DFW Dedicates New Public Safety Station To First Responders Of New York City
Two Years After Attacks, Airport's Security Is Recognized Among Nation's Best
DFW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Texas (September 11, 2003) — Marked by a large red, white and blue wreath and commemorated by a ceremonial "last bell," bagpiper and a CareFlight helicopter flyover, DFW Airport officially opened its newest Department of Public Safety (DPS) station today, dedicating it to the men and women of the New York City Police Department, Fire Department, EMS and New York/New Jersey Port Authority who gave their lives during the terrorist attacks two years ago.
The Airport community of airlines, tenants and employees attended, waving American flags and joining in the singing of "God Bless the U.S.A." as DFW's leaders spoke about the sacrifices of the past and the opportunities of the future.
The City of New York sent representatives from each of the departments that responded to the terrorist attacks, including Police Captain Kevin Devlin of the New York/New Jersey Port Authority; Captain Jack O'Loughlin, FDNY EMS, of Harlem; Danny Brandenberger, FDNY firefighter, Ladder 120, Haz Mat Battalion; and New York Police Officer Robert Browne, Midtown North Precinct.
"We appreciate our honored guests from New York who are here today both to share in the memory of their brothers and sisters, and to celebrate the opening of this new station," said Jeff Fegan, CEO of DFW. "This facility was purpose-built to serve a single, critical mission - to save lives."
Station Five's cornerstone plaque commemorating the fallen heroes of New York was unveiled during an emotional ceremony, and the four New York representatives placed a wreath by it to remember their colleagues who perished. The memorial plaque reads, "In memory of the firefighters, police officers and emergency medical personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice on September 11, 2001. May this station serve as a reminder of the courage and integrity displayed by the men and women of our profession that tragic day in history. The angels shall watch over them today and forever."
Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City sent DFW a letter expressing the city's appreciation for the recognition, noting, "The best way to honor those who gave their lives on September 11 is to continue to show in our daily lives the strong and compassionate spirit of a great city in a free nation."
"There is no doubt the memory of September 11, 2001 is indeed sorrowful and painful," said Alan Black, Fire Chief at DFW. "Many of us at DFW knew someone in public safety who gave their lives that day. But today is also about the future of our Airport, the freedom of travel and flight that those who died that day were dedicated to protect."
The 23,000-square-foot facility will be the most advanced of any airport facility in the U.S. and will significantly improve response time to DFW's four terminals. Located less than a mile from the central terminal area, the new station will enable police, fire or rescue personnel to reach passenger facilities in four minutes or less - cutting critical response time by more than one minute. DFW responds to more than 5,000 emergency and medical calls to its terminals every year.
"DFW has worked very hard since September 11 to make our Airport as safe, secure and friendly as possible," says Alvy Dodson, vice president of public safety at DFW. "The results speak for themselves. Our security is high, and our checkpoint lines are short - and we remain ever vigilant, ever watchful, every day, in service to our tenants, our employees and our passengers."
Since the September 11 attacks, government and aviation leaders have cited DFW as a national leader in security, aggressively creating a number of security enhancements beyond federal mandates. The Airport has spent more than $4 million for key additions to DFW security including:
Enhancing perimeter fencing Implementing ID and documentation validation systems Requiring all employees and flight crews to submit to screening when entering secure gate areas Adding three additional explosive detection K9 teams Placing a state-of-the art Mobile Command Post vehicle into service Implementing a full Weapons of Mass Destruction/Decontamination Program Installing an encrypted, secure communications system
A number of other security-related projects are in process to further enhance access and perimeter security. Some are obvious to passengers, and others are behind the scenes. DFW Airport has also met all of the mandates of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and led the development of more integrated communication and coordination between departments, airlines, tenants and other law enforcement agencies.
While at DFW, New York’s designated representatives will take part in other official activities, including the Texas Rangers’ annual Police Officers and Firefighters Appreciation Night. The event, scheduled to take place on Friday, September 12 at The Ballpark in Arlington, will kick off with a pre-game ceremony featuring police and firefighters from local municipalities. The New York dignitaries will be recognized at the ceremony, which will be marked by the City of Arlington Police Department’s color guard, a trio of firefighters singing the anthem, and participation in first pitch events.
About Station #5: Wright Commercial Contracting Inc. of Plano, Texas was awarded $5.28 million to build the structure. The 23,000 square foot building will house 15 firefighter/paramedics responsible for providing fire and EMS services to the Airport, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The facility is outfitted with a fire truck, a rescue unit, three mobile intensive care units and a mobile command post. The location of the new facility was determined based on call load to the central terminal area.
Editor's Notes: This release, and past news releases issued by DFW International Airport, are available online at www.dfwairport.com in the "MediaSite" section.
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