Afraid of flying? Yeah, well so am I after a good dose of Emergency Management week. Kidding, kidding. I still love flying, but I am now capable of evacuating an aircraft in under 90 seconds. (Can I have my wings now??) Emergency Management week is the hardest of all 7 weeks of training. It consisted of 5 tests and 2 practical exams. 6 days of at least 11 hours a day spent at the training center. Think you can rest when you get home? Think again. It's study time. And if you fail to maintain a 90% average, it's termination boulevard for you friend. Praise God, I can say I passed and am still here studying my little heart away.
We began the week going over the emergency equipment on each flight. Be not afraid of crashing in the Arctic...we have polar gear. Next, we covered water evacuations and different types of flotation we have available for passengers. Then turbulence—don't play. Smoke and fire emergencies—no smoking in the lavatories. Decompression—don your masks. Land evacuations—jump and slide. Emergency exits—arm those exits. Sea survival—uhh...good luck.
The fun stuff? We got to evacuate out of a training aircraft, down the slide! The slide is huge, and it looks higher from the aircraft door. Jump and slide, jump and slide. We also experienced a 'decompression' (there was no loss of cabin pressure thankfully) in the motion simulator. And we experienced smoke and fire emergencies in our mock ups. Saturday, we had our pool day. We evacuated into the water and deployed our rafts, climbed in, practiced drills, among other water sports (not really. I wish).
We also talked through different airline disasters such as the Tenerife airport disaster and the Miracle on the Hudson...and how to respond to and/or prevent these types of disasters in the future.
U.S. Airways Flight 1549
Disaster at Tenerife
These discussions really brought to life the seriousness and potential dangers of our job. I've heard of flight attendants being called 'waitresses in the sky' but when that plane is going down, you're going to be glad we were there. Our commands and evacuation plans are drilled into our heads so there's no question as to what to do in that situation. We got this. My prayer is that my class and I will never have to utilize the things we learned in Emergency Management week.
Hmm...how to end a post filled with pictures of plane crashes? Umm...trust your flight attendants. Listen to your flight attendants. And remember that smoking is not allowed on any aircraft. Federal law prohibits tampering with, disabling, or destroying a lavatory smoke detector. Trust me, just say no.