Employees Deride MTA’s Emergency Efforts

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New York City Transit is not providing its conductors and operators with the required training courses to deal with emergency evacuations, transit employees charged yesterday at a City Council hearing. The accusations led chairman of the Transportation Committee, Council Member John Liu, to criticize the MTA for not doing its job.

“It’s a big problem that the MTA has not fulfilled its own requirements for training their workers in emergency and evacuations procedures,” Mr. Liu said.

New York City Transit procedures require train operators and conductors to receive refresher evacuation training courses every three years, a spokesman for New York City Transit, Charles Seaton, said. However, the vice chairman for train operators, D.J. Small, told the committee that he has received only three refresher courses since he joined the Transit Authority in 1988, and only one in the past five years.

“Each time the content of the course was the same as the eight-hour training on fire and evacuation safety that I attended in 1988,” Mr. Small said. “The training we receive today is no different than that before 9/11.”

Throughout the oversight hearing,

Mr. Liu also stated that the MTA had received federal funds for emergency response training. But an MTA spokesman, Tim O’Brien, said training for front-line personnel is funded exclusively by MTA resources.

In response, Mr. Liu said, “The point is that we have questions and we asked the MTA to come answer them.” The MTA turned down an invitation to attend the hearing. The MTA agreed to provide Mr. Liu with a written response, which he had not yet received by the end of the day.

The New York Sun

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