A mother and son were delivering newspapers for the residents in Pennsylvania when the mother noticed something was off—there was a bad smell in the air. Without wasting any time, she quickly called the police—and a potential disaster was averted.
Kathleen Thomas and her son, Jeff Shinko, have been delivering newspapers for The Citizens’ Voice, in Lehman Township, for several years. On the early morning of Jan. 3, they were doing their paper run as usual when they smelled gas.
“I stepped out of my vehicle to deliver the paper on the porch and noticed a very bad natural gas smell,” Thomas told the newspaper. “As soon as I stepped out it was very bad.”
The mother-and-son duo knew they had to act fast, and called their customer who lives on Mountain View Drive. But as it was early morning, nobody picked up, so they had to call the police.
When the Back Mountain Regional Fire and EMS arrived shortly after 4 a.m., the firefighters determined that the gas smell was from a “weather-related” cracked pipe.
They called UGI Utilities and evacuated the residents there. The residents were only allowed to return home after UGI staff had turned off the gas.
Thomas was praised for her quick thinking.
“She did a great job. She identified there was a problem. … That got the response from us,” Wilkes said.
Lisa Baker, the state senator, who lives nearby also commended Thomas and the firefighters for their efforts.
“Not only did she act very promptly but Back Mountain EMS got here quickly,” Baker said. “Her quick-thinking action certainly helped my neighbors.”
Baker added that she had seen Thomas and her son delivering newspapers before, and said that they always make sure to deliver the papers to customers regardless of the weather conditions.
But for Thomas, she loves her job.
“My customers may not know me personally but my son and I are out there 365 days a year,” she said. “There is no better job; I will tell you that.”
In the many years that she’s been a delivery person, she said there is rarely a dull moment in her job. She revealed that she once saw horses running free, which she had to report to the authorities, in addition to things like fallen trees blocking the roads.
“It’s not all about the newspaper,” she said. “Sometimes it’s about the customers.”
Thomas truly takes pride in her work and makes sure that her customers are well taken care of!
Source: The Citizens’ Voice.