LAWA's Emergency Management Division and the Customer Service Division, have partnered to launch the Airport Response Team (ART), a new program that will utilize LAWA employees to assist distressed passengers during incidents and emergencies with an emphasis on face-to-face passenger care, response and communication.
The team will start with LAWA employees and might ultimately expand to include LAX tenants, service providers, and business and community members.
The Team and Deployment
ART will consist of teams of LAWA employees who would be deployed whenever there’s an incident or emergency that requires supplemental assistance to passengers and operations. These employees would be from the general LAWA population, not employees who are regularly involved in emergency response such as Airport Police, Operations or Emergency Management. The types of incidents and emergencies may range from longer-term water and power disruptions to terminal evacuations to earthquakes.
The ART may be deployed whenever there’s an incident, which could be on any day at any time (24/7, 365 days a year). Members may serve up to a 12-hour shift per day during any incident or emergency situation. Team members, who would be assigned to an airport zone or an off-airport location, would be called in only when Airport Police and Operations have deemed the reporting area safe.
As soon as an incident occurs, a designated team leader will contact team members. Team members can also call a designated phone number to obtain instructions, including a location to report to for further details.
With an emphasis on customer care, response and communication, ART members serve as facilitators, problem-solvers and liaisons between the scene(s) of the incident(s) and the Department Operations Center, LAWA’s response center during emergencies. Responsibilities may include:
- Identifying those with disabilities and special needs and obtaining/ providing assistance
- Assessing and identifying logistical and operational needs
- Assisting with crowd control by putting up barricades or yellow tape
- Assisting with repopulation of terminals after evacuation
- Sharing information and updates with passengers through announcements
- Answering questions and providing translations (for ART members that speak a second language
- Passing out water, snacks, blankets, formula, diapers, etc.
- Assisting in the Department Operations Center with clerical and other duties
- Answering customer calls on the Infoline (LAWA’s public phone and email system)
Team members will be equipped with visible vests and baseball caps, cell phones and chargers, batteries, bull horns, handouts and backpacks equipped with whistles, flashlights, first aid basics and pens/notepads.
Training may include recurring classroom sessions, online training and terminal familiarization tours. In addition, the ART would be included in airport drills and exercises conducted by LAWA’s Emergency Management Division. Following incidents or emergencies, a debrief will be held with the ART with follow-up training conducted periodically after the incident.
All employees on the ART will be paid, including time for training. All Fair Labor Standards Act overtime rules will apply. Team members should check their respective MOUs for call-back and overtime eligibility details. Participants must properly track and record their time during an emergency event. Employees would also be covered under LAWA’s workers compensation program.
Questions & Answers
Here's some answers to commonly-asked questions:
Q: Will the ART shifts really be 12 hours long?
A: No, the length of the shift depends on the duration and magnitude of the incident. Some incidents might only require four hours of your time. Other incidents might require more time. If you are called in to assist, but you cannot commit to 12 hours, you can let us know how many hours you can work.
Q: I have kids and it’s not easy for me to get away on a moment’s notice. Should I sign up for the ART?
A: Yes! Signing up for the ART means you are committing yourself to assist when you are available. In the best case scenario, all ART members of the teams deployed would come in. However, we realize that is not always practical. If you are on vacation or have other commitments, you would report that you are unavailable.
Q: I would be willing to assist during work hours, but not during off hours. Should I sign up?
A: Yes! As in the case above, if you cannot report to assist if an incident occurs during off hours, you can report that you are unavailable.
Q: How frequently do you anticipate the ART to be deployed?
A: About once a year. Based on the last four years, there has been an incident about once a year in which we would’ve deployed an ART if it has existed at the time.
Q: I don’t think I’m qualified to assist. Will I be doing functions that I’m not qualified to do?
A: No, there are already trained personnel who normally respond to emergencies. Those employees will continue to respond as part of their regularly scheduled duties. The ART would be brought in to supplement those efforts with duties that are of a general nature.
Q: I can’t make the training on December 11. Is that a deal breaker?
A: No, you should still sign up if you can’t make the December 11th training. Make-up sessions will be held. ART recruitment will be an ongoing effort and recurring training sessions will be held for each new group of ART members.
Q: What am I waiting for?
A: We don’t know – SIGN UP NOW! For an application form and more info, please visit http://insidelawa/ART.
Any further questions, please contact [email protected] or (424) 646-5105.