Underwriters Laboratories to Host Global Leadership Conference on Fire and Life Safety

Saturday, September 20, 2008 General News
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NORTHBROOK, Ill., Sept. 19 In a unique six-day conference,fire service leaders from around the world will gather in Chicago andWashington D.C. to share best practices, sharpen their management andleadership skills and discuss life safety issues facing the fire industrytoday. The Global Fire Service Leadership Conference, presented byUnderwriters Laboratories (UL), a product safety testing organization, will bethe first of its kind. The event will start in Chicago on Sept. 21 - 24, andcontinue in Washington D.C. until Sept. 26. The conference will attractleading fire experts and industry leaders from more than 19 countries.

"The reality is that regardless of where you live, accidental death andproperty loss from fires or natural disasters are global concerns; materialsand products found in our homes or buildings burn in the same manner inChicago, Beijing, New York, Delhi, Buenos Aires, and every city in between,"said Chris Hasbrook, vice president and general manager of UL's Global FireSector. "The challenges faced by fire fighters around the world often sharemore commonality than we realize. The wealth of knowledge these leadersexchange may eventually keep us all safer from fire and disaster."

Developed and fully sponsored by UL, the conference provides fire serviceleaders from some of the largest jurisdictions in the world the opportunity toshare best practices and return home with a global perspective on the issuesthat most commonly wreak havoc and endanger lives in fire, disaster andemergency situations.

The week-long schedule will include both classroom sessions and hands-ontraining. Scheduled events include:

-- Participation in incident management exercises with the Chicago FireDepartment, Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Washington D.C. FireDepartment

-- Presentations on the latest groundbreaking research projects fromNational Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and UL

-- Panel discussions on life safety issues led by the InternationalAssociation of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and National Fire Protection Association(NFPA)

Global fire service leaders confirmed to attend represent Argentina(Argentina), Brazil (San Paulo), Canada (Ottawa), China (Hong Kong), France(Paris), Germany (Frankfurt), India (Delhi, Mumbai), Indonesia (Jakarta),Italy (Rome), Japan (Tokyo), South Korea (Seoul), Mexico (Mexico City),Nigeria (Lagos), Qatar (Doha), Singapore, South Africa (Johannesburg), UnitedArab Emirates (Dubai), United States (Phoenix, San Francisco, District ofColumbia, Chicago, Chelmsford, New York City, Columbus, Janesville, and NewOrleans) and Viet Nam (Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City).

"The International Association of Fire Chiefs strongly supports thisconference because it offers a unique opportunity to share best practices fromaround the world," said IAFC Executive Director Mark W. Light, CAE. "We arepleased that many of the IAFC leaders will participate, and we anticipate newsynergies on a global level as a result of their work with their internationalcounterparts at this conference."

One specific Chicago event features fire chiefs from Mexico, Hong Kong,India, Nigeria and South Africa visiting Chicago Public School students atfive elementary schools in ethnically diverse neighborhoods on Wednesday,Sept. 24. During the visits, fire chiefs will discuss fire safety awarenessin their native languages with Chicago residents from their native countries.The schools the fire service leaders will visit include Perez Elementary,Haines Elementary, Volta Elementary, Canter Middle School, and LincolnElementary.

Underwriters Laboratories is an independent product safety certificationorganization that has been testing products and writing Standards for Safetyfor over a century. UL evaluates more than 19,000 types of products,components, materials and systems annually with 21 billion U

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