Emergency Training

Dec 28, 2009

It is now my second week here in the lovely city of Dubai. I've made great friends, become more comfortable with my surroundings, and learnt a wealth of information in training. Week 2 marks the beginning of the most critical phase of training - Safety and Emergency Procedures. In 2 weeks time I will know how to respond to any inflight emergency that I may encounter in my career. For those of you who may be reading this (Ahem - GRANDMA!) and worrying about my safety... calm down, take a deep breath, for your fear is unnecessary. Statistics show that a person is more likely to be killed in a car or train accident, or even by the United States Health Care System than they are to be killed in an incident involving an aircraft. We train for these emergencies in the HIGHLY unlikely event that they should occur. We won't likely ever have to apply our knowledge in a real life situation, but if required, we'll know what to do to save our passengers and ourselves. And no - they don't tell me to say that, it's not scripted. I honestly feel far more safe at 40,000 ft in the air than I do driving on the icy roads back home every single winter day.
Training is intense. We have homework every night, and exams most days. We sit in a class and learn theory... taking notes, watching videos... regular school stuff. The fun starts when we get to practically apply our knowledge. In front of our classmates and instructors, we demonstrate our capabilities in fast paced, high pressure situations. Sound intimidating? Heck yes. However, once you've successfully completed the exercise, you are left with a sense of satisfaction. Yay, I just saved lives!
Yesterday was our first day of safety training. We arrived in our class and immediately recognized that our every move was being watched. There were instructors glancing at us and scribbling notes. They pay attention to everything, so you must act professional at all times.
We spent the morning going through theory and then headed downstairs to the simulator... Excuse my unprofessionalism, but... SO COOL!! We watched our instructors simulate an evacuation, and we were the frantic passengers trying to escape. Later on, we learnt how to open the aircraft doors. Sounds simple, but there are quite a few steps to remember and the doors aren't light. We all made several mistakes and giggled the entire time, but our trainer was a bit lenient given the fact that it was our first attempt.
We were assigned homework for the first time, and spent last night cooped up in my room filling out my workbook. It's strange, having homework after a few years out of school.
Today it was our turn to evacuate the aircraft. We each had several tries and by lunch time my throat was sore from shouting commands as loud as I could all morning. The trainers are very serious and every mistake is made clear in front of the entire class, but it's quite the adrenaline rush. The highlight of the day was sliding down the emergency slide rafts. You've all seen them on the safety cards or videos and thought "Oh, that would be so fun!". I thought the same, until I found myself standing on the edge staring down the steep slide. With encouragement from our classmates, we each jumped bottoms-first onto the slides and slid down.
It was a very eventful, stressful, action-packed and exciting day. Now, on to complete my homework!


Amber Cavers said...

I'm almost always sure that your life is View From The Top... I'm wondering who is trying to sabotage you (be cautious of Christina Applegate lookalikes!). I picture your instructor as Mike Myers and that makes me a little jealous!

Krysta said...

Hahaha!! I LOVE that movie. I watched it a few weeks ago, right before I left home. (And then I cried because I was leaving my boyfriend at home...) My instructor is crazy and hilarious, almost like Mike Myers. :)

Tleppihs Nayr said...

And I am the abandoned boyfriend! haha... also supporting your decision to leave. :)

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