‘They call me Hero’

When the 20th anniversary of the Postmaster General Heroes’ Program got underway this summer, Link readers were invited to share memories of unforgettable PMG heroes over the years.

Yvonne Yoerger, employee communications and content management director at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC, didn’t hesitate to mention Jermaine Shirley, now a letter carrier in Greenwich, CT.

Nearly a decade ago, Shirley, then a city carrier assistant, had just left his Bronx, NY, apartment to commute to Greenwich when he smelled smoke. After he rushed back to the building and rescued his wife and 2-year-old daughter, he heard neighbor Everdean Codner shouting for help from an upper-floor window.

Codner was desperate to get his 11-month-old twin sons to safety, so he dropped them one by one to Shirley, who caught them and ensured they were out of harm’s way.

“I thank Jermaine for saving my babies,” Codner told the New York Post. “Now I have a second chance to be a father to my sons.”

“Jermaine’s story really stayed with me because of the emotional impact,” Yoerger said recently. “The courage and trust it took for the father to drop the twins from the building, and likewise for Jermaine to stay steady and catch them safely — what a connection! I also thought when I saw the story, ‘This would make a great movie!’”

While “PMG Heroes: The Movie” has yet to come to pass, Shirley’s tale is one of many that have resonated far beyond “Heroes’ Corner.”

Extensive media coverage culminated in his recognition by the National Association of Letter Carriers as its 2014 National Hero of the Year.

During a recent interview with Link, Shirley said the publicity brought some comfort amid the difficulty of being displaced from the heavily damaged building: “I felt good about it. I appreciated the attention.”

To this day, he hears the same greeting when he arrives at the Greenwich Post Office: “Hero is here.”

“They call me Hero,” Shirley said. “I like it.”

He remains friends with Codner and regularly participates in social gatherings with the twins, now going on 11, in attendance.

“They’re always running around,” said Shirley, “but at some point, someone will always tell them what happened. They want them to learn. They know who I am.”

“I’m extremely proud that my team has kept the PMG Heroes’ Program going to reach this milestone anniversary,” Yoerger said. “When I first started at the Postal Service — before I had any connection to the program — it became a daily routine that I read the PMG hero from that day to my carpool on the way home. It was a feel-good moment that illustrates the value of the program: pride in the Postal Service for serving the nation in so many ways above and beyond delivering mail and packages.”

What’s your favorite “Heroes’ Corner” story from the past two decades? Peruse the archives and tell us at uspslink@usps.gov what made the hero so unforgettable to you. To nominate a heroic postal employee, please submit a nomination form, available via usps.link/heroes.

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The mobile-friendly version of the Link website offers news reports, feature stories and informational videos, including coverage of Delivering for America, the organization’s 10-year plan.

The site is particularly helpful to craft employees and others who don’t have regular access to postal computers but want to stay informed.

Link mobile covers other postal news, too, including updates on labor contracts, new products and services, and benefits changes.

To read the site, go to www.usps.link, where you can also subscribe to weekly emails with the latest Link highlights.

News Briefs

Scanning snapshot

Scanning snapshot. A snapshot of Postal Service scanning data shows the national rating was 95.51 percent during the week ending Sept. 22, down 0.32 percent from one week earlier.

The data was collected Sept. 27.

WestPac led the four areas with a rating of 95.58 percent, while Southern ranked last with a 94.39 percent rating.

Among the 50 districts, California 6, part of WestPac Area, ranked first with a 97.57 percent rating, while Florida 1, part of Southern Area, ranked last with an 89.89 percent rating.

Scanning data allows customers to track their mail and packages, which helps USPS deliver excellent service, boost loyalty and drive revenue.

To see the latest data, go to the Informed Visibility website and select “Customer Experience,” followed by “DES 2 Scan Performance.” Postal Service employees must request Informed Visibility access through eAccess.

Delivery data. From July 1 through Sept. 15, the Postal Service delivered 91.4 percent of First-Class Mail on time when compared with the organization’s service standard, according to data released last week.

During the same period, USPS delivered 95.2 percent of Marketing Mail and 86.2 percent of Periodicals on time, the figures show.

Postal Bulletin. Postal Bulletin’s Sept. 21 edition features tips on avoiding text message scams, along with the latest updates to USPS policies, procedures and forms.

Got news? Email your submissions to uspslink@usps.gov.