LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Hundreds of airport service workers will receive training for emergency situations at Los Angeles International Airport, officials said Wednesday.
Service workers perform a wide range of assignments for travelers, including wheelchair and baggage handling, interior aircraft cleaning, airline security, aircraft fueling, cargo and dangerous goods handling, aeronautical maintenance, and custodial services.
“It takes the entire airport community to respond effectively to a serious airport emergency,” said Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners President Sean Burton. “LAX staff have made significant changes to ensure airport safety through improved response coordination, increased emergency management staff resources, new equipment, extensive training, and establishing mutual-aid agreements with outside organizations, such as the American Red Cross. Training airport service workers to assist passengers during critical times complements the overall emergency-response effort.”
Service Employees International Union-United Service Workers West (SEIU-USWW) will provide training to workers in Terminal 4 in the next few weeks.
“In times of crisis, airport workers are on the front lines,” said David Huerta, president of SEIU-USWW. “Training will help make our members more effective in this critical role, which is why we are pleased to partner with the airport authority and employers to develop this program.”
The pilot program will be evaluated, refined and tailored to address the unique characteristics of each terminal at LAX.
“The airlines and other tenants at LAX contract thousands of workers to provide passenger and aircraft services,” said Los Angeles World Airports CEO Deborah Flint. “They are valued members of the LAX community. Training these workers provides them with skills to keep themselves safe during an airport emergency, to directly assist passengers, and to contribute to the overall emergency response and recovery.”
Training will be consistent throughout the airport, focusing on emergency observation skills, stakeholder communications, evacuation procedures, notification protocols, basic understanding of the Incident Command System, and identifying emergency responders of partner agencies.
LAX is the seventh busiest airport in the world and the third in the U.S., according to airport officials.