Many things have changed since 1962: Back then, the average cost of a new house was $12,500, gas was 28 cents a gallon, and the U.S. space program was still taking its first steps. But one thing hasn't changed since 1962: UPS driver Tom Camp's driving record is still accident-free.
One thing hasn't changed since 1962: UPS driver Tom Camp's driving record is still accident-free.
Rigorous training helps all UPS drivers navigate more safely. "On average our drivers undergo 40 hours of training before they hit the road in a UPS vehicle," says Emilio Lopez, global fleet safety manager. "When drivers achieve 25 years without an accident, they become part of the UPS Circle of Honor and receive a special uniform patch… signifying the milestone achievement."
Camp, who drives in Livonia, Mich., now has the UPS record for safe driving: 51 years. He's delivered more than 5 million packages in that time. He's just one of two UPSers to achieve the distinction of wearing the number "50" on their Circle of Honor patch.
A natural athlete who once tried out as a pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Camp joined UPS in 1962 after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. He cites many things that have changed over his half-century tenure: cellphones, computers and the "driver release," where drivers leave packages on residential doorsteps. One thing that hasn't changed, though, is the priority of service. "Anyone can deliver a package," he says. "It's the person delivering the package that makes all the difference."
What has kept Camp safe during the last 51 years on the job? "You just have to pay attention out there," he says. "You can't get distracted. Safety is No. 1."
This message is carried not only by Camp, but also by UPS's record-breaking 2013 group of 7,221 Circle of Honor members across the United States, Canada, Germany and Puerto Rico.
"I'm extremely honored," says Camp of his 51-year milestone. "UPS's safety training really pays off, both personally and in my professional life."
At 73, Camp is not pondering retirement any time soon. "I enjoy my job and my customers," he says. "As long as I can do it well, I'll keep going."
Download a PDF of all of the recent Circle of Honor drivers.