USPS Re-Issues Policy on Oakland Postal Employees Calling 911 in Emergency

The United States Postal Service changed its 911 policy at the Oakland mail processing facility after an NBC Bay Area investigation exposed the rules that may have caused critical delays in a life and death situation. Vicky Nguyen reports in a story that aired February 25, 2015

USPS Re-Issues Policy on Oakland Postal Employees Calling 911 in Emergency

Samuel Macasieb operating a letter sorting machine at the United States Postal Service processing and distribution center in Oakland, CA.


1/5/2015 – In November 2014 a NBC Bay Area investigation  exposed the USPS 911 policy that some say may have contributed to critical time delays in life and death situations.

Oakland, CA postal worker Samuel Macasieb laid critically injured on the workroom floor early in the morning on August 8, 2014 inside the west Oakland processing and distribution center, one of the largest and busiest postal service facilities in California, employing nearly 2,000 people. For 28 years Macasieb dutifully worked the graveyard shift operating a letter sorting machine.

No one saw how Macasieb, 59, was injured but co-workers later said they found him lying on his back, barely conscious, with blood coming from his mouth and ears. Apparent head trauma left him incapacitated. According to an internal postal service report, employees didn’t call 911 right away. They proceeded to contact several supervisors and managers who then alerted the onsite postal police department, who finally contacted 911. Details in the report show that up to 53 minutes elapsed from the time Macasieb was found to when emergency medical personnel were contacted.

The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit had confirmed that the policy at the Oakland distribution facility does in fact dictate that in the event of a medical emergency, an employee must find a supervisor, who must contact the postal police and ask them to call 911. The policy states, “Only the Postal Police are to initiate the 911 procedure.”

USPS Policy May Have Caused Critical Delays in Life and Death Situation

Last month Balwant Grewal, Senior Plant Manager, Oakland P&DC  re-issued  the policy for “Emergency Medical Treatment/Calling -911.”  The first item mentioned in the re-issued policy allows ANYONE to IMMEDIATELY call 911.



The following procedures are to be used when emergency medical treatment is needed for an injured or ill employee:

1. In an emergency, anyone should immediately call 911.

2. The Postal Police should be immediately notified at ext. 8513. If 911 has not already been contacted, the Postal Police will initiate that call. The Postal Police must be provided with specific information as to where the ill/injured employee is located (floor, unit, column or room number, etc.) and type of injury if possible.

3. Notify a supervisor.

4. First-Aid Assessment can be conducted by Postal Police who are qualified on First-Aid, CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

5. Upon arrival of medical service, Postal Police will escort the Paramedics and/or Fire Department to the exact location.

6. If appropriate, a supervisor should accompany an injured employee to the outside medical facility or if the injured employee requests additional assistance.

All supervisors must thoroughly review these procedures and post a copy in all work areas.

See copy of re-issued policy


9 thoughts on “USPS Re-Issues Policy on Oakland Postal Employees Calling 911 in Emergency

  1. I hope this new policy is implemented in ALL USPS facilities in the nation. Someone lost a son, a husband, a brother, a father, a friend…because of a policy as asinine as the “limited 911 call policy in Oakland.”

    • We did , two people in about ten years… Saddest part to it all is that most employees they work with don’t even remember their names!

    • Here in Phoenix P&DC, after last year’s “security” upgrade, we have some fire exits off the main floor that CBA employees are not allowed to use. (No, they do NOT open automatically in the event of a general or fire alarm. Management is definitely aware, this is no accidental oversight.) You must be either EAS or building maintenance craft to get out of these exits using your badge in the event of a fire. Google “Triangle Shirtwaist Factory” for insight into postal management. I won’t accuse management of trying to kill us. Point is, management does not care if they kill us, their “security” trumps your right to live.

  2. Sounds to me that this will lead to an OSHA violation of policy, with hefty fines and lawsuits. The correct emergency action plan is something suppose to be in OSHA emergency action planning, that apparently management had overlooked or ignored when they concluded the annual reviews. Unfortunately, an employee paid the ultimate price to revamp postal policy that should of been imposed before his death. Wonder now what other safety issues lie in the facility that management rubber stamped okay to pass OSHA inspection. Any facility has to address safety issues and it’s everyone’s job. My best bet is that, that facility has 204b supervisors who are very undertrained to handle crisis and only have concerns to keep machines running with less man-hours. “no one saw how he was injured” well DBS machines require 2 operators, but 1 operator could start it and run it for first 20 minutes without the bins getting full; But that is a serious safety violation. If I was to do a bet, I say that what happen and he fell while running to swipe a bin.

    • I don’t remember this person from when I worked there, but the photo shows him in front of an FSM (Flats Sorting Machine) which sorts magazines, pamphlets and other larger materials. That is NOT a DBCS (Delivery Bar Code Sorter).
      There a lots of videos of the various mail sorting machines operating on YouYube.

  3. Why doesn’t this facility have an MERT (medical emergency response team) program, made up of employees trained in first aid and cpr? I have been trained in my facility for 10 years. We have been called several times to assist fellow employees and even customers. It is a program well worth the time and money. Who cares who is authorized to initiate the 911 process as long as someone makes the call. We have no problem taking control of a situation to aid someone who needs help. Oakland management you need to implement this program and fast.

    Any a.. knows if somebody is is injured (especially if it may be life threatening) you call 911 ASAP. When dealing with USPS morons it takes a new policy>

  5. Even when they cause deaths, and this isn’t even close to the first time they have, there will still be no accountability from the corrupt mgmt. ranks.

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