The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor (LA Fed) and the American Red Cross (ARC) have formed a partnership supported by the Emergency Management Department for the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management. The partnership’s goal is to train 100 union members in emergency response by the end of 2018. It will also identify critical skills (heavy equipment operation, logistics, etc.) and resources that can be strategically deployed following a major disaster.
The partnership will take advantage of the various skills the well-organized Labor community has to offer.
“Our building trades members can operate heavy equipment that can clear rubble. Our Hollywood unions can set up a city in a day,” said Rusty Hicks, President of the Los Angeles Federation of Labor. “Building a resilient community requires each of us to get organized to help out in order to get each other back on our feet. And no one is organized to spring into action like the Los Angeles labor movement.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the collaboration will help the rebuilding process after an earthquake, fire or any other disaster. After a natural disaster it could take the Federal Emergency Agency more than three days to mobilize, leaving people without aid. The partnership between Labor and the Red Cross can help fill in the gaps until the government can step in or allow the government to handle more critical situations, thus saving lives.