Verizon Employee Awarded Prestigious Vail Medal for Heroism

NEW YORK - Two people were very lucky that Dale Blackman stopped to
help when he saw their burning car. He saved their lives. Now, his proud employer
plans to honor Blackman for his courage.

On Monday (7/31), Verizon Communications is presenting Blackman with the Theodore N. Vail Medal for Public Service, the highest honor the company gives to an employee for heroism. Verizon is the national telecommunications company formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE.

Blackman, who plans data networks for small business customers of Verizon, will receive the Bronze Vail Medal at an 11:30 a.m. luncheon at the company's headquarters, 1095 Avenue of the Americas, New York City. Media are invited to attend.

The award, named after the founder of the Bell System, honors telephone industry employees for acts of heroism and exceptional public service.

"I am proud to work with someone as courageous as Dale. Too often we hear
about passersby who fail to stop, but Dale's selfless and quick response in
an emergency kept the situation from becoming a tragedy," said Paul Lacouture,
Verizon, president-Wholesale Network Services.

On Dec. 4, 1999, Blackman was driving with friends north on Interstate 95, near White Plains, N.Y., when he saw a car that had flipped over and was on fire. After calling 911 to report the accident, Blackman attempted to get the driver out of the car window. The driver then regained consciousness and climbed out on his own.

Blackman then went to the passenger side and, with the help of a friend, pulled an unconscious woman from the car, carried her away from the burning car and covered her with his coat. In a matter of seconds, the car was engulfed in flames.

Blackman will receive a Bronze Vail Medal, which bears a portrait of Theodore N. Vail, a Vail tie tack and a framed citation at the ceremony.

The Vail Medal recognizes personal courage, judgment and resourcefulness in the act of saving a life, or attempting to save a life.

This week, Verizon also will award a Bronze Vail Medal to two technicians who disarmed an assailant who attempted to kidnap them and held him for police. Philip Reilly of Brookfield, Conn., and Ian Montimurro of West Redding, Conn., will be honored Friday, (7/31) at 225 Marbledale Rd., Tuckahoe, N.Y.


Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ), formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 95 million access lines and 25 million wireless customers. A Fortune 10 company with more than 260,000 employees and approximately $60 billion in 1999 revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.



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