Williamsport-Area Verizon Employee Receives Prestigious Verizon Heroes Award

Verizon has recognized Michael Tewell, a splicing technician in Williamsport, with the company's prestigious Verizon Heroes Award.  Tewell was honored at a ceremony Tuesday (Aug. 17) for his quick-thinking actions to extinguish a fire that threatened to seriously damage a company work center and endanger the safety of his co-workers. 

"Employees like Michael make us all proud," said Tim Smith, Verizon vice president of operations for Pennsylvania/Delaware, who presented the award.  "Michael's heroic efforts exemplify his selfless commitment to others, as well as to his company.  He is well-deserving of this honor."

On March 12, Tewell, a Jersey Shore resident, was at his work location on East Second Street in Williamsport, with a number of other employees.  When he went into his supervisor's unoccupied office he smelled smoke and immediately notified everyone in the building to leave.  He also instructed his co-workers to move the nearly 20 company vehicles housed at the location.  Then he contacted 911 to summon the fire department.

As Tewell waited for firemen to arrive, he reentered the office and saw an electric wall heating unit on fire and flames shooting up the wall.  He used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire and then disconnected the unit to prevent it from burning further.

"If it weren't for Michael's quick thinking and concern for his fellow employees, this situation could have been much worse," said Smith.  "Not only did he risk his own life to prevent others from being harmed, he also saved the work center and company vehicles from potentially severe damage."

The Verizon Heroes Award is one of the highest awards for heroism granted by Verizon.  It honors employees who demonstrate extraordinary courage, skill, judgment and resourcefulness in acts of heroism and unusual merit in service to the public.  All employees and retirees are eligible for the award, as are nonemployees who perform heroic deeds or services directly related to the communications network owned and operated by Verizon.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 92 million customers nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon last year generated consolidated revenues of more than $107 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.