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 EMERGENCY MEDICAL TREATMENT/CALLING-911 policy
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.”
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.
ALL SENIOR PLANT MANAGER DIRECT REPORTS
ALL MANAGERS DISTRIBUTION OPERATIONS
ALL POSTAL POLICE
SUBJECT: EMERGENCY MEDICAL TREATMENT/CALLING-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.