Most people show their gratitude for postal workers at the end of the year when they place satchels of baked goods in their mailboxes or give them steaming cups of hot cocoa as they brave the winter weather to deliver holiday greetings and colorfully wrapped parcels. The somewhat self-important motto of the United States Postal Service, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night delays these messengers from the speedy completion of their scheduled rounds,” comes to mind during this time of year. The adage can seem ironic or out of place during the other, less dangerous months when only internet purchases and sale papers arrive on sunny days.
On January 27, 2022, however, a long time after the start of the year, one mail carrier helped a resident on her route. During her shift, New Hampshire postal worker Kayla Berridge noticed that the mail was accumulating in front of one of the homes.
“I hadn’t seen the resident in a while and I noticed her mail wasn’t getting picked up, so I got a little concerned,” she subsequently told reporters. The elderly resident was someone Berridge was familiar with; she recalled that the two occasionally spoke when she delivered the mail. In order to remove any suspicion that the woman had taken an unforeseen excursion, she also saw that the woman’s “car was remained at the apartment.” Berridge decided to step in and call in a well-fair check after having what she called a “gut sense.”
A well-fair check is simply an in-person visit by one or more law enforcement agents, typically carried out when a family member, friend, or in this example, a postal worker contacts the authorities with worries about the subject’s physical or mental health.
Officers were sent to the alleged house after Berridge sounded the alarm. The elderly woman inside the house was yelling for help when the first officer arrived. The second cop who arrived was able to enter the house because he was “familiar with the address” and had “previous connections.” The resident, who was in her 80s, had fallen and became trapped behind goods that were dropping as she attempted to right herself, the cops found after investigating the home. She received dehydration and hypothermia treatment at the hospital after being taken there by Newmarket Fire and Rescue.
The woman “had been imprisoned on the floor (of her bedroom) for at least three days and possibly longer,” the Newmarket Police Department, which carried out the well-fair check, subsequently revealed in a statement. The department added that “this resident’s life was spared by Kayla’s understanding of the persons on her route as well as her alertness.” The opening line of the statement, which they uploaded to the Department’s Facebook page, “postal employee is a hero,” neatly sums up Berridge’s deeds.
In a later interview about the incident, Police Lt. Wayne Stevens supported this attitude, saying, “Without a question, she saved this lady’s life.” “To advance your career as a letter carrier in a small town, you must do that. She performed admirably.”
Regarding her role in preserving the life of the old woman, Berridge exuded complete humility. She remarked indifferently, “Newmarket is a great small town.Everyone is watching out for one another.”
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