Luggage Drive Helps Local Agencies and Airport Training Needs
and Fire Fighting Unit in front one of their trucks with some of
the donated luggage
A unique initiative involving several government agencies benefits the environment, saves taxpayer dollars, and brings together employees to support a local community effort. In this case, government employees in Albany, N.Y. worked together to help out their local airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Department.
Transportation Security Administration Albany Airport Administrative Officer Ray Stevens and Property Manager Colleen Carey of GSA’s Albany Field Office had already worked together to help TSA get new chairs for their training rooms. So, when the Albany County Airport Authority received a donated Boeing 727-200F cargo jet, Stevens turned to Carey to see if GSA could help meet a slightly more unusual request.
The Airport Authority will use the donated plane to support training needs of the Albany International Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Unit and other emergency workers in the regional area for practicing rescue techniques. The cargo jet will also be used for TSA’s local K9 and Cargo teams as well as other regional, state and federal law enforcement agencies training needs. The one thing missing was luggage to use during a simulated aircraft emergency.
Carey was glad to help, and at one of GSA’s monthly tenant meetings she reached out to the local federal community. Guessing that many folks probably had old, unneeded luggage tucked away in basements, attics, and closets, she asked the agencies to let their employees know that the airport Fire Department could use it. As a result, the local federal employees are now bringing in their old luggage to GSA where it is picked up by the airport Fire Department.
Donated luggage that would have ended up in the local landfill is now being repurposed by the Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Department and supports the department’s training mission. The combined volunteer efforts of GSA, TSA and many other federal employees who live and work in and around Albany helped enhance the safety and security at the Albany International Airport.