UPS driver Thomas Greetham has driven through rain storms, snow and his share of traffic snarls in his many years behind the wheel.
But thanks to paying sharp attention to the road — and a little luck, too — the Gig Harbor resident is celebrating 25 years of accident-free driving with UPS. Greetham, 54, was recently recognized for his feat and inducted into the company’s "Circle of Honor."
UPS recently announced ten elite drivers from Washington are among 1,445 newly inducted worldwide into the Circle of Honor, an honorary organization for UPS drivers who have achieved 25 or more years of accident-free driving. Globally, 7,878 active UPS drivers are members of the Circle of Honor.
Greetham, a 1979 graduate of Peninsula High School, was happy to be recognized.
"It was actually quite an honor," Greetham said. "You don’t think about it when you’re doing your job from day to day. It was quite an honor. They invited my wife in and made a presentation."
Washington boasts 109 active Circle of Honor drivers with a combined 3,120 years of accident-free driving. Roy Oki of Spokane is the state's senior safe driver, with 38 years of accident-free driving under his belt. There are 2,119 total UPS drivers in Washington.
“My thanks go to all of them for their dedication and focus, and for the countless lives they've saved," Tom Cuce, president of UPS Northwest District, said in a release.
Greetham, who has been with the company for 28 years, said he enjoys the daily interactions with customers.
"It’s a great job," he said. "I like getting to meet and see so many people. Everyone is always happy when they still me pulling up with their stuff."
UPS's 102,000 drivers are among the safest on the roads, logging more than 3 billion miles a year and delivering more than 4 billion packages safely.
"You’ve always got to be aware," Greetham said. "Being aware of your surroundings, the potential for what can happen. You have to be looking way out of front of where you’re at. Whether it’s kids, animals or distracted drivers. It’s a little luck and a lot of familiarity with the area."
Except for a brief stint in Alaska to work in the fishing industry, Greetham has lived in the Gig Harbor area his entire life. In his free time, he likes to race sailboats and participate in other water sports such as wakeboarding and jetskiing.
"It’s such a great area here," Greetham said. "Specifically, I love the water. I’ve been racing sailboats for about 30 years."
Greetham still participates in an evening series on Thursday nights, racing sailboats around the harbor. As far as his job with UPS, he hopes to remain accident-free.
"(I hope I stay accident free) for the rest of my career, depending on how long that is," Greetham said. "But it’s always a goal to stay away from an accident, anyway."
Greetham said he doesn’t have a timetable on retirement yet.
"Someone told me one time, ‘You’ll know when it’s time,’" he said. "I still enjoy what I do. It’s a lot of fun and the people are always enjoyable."