Jacob Molz en homeland security, Incident Management, Airports Chief Communications Officer • ISS 24/7 3/11/2016 · 3 min de lectura · +100

Prepare Your Airport for a Machete-Wielding Man

Prepare Your Airport for a Machete-Wielding Man

According to a recent CNN Wire article, “An interminable TSA airport line descended into a horror as a man unleashed streams of wasp spray onto scrambling travelers and swung a machete at people before bolting through a security line.”

The article continues, “Newly released video — obtained by the New Orleans Advocate — shows the first moments of the March 2015 attack at the city’s airport which ended with the shooting of the machete-wielding man. The attacker later died from three bullet wounds inflicted by a sheriff’s lieutenant.”

CNN’s article contains a video that shows how the incident unfolded.

The article states that “in the video, the man — identified as Richard White, 63 — is seen at the top of the frame as he calmly walks up to a line of travelers at a TSA checkpoint at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.”

How would your airport respond to this? How would you want this handled?

Could your airport mitigate this situation effectively?

Incident Management Solutions Help Mitigate the Impact

We’ve got a way for your operation to be ready for any incident – whether it’s a slip and fall or a man running through security lines with a machete.

You must deploy an incident management system (IMS).

You must do it to be proactive. Without one, your team struggles.

They react to incidents based on training they “remember.” You are left trying to figure things out as you go.

Think about it.

You probably don’t have a scenario in your training that unfolds like this (Well, now you do.):

“He pulls a can of wasp spray from a bag and unleashes streams onto travelers as people begin to disperse. The man is then seen pulling a machete from his waistband and swinging its blade at people standing in line.”

If this occurred at your airport – visitors would be scared and helpless!

As the professional charged with everyone’s safety, how does that make you feel?

You have a problem to confront head on:

  • Not being prepared or able to respond proactively to mild or severe incidents that occur at your airport.

We get it; it can be overwhelming when you don’t have a solution in place.

If a machete-wielding man rushed through your TSA line, the chances are you only have seconds to respond.

Your on-duty officers are eliminating the threat.

But, in this scenario, you would need to handle the aftermath too.

  • Injuries
  • Medical reports
  • Witnesses
  • Communicating with other departments

Until it happens, you never know what you’ll need to take care of when an event like this unfolds.

Be prepared for all best and worst case situations.

Proactive Airports Know How to Execute

Start with your incident management system.

Put one in place because when you do, you can maximize the impact of response.

An IMS lets you centralize your efforts across all departments.

The solution is a web-based operational tool for mitigating incidents more efficiently than ever.

From Administration to TSA, your departments can access the solution to enter information about an incident and to receive real-time, live updates of an incident’s status.

If a man just so happens to storm the TSA line with wasp spray and a machete, the chaotic nature of this scenario would not leave your team paused in their tracks.

Rather than confusion and a multitude of questions, your team is in action.

On-scene personnel can report the severity to your command center. They are in instant communication with all departments, staff, and visitors.

Protocols to Handle Make for Faster Response to Incidents

Do you have protocols to handle at your airport? A man rushing the TSA line requires quick action and quick response from your team. 

  • Is your team confident when responding to major incidents? How would they mitigate conflicts?
  • Does everyone know who needs to be notified in the event of a security threat?
  • What communication channels would each department use to communicate during an attack? Does TSA communicate through radio? How do specific personnel communicate amongst their chain of command?
  • Would your team recall their training on how to handle an incident of this complexity and severity?

The questions above are only a few of the many possibilities to prepare.

You need to limit your operation’s reactiveness if something similar were to occur.

Put an incident management system in place to ensure Proactive Operations is standard at your airport.

If an attack occurs, many processes need to be executed.

There are many protocols to follow. Do you agree?

Most teams have never responded to or handled an attack such as the one we’re discussing in this article.

This scenario is new.

It’s a cause for attention because who knows how many days, months or years will go by from the last day of training before a particular type of incident occurs.

It’s also easy to forget vital aspects of training you do not use every day. Your team will need assistance responding. 

Put your protocols to handle into your incident management software.

When an incident occurs, the proper protocols automatically populate for your team on how to effectively respond – from a slip and fall to a machete wielding man.

All necessary processes can be communicated to the rest of your team in seconds.

Now, couple your system with incident management mobile apps to streamline communication for every responding department.

Mobile Communication Prevents Operational Breakdowns

When a serious incident occurs, it can be difficult to use your phone to communicate.

Everyone is trying to contact their family or call 911.

Can you imagine the radio traffic as well? Your operation cannot support this.

You must be proactive.

Deploying mobile apps for all your departments and personnel elevates your communication capabilities.

Now, you are not only able to automate your protocols to handle using your IMS but can also create excellent internal communication.

Telecommunication channels are no longer a factor or hindrance.

You can use your airports Wi-Fi or data infrastructure to support your private network of incident communication.

Let’s go back to radio traffic for a moment.

Imagine that a complex and severe incident, such as a machete-wielding man storming your TSA line, occurs at your airport.

How do you communicate during this time?

You might only have radios, and communication is fragmented.

Two-Way Communication Streamlines Information Flow

You must have all solutions in place to ensure Proactive Operations has been employed to the best of your abilities – all solutions.

Proactive operations use mobile communication to eliminate the bottlenecks and inconsistencies associated with standard communication methods.

When an incident occurs, protocols to handle are sent to the device.

If someone discovers something vital to evidence while executing these rules, they can quickly capture a picture and video to upload instantly to the IMS.

Your staff is in real-time communication, which allows them to mitigate the incident while carrying out two-way communication with one another.

Your command center and supervisors also use the communication devices to track and direct staff to specific areas.

Send out proper instructions to one or all devices without the worry of lost information.

Now, can you imagine your ability to respond?

You’ve employed Proactive Operations.

Over to You

Use your incident management system and incident management mobile apps to mitigate incidents that occur at your airport.

Everyone’s well-being depends on your operation’s ability to reduce and handle the after effects of any incident, mild or severe.

So, is your airport prepared for a machete-wielding man?