Thursday, July 20, 2006

NYC Transit workers ready for an emergency?

(New York- WABC, July 14, 2006) - There's a troubling question tonight about security on the New York subway system: How prepared are the crews on the trains to evacuate passengers in an emergency?
Sometimes, it's not very well. That's the finding from an Eyewitness News investigation.
In a fire or explosion in the subway, conductors and train operators will be the first to help straphangers. The train crews' decisions will likely make the difference between life and death.
Yet some workers and security experts we've spoken to say their training falls far short in preparing them for such an awesome responsibility.

"MTA-NYC transit personnel are especially trained in emergency procedures."
An instructional video on the MTA's web site boasts that its subway operators and conductors are fully trained to carry out evacuations.
Talk to those who work the trains though, and some are less than confident.
Train Operator: "We really need to get more training. Eyewitness News, Jim Hoffer: "Not trained adequately?" Train Operator: "(shakes his head) No definitely not."
The MTA says all train operators and conductors have taken a comprehensive one day evacuation course, with refresher training every three years.