Officials from both the national and local level are calling for new emergency preparedness training in the wake of the deadly shooting inside Fort Lauderdale / Hollywood International Airport earlier this year.
At a press conference scheduled for Thursday afternoon, airport security experts will be joined by U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, Broward County Vice Mayor Beam Furr, representatives from the worker’s union for airport employees to unveil the findings from a recent survey of airport employees in response to the January 6th shooting that killed five people and injured six others.
The report, conducted by the SEIU chapter that represents over 600 FLL workers, describes a lack of emergency prep training among employees among other issues. 33 percent of employees interviewed said they have received training, but 27 percent say they felt adequately prepared and that same number has participated in an emergency drill within the last two years.
“South Florida is one of the largest travel hubs in the country, with more than 29 million travelers passing through the Fort Lauderdale airport in 2016 alone,” said Hastings. “We have the opportunity to lead the country in putting proactive measures in place to increase security for passengers and the airport workers that serve them.”
Several proposals from the report included 40 hours of paid mandatory training for employees on evacuation procedures, dealing with potential terror threats and other emergencies – while also calling for screening and oversight of contractors who enforce training requirements in an effort to ensure higher quality jobs.
The union is also calling for a raise in the county’s Living Wage to help workers out of poverty and reduce employee turnover.