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By Jimmie Earls
Sun Staff Writer
The sun was barely peeking over the horizon Friday morning as the thermometer at Springfield State Bank read zero degrees. An arctic freeze moved into the area, but the freezing temperatures were no excuse for those who must work outside.
Keeping warm during chilly days is very important. When the mercury dips near zero, exposed extremities can become numb and frozen rapidly, possibly leading to frostbite. It's important to limit your exposure to the cold, working in shifts if possible.
Howard Brady has been delivering mail for the United States Postal Service since 1969. His strategy for keeping warm is dressing in layers.
“I've got heaters in my shoes,” said Brady. “I'm wearing insulated underwear, a flannel shirt, a hoodie, a heavy coat and winterized gloves I bought through Cabela's.”
Brady said he has worked outside all his life, so the cold weather is nothing new to him.
“I've never had an inside job,” added Brady. “I've worked with the post office in one way or another since '69 and I've farmed. I grew up this way, so it's not like it's too cold. It's just another day to me.”
Springfield Public Works Director Glenn Mattingly was out with his recycling crew in the frigid weather. Normally the recycling crew would ride on a trailer to pick up material, but on this day they were riding in pickup trucks and putting items in the truck beds.
“We're trying to stay inside as much as possible,” Mattingly said. “We're just using the pickup trucks so they can get in and out of the heat easier.”
Mattingly has some advice for those who must brave the elements this time of year.
“Bundle up, keep heat available and have some warm fluid if possible.”