Transportation disaster Family Assistance Workshop

Transportation disaster Family Assistance Workshop
Leaders at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) presentation to JFK and LaGuardia Airports stakeholders include Kim Frierson, NTSB Coordinator; Ajan Dhawan, KLM Station Manager and KAAMCO past President; April Gasparri, Operations Manager JFK Airport; Max Green, Emergency Operations Coordinator NTSB; Jay Brandt, Dep. Director, Human Services Unit NYC Emergency Management; Chris Rhodes, Airport Operations, LaGuardia Airport.
Photo by Jeff Yapalater

The Kaamco organization has been proactive in bringing important agencies to their meetings. Last year the National Transportation Safety Board made a presentation on their overall duties which was well received by the members. As a follow-up to this presentation, the NTSB held a one day Aviation Disaster Preparedness Family Assistance Operations Workshop at the Hilton at JFK Airport, Sponsored by Kaamco, the JFK and laGuardia Airport Port Authority, the NYC Emergency management Office and the NTSB. This was open to all interested personnel involved with operations, security, airlines, and aviation companies holding a position of responsibility at the airports.

This workshop was of great importance because of the huge volume of flights our area airports handle and the need for family assistance contingencies in case of a serious accident. In the past twelve months, JFK and LGA serviced about 800,000 aircraft movements with about 90 million passengers. According to Ajay Dhawan, past president of Kaamco, “ As airline managers, we can never afford to take airline safety for granted and must continually work together as a community to keep the safety of our passengers as our very top priority. This NTSB workshop will help us to sharpen out skills and maintain our ready state of preparedness”.

This was a full day covering the NTSB mission overview, and in depth information on the Airport Family Assistance Preparations which deals primarily with the after action of working with the families of those who are killed in an airport accident. These support services are found at the Family Assistance Centers (FAC) and Joint Family Support Operations Center (JFSOC) facilities at airports around the country. Topics in the pworkshop included, NYSB overview, Federal legislation and Family Assistnce plans and guidance, Airport Family Assistance operations, Medicolegal operations, Victim accounting, NYC emergency management, family assistance centers, and victim accident case studies.

Most of the attendees left with comments as “great workshop”, “glad I attended”, “fantastic”. “grave subject but need to know how to assist”.

Dhawan thanked Max Green and Kimberly Frierson of the NTSB and all the other airport terminal managers, Port people, TFAC, Kaamco and Jay Brandt of the NYC OEM for their contributions and expertise for this workshop.

If you wish to read more goto: www.ntsb.gov/tda or email assistance@ntsb.gov, or call (202) 314–6185.

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