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  • Press Release

Underwriters Laboratories and Chicago White Sox Recognize Local Heroes at Annual Police & Fire Night

August 4, 2008

NOTE: This information is from a previously printed press release, newsletter, or other dated document. It is presented here for archival purposes only.

NORTHBROOK, Ill., August 4, 2008 -- As part of the Chicago White Sox' Annual Police and Fire Night on Tuesday, Aug. 5 at U.S. Cellular Field, Underwriters Laboratories will honor the dedication and service of Chicago's finest and bravest while doing its part to raise fire safety awareness.

Prior to the game, Northbrook-based UL will promote fire safety to fans as they walk into the ballpark and help recognize two local heroes from the Chicago Police and Fire Departments. Officer Pamela Purdiman of the Chicago Police Department and Firefighter John O'Brien of Chicago Fire Department will be honored on field for heroic deeds in the call of duty. Each will get the opportunity to throw out a ceremonial first pitch and will receive a departmental award.

The evening is a way for the White Sox organization and UL to honor the police and fire departments, but also provides the opportunity to remind fans about the importance of fire prevention and the need for working smoke alarms. Since the beginning of the year, there have been 11 reported fire fatalities in Chicago. The majority of those fatalities occurred in homes that did not have working smoke alarms.

"As a global organization dedicated to public safety, Underwriters Laboratories is proud to partner with the Chicago White Sox and pay tribute to the brave men and women who protect our communities on a daily basis," said Chris Hasbrook, vice president and general manager of UL's Global Fire & Security Sector. "On behalf of the 1,600 UL employees throughout Chicagoland, we salute these local heroes and will continue to do our part in raising Chicago's collective awareness on ways to be more fire safe."

Firefighter O'Brien will be recognized for the Lambert Tree Award. The Lambert Tree Award is given to the firefighter exhibiting great courage and skill in the line of duty. He received the Lambert Award for the life-saving rescue of a missing child on Oct. 26, 2007. Notified that a child was trapped on the second floor of a burning building, O'Brien advanced through extremely dangerous conditions, searched through thick smoke and debris, and located the unconscious child. He carried the lifeless body down from deadly heat and gases and successfully rescued the child moments before the fire could have killed them both.

Officer Purdiman received the Superintendents Award of Valor for fearless actions during a foiled burglary attempt. In helping capture two thieves, she suffered a knife-wound and, though bleeding heavily, helped chase down and capture one of the offenders. The knife-wound she suffered nearly severed the bone in her left hand and has left her on temporary disability.

As the presenting sponsor of Police and Fire Night, UL will donate checks to two charities dedicated to honoring the lives of Chicago's fallen heroes and providing support and assistance to their families. $1,000 will be presented to the Golden Badge Society of the Chicago Fire Department on behalf of Firefighter O'Brien, while another $1,000 check will be presented to Chicago Police Department's Memorial Foundation on behalf of Office Purdiman.

UL will also give the first 20,000 fans at the stadium a Mark Buehrle wall hanging growth chart featuring UL fire safety tips. At the U.S. Cellular Field entrance gates, UL staff will welcome them with literature and a game show type atmosphere that offers something for fans of all ages.

Radio Disney will invite fans to take the UL Safety Smart Super Challenge - a series of games and activities that compliment UL's Safety Smart!® program. Safety Smart! is an ongoing public safety initiative by UL, with the assistance of various units of The Walt Disney Co., that cultivates safety awareness and provides opportunities for children to learn and practice safe behaviors.

For fans of high-tech and science, UL will also share its Mobile Safety Tour outside Cellular Field's gates. The UL Mobile Safety Tour is an interactive exhibit of high-tech demonstrations and challenges that engage and educate consumers on hidden household and outdoor dangers. This year, the UL Safety Tour will visit 63 Lowe's retailer locations across the country. To learn more about the UL Safety Tour and a list of future stops log on to

As an organization dedicated to public safety and fire safety research, UL has already confirmed the sponsorship of the Chicago White Sox' Annual Police and Fire Night through 2010.