LA airport creates emergency response team

AP Photo/Ringo H.W. ChiuPolice

AP Photo/Ringo H.W. ChiuPolice

Officials at Los Angeles International Airport are seeking volunteers among its full-time workforce to staff a response team designed to assist travelers during emergency operations.

The creation of the Airport Response Team — or ART — follows criticism that passengers were not kept informed after the deadly Terminal 3 shooting rampage earlier this month, the Daily Breeze reported Tuesday (http://bit.ly/1bTZ0Ao ).

The team would be activated during emergencies and tasked with communicating with passengers and airport visitors. It would start with about 100 members but could grow to 300, according to Barbara Yamamoto, the airport's customer service director.

“We want them to focus on comfort, care and communication,” she told the newspaper. “We have employees who want to help.”

In the hours after the Nov. 1 shooting that killed Transportation Security Administration officer Gerardo Hernandez, many travelers waited for hours on roads in and around the airport, without knowing when they would let back into terminals. Streets near the airport were closed, so travelers who wanted to leave were forced to walk long distances.

On Nov. 5 City Councilman Mike Bonin introduced a measure asking airport officials to report back within 45 days about how they could improve crisis communication.

“One of the things that jumped out at me was the idea that a wide range of airport employees were not deployed to help share information with passengers,” he said.

ART members will be mobilized to pass out water, snacks, diapers, formula and blankets. They'll also take customer calls on a special phone information line and assist with crowd control. Many will be expected to speak languages other than English.

The response team will consist of airport employees who usually have no duties during emergencies. Response team members could be called on to work at any time, and they'll be asked to work shifts as long as 12 hours. They would be paid wages, including overtime.

Team members will receive special vests, caps, whistles and flashlights, among other equipment.

Training will begin Dec. 11.

Airport Response TeamCaliforniaCalifornia NewsLAXLos Angeles International Airport

Just Posted

A large crack winds its way up a sidewalk along China Basin Street in Mission Bay on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
San Francisco’s sinking sidewalks: Is climate change to blame?

‘In the last couple months, it’s been a noticeable change’

For years, Facebook employees have identified serious harms and proposed potential fixes. CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg have rejected the remedies, causing whisteblowers to multiple. (Eric Thayer/The New York Times)
Facebook’s problems at the top: Social media giant is not listening to whistleblowers

Whistleblowers multiply, but Zuckerberg and Sandberg don’t heed their warnings

Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo led a late-game comeback against the Packers, but San Francisco lost, 30-28, on a late field goal. (Courtesy of San Francisco 49ers)
The Packers beat the Niners in a heartbreaker: Don’t panic

San Francisco is no better and no worse than you thought they were.

A new ruling will thwart the growth of solar installation companies like Luminalt, which was founded in an Outer Sunset garage and is majority woman owned. (Philip Cheung, New York Times)
A threat to California’s solar future and diverse employment pathways

A new ruling creates barriers to entering the clean energy workforce

Federal officials have endorsed booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for many fully inoculated Americans. (Kevin Mohatt/New York Times)
When Californians will get COVID-19 boosters

Eligibility currently limited to those inoculated with Pfizer vaccine

Most Read