N.Y. calls for Broadway preparedness plans

A recent report by the New York State Assembly's subcommittee on workplace safety has called for the New York City Fire Department to work closely with Broadway to develop preparedness and training standards for emergencies, including bioattacks.

Security questions were raised on May after the attempted car bombing of Times Square, the New York Times reports. Theater employees, the report says, did not know "“what to do in case of an emergency as well as the unique problems that a theater workplace poses in the event of a fire or evacuation."

“Taking the May 1, 2010, car bomb as an example, theater employees expressed how unprepared they were in dealing with the situation," the report says, according to the New York Times. "They were given misinformation, and they were directed to exit through portals they did not even know existed, indicating their lack of knowledge of the building they work in and exit routes. In the event of another attack, the same issues would arise.”

Roundtable discussions on emergency preparedness in the theater district were then held on Dec. 6 by the workplace subcommittee as well as the assembly committees on Labor, Governmental Operations, and Cities.

Recommendations from the roundtables, the New York Times reports, include new codes and standards by the fire department to cover both fires and non-fire emergencies, including biological, chemical and nuclear attacks.

Additionally, more employee training was called for, as well as biannual emergency preparedness training for theater employees.