January 10, 2013

A Day in the Life: Care and Emergency Response

A Day in the Life, where we take you behind the scenes at JetBlue to learn more about the important jobs that work in concert together to run a major airline. This time, we visit with Penny on our Care and Emergency Response team who has one of the most forward-thinking jobs at our airline.

The Care and Emergency Response Team: (from left to right) Athena, Christina, Kristal, Puneet, Matt and Penny

The Care and Emergency Response team falls under our Operations team, positioning it as one of the vital wings at JetBlue. The team is responsible for preparing JetBlue to effectively, compassionately and responsibly handle major crisis at the airline. Headed by Penny, who has been with JetBlue since 1999 (before we had a name or aircraft to fly), along with her five team members, Christina, Kristal, Puneet, Matt, and Athena, has built a nimble and caring team that manages thousands of crewmember volunteers to effectively plan for and mobilize around challenging times.

The team is responsible for setting up our Emergency Command Center (EEC) at our Long Island City support center, a space with 27 assigned positions that activate in times of need. The team is also in charge of planning for the 100 assigned members of the Go Team to provide incident management support on-site in the event of an aircraft incident; and the Family Support Team (FST) composed of more than 200 volunteer crewmembers based in our Salt Lake City support center trained to provide assistance to family members via phone. Every city throughout our network also has at least one trained crewmember who serves as emergency response liaison who works on their preparedness plan locally.

The Ready Team activates during natural disasters to assist with the Red Cross’ efforts

Penny’s team also ensures that all plans and procedures are updated and tested. Her team organizes a full-scale emergency drill every other year and annual tabletop drills to keep everyone fresh on protocol surrounding an emergency or major incident.

We’ve extended the purview of the Care Team to include helping one another in times of need that extend beyond our own operations. We have more than 1,200 trained Care Team members throughout our 75 city network who may be called upon at any time to travel to an area to assist where help is needed during natural disasters or other unfortunate events. In addition, we have a Ready Team made up of over 500 specially trained volunteers who activate to work with the Red Cross during natural disasters, whether or not they occur in communities that we serve. Learn more about the Ready Team and where they’ve traveled to assist others in need.

Unloading supplies to help those impacted by Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy is the most recent example of our Ready and Care team activation. Penny and the Care team knew that although we had many crewmember volunteers in the New York area that many may have been impacted by the hurricane and so the team called in 40 Care volunteers from our Florida stations to assist. In addition to the partnerships we formed to assist our customers and impacted communities following the hurricane, we also set up a team to assist affected crewmembers.

The Care and Emergency Response Team’s job is to prepare for major crisis and make sure that we have the people, plans and supplies in place to activate quickly and effectively. “We like to think of ourselves as a team who needs to balance our heads and hearts,” Penny relays. “Caring is part of our DNA, it’s who we are, and it’s so rewarding to know that we’re helping to build a stronger company.”

Read Penny’s 2011 Op-Ed in the New York Times about her role at JetBlue

Check out the previous editions of A Day In The Life and meet:

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