This week is all about getting trained outside the classroom – challenging training moduls were waiting for us. On Monday morning we all had to tug on grey overalls, a shock to the eye after earlier having looked so good in our uniforms.
Once we were suited up, the training started. During our session in the Airbus A319 simulator, we had to activate the emergency slide. The aircraft door is equipped with a lever, which when in the “disarmed” position allows the door to open smoothly. But if the lever is put in the “armed” position, opening the door automatically activates the emergency slide, which then fills with air within a matter of seconds. Forgetting to set the lever back to the disarmed position before opening the door ranks as the most embarrassing and costly mistake a flight attendant can possibly make.
After receiving the command to “sit and slide” and “jump and slide” we had the opportunity to descend twice. While this was quite exiting to do in a training session, we all hope that we will never have to use the slide in reality.
In the afternoon we had to hit the books again to learn more about the most important topic: safety.
The following day we were instructed in how to use the oxygen masks in the simulator and several members of the group got to practise being crew members while the rest of us did our best to play the role of passengers who were for different reasons challenging for the crew.
And there was still more practical training to come up on the next day: We learned how to handle the fire extinguishers and other fire-fighting equipment. Afterward, we had to enter a smoke-filled, pitch-black aircraft fuselage one at a time and search for a crying baby doll. This was probably the most difficult task that we faced.
This whole week really made an impression and showed us clearly how important an extensive and regular safety training for cabin crew is. I myself was pretty exhausted at the end of the week. But I also feel ready for fulfilling my tasks as a member of the cabin crew should I ever have to face an emergency situation.