Outdoor Workers At Port Columbus Fight Below Freezing Temps


Working the flight deck at Port Columbus International Airport may look like of the most brutal ways to make a living on the coldest day of the year, but not to Robert Kirksey.

“I love this", he says.

On a day not fit for man or beast, Kirksey, and the rest of Southwest Airline baggage handlers, work on ice covered concrete tossing luggage and trying not to freeze while doing it.

“I got 4 or 5 layers on now,” he says.

The cold is one thing, but it's the wind these baggage handlers say that fear the most.

“The face, the face and hands, if you get the wind off your face, you’re ok,” he says.

The wind chill on the tarmac was negative 12 at noon, while workers say they’ve worked in cold weather before they say they’ve never worked in weather this cold.
“Number one this is this is the coldest by far,” says Kirksey

For baggage handler Tim Johnson:

“This is my coldest day I've ever worked", he says,

He says his office is an igloo on days like this.

“Moving that luggage keeps you warm,” he says,

But while this may look like a miserable way to spend a day on the job, this former new Englander says as long as the heat lamps above him stay on--it's not that bad.

“I love winter,” he says.

As for Kirksey, and the rest of the baggage handlers working the frigid flight deck, they see themselves as winter warriors no matter how far the temps fall.

“It takes some dedication, and it takes the kind of person who is willing to work outside in the elements,” says Kirksey.