher said. "And a relay is where you walk up one side of a block, and down the other."

While the cold is a constant, Cusher says the important thing is to keep moving.

"The thing is, as long as you keep moving, the blood will start flowing. Then once the blood starts flowing, it gets to your hands and your hands warm up. And as long as you keep moving, you're going to be fine," said Cusher.

All in a days work.

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