Mail carrier honored for heroic actions

Johnstown postal carrier Nicole Hunt, third from left, poses with the woman she saved, Judi Gosselin, fourth from left. Other family pictured from left are: Gosselin's son-in-law and daughter, Aaron and Evamarie Mraz; and Tina Morey, another Gosselin daughter; and Karen Stowell, Hunt's mother. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — Johnstown postal carrier Nicole Hunt on Tuesday was honored by the U.S. Postal Service with the Hero Award — one of the highest and rarest awards given by the federal mail delivery system.

Hunt, a Dolgeville resident, was recognized for saving the life of city resident Judi Gosselin on Sept. 18. She had collapsed in her Elmwood Avenue driveway, and passing postal carrier Hunt comforted her and contacted emergency medical authorities.

In a ceremony Tuesday at the Johnstown Post Office, Hunt was honored with the Hero Award.

She was surrounded by family members and fellow Johnstown postal workers.

U.S. Postal Service Albany District Operations Manager Tony Hall and District Manager Tom Kelly were on hand for the recognition, with Hall reading from the award drafted by U.S. Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan.

U.S. Postal officials gathered Tuesday at the Johnstown Post Office to honor postal carrier Nicole Hunt, third from left. She was honored with the federal Hero Award for saving the life of city resident Judi Gosselin, fourth from right, on Sept. 18. Others from left are Johnstown Postmaster Lori Driscoll, District Manager Tony Hall, and District Manager Tom Kelly. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

“I’m just glad I could be there for Judi,” said Hunt, who was all smiles upon receiving the award.

One of Gosselin’s daughters — a choked up Evamarie Mraz — was emotional as she spoke about what Hunt’s actions meant to her family.

“You just can’t put into words or in a piece of paper what Nicole did,” she stated.

Hall also read the words of Brennan from the Hero Award before presenting it to Hunt. He said the award is “a great recognition for a great employee.”

The award was for Hunt’s “selfless effort for saving another person’s life,” he said.

“These awards are few and far between,” Hall stated.

Brennan recognized Hunt for her “selfless display of civic duty.”

“I’m proud of the way you handled this situation,” the postmaster wrote.

Kelly added during the ceremony, “We have carriers out there every day doing extraordinary things.”

After the ceremony, family members of both Hunt and Gosselin posed for pictures.

Also present at the ceremony was Johnstown Postmaster Lori Driscoll.

It was about 2:15 p.m. on Elmwood Avenue when Hunt sprang into action. The 73-year-old Gosselin left her home, but doesn’t remember the reason.

Mraz said her mother was definitely “unresponsive” and her blood pressure dropped when a medical issue took her down.

Mraz said Hunt took control of the situation, calling 911, staying with her and doing the “proper procedures” until Gosselin could be seen by Johnstown Area Volunteer Ambulance Corps EMS staff.

Mraz truly believes the mail deliverer’s “quick action” saved her mother’s life in a situation that could have been much worse.

Gosselin was rushed by JAVAC to Nathan Littauer Hospital and eventually transferred to Ellis Hospital in Schenectady.

She said later that the odd thing about her fateful encounter with Hunt is that her mail lady, who she often talks to, usually delivers after 3 p.m., but this day it was much earlier.

Driscoll confirmed later that there was a “malfunction” at the postal office and Johnstown carriers were “sent out early” on Sept. 18 to get some of their deliveries done.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

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