Ebola screeners wanted — for $22/h

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 19 Oktober 2014 | 23.08

The UN's World Food Programme distributes food to residents of Sierra Leone, hit by the outbreak of Ebola. Yiming Woo reports.

Screening ... a Coast Guard health technician screens a passenger (right) who arrived from Sierra Leone at Chicago's O'Hare airport. Picture: AP/US Customs and Border Protection Source: AP

THEY'RE looking for the few, the proud — and the really desperate.

For a measly $US19 ($21.70) an hour, a government contractor is offering applicants the opportunity to get up close and personal with potential Ebola patients at JFK Airport in New York — including taking their temperatures.

Angel Staffing Inc. is hiring brave souls with basic EMT or paramedic training to assist Customs and Border Protection officers and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in identifying possible victims at Terminal 4, where amped-up Ebola screening started on Saturday.

EMTs will earn just $US19 an hour, while paramedics will pocket $US29. Everyone must be registered with the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians in the US.

The medical staffing agency is also selecting screeners to work at Washington Dulles, Newark Liberty, Chicago O'Hare and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta international airports.

"Wow, that's really scary ... Be safe everybody," Facebook user Jaclyn Namer wrote under a posting for the job.

Others were a little more eager to lend a hand.

"I can help on weekends in Chicago," Jeremy Voris volunteered on Facebook.

First point of contact ... CBP supervisor Sam Ko (right) conducts an interview with a passenger who has arrived from Sierra Leone at O'Hare International Airport's Terminal 5 in Chicago. Picture: AP Source: AP

As part of the new screening process, travellers arriving from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia must answer questions upon arrival, then have their temperatures taken with no-touch thermometers, CDC Director Thomas Frieden announced last week.

About 150 people travel from or through the three Ebola-afflicted countries to the US every day, customs officials said.

Most of them land at JFK, where officers fear catching the deadly disease.

"We were told what to do for a passenger, but what happens with us? What if I get a fever? What should I do?" one officer said.

The officer was also troubled by possible flaws in the screening plan.

"For example, if someone has 108F (42C) fever and we catch it after they deplane, there were 132 other people on the plane with him and you just let them go," he said.

"You just possibly contaminated the person next to you and the flight attendant who handed you something."

Meanwhile, a law-enforcement official at JFK was outraged over the handling of a plane carrying a man from Nigeria who died following an on-board vomiting fit.

The door to the jet was already open when first responders showed up.

Even though Ebola isn't airborne, the official insisted it could have been a potential health threat.

"We don't know if anybody bolted from that plane or if the inside of the door is contaminated," he said.

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