Report Reveals Needed Improvement to LAX Emergency Systems
(LOS ANGELES) — Four and a half months after a gunman opened fire at Los Angeles International Airport, city leaders in L.A. have revealed the findings of a third party report reviewing lessons learned from that day. The report shows LAX wasn’t prepared for a crisis and response was hindered by poor coordination and communication.
According to the report, airport police had upgraded their high-tech radio system, but couldn’t communicate with other agencies responding to the shooting. Furthermore, command post officers weren’t communicating with the airport’s emergency operations. Bottom line: big improvements are needed at LAX.
“Incidents can come on runways, they can come at checkpoints, they can come at curbside, they can come in many different places. I want to make sure that we have the best layered approach that gives us the greatest chance for the most incidents to respond as quickly as possible,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Since the shooting that killed a TSA officer and injured three others, new PA systems are being set up to inform the public at the airport, and medics are training with police to move in to crisis situations sooner. The day of the shooting, paramedics were not allowed to move in to help victims until the scene was secure, something Mayor Garcetti said was unacceptable. According to the report, the TSA officer killed in the attack was not taken to an ambulance for more than 30 minutes because medics that day were unable to enter Terminal 3 without police permission.
He added that all LAX telephones and panic alarms in the terminals will transmit location information.
“We need the state to upgrade the 911 system so that the nearest law enforcement agency is contacted, so if you call 911 from the airport, you would be directly connected to airport police,” said Mayor Garcetti.
“I think they did a pretty heroic job. We had a pretty good system, but pretty good isn’t good enough for me,” he said.
The alleged shooter that day, Paul Ciancia, has pleaded not guilty in the case.
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