Jump ‘n’ Slide! and watch your nipples!

I have decided to finally publish my first journal entry after commencing abinitio training at Emirates Aviation college. I had it drafted almost 2yrs ago but thought I would publish it now seeing that our company are back with the force training new recruits and seeing all the new bubbly faces took me back to the wee days of the school that gives you ‘the view from the top’! LOL enjoy a stroll down my memory lane comrades!

13th Mar 08

The first phase of our training was S.E.P (Safety and Emergency procedures). These 2 weeks have been gruelling.
We were given our Cabin Crew Bibles AKA Cabin Crew Emergency Manuals which lists every morsel of information that there is to know. There has been so much information to take in but i have enjoyed every moment of it.

All week i have been getting emails from friends (you know who you are) making a crack at me about the film ‘View from the Top’ i must say that if you took a still from our training class it may resemble quite a number of the scenes, but the degree of safety knowledge and procedures we have to understand is incredible. Every procedural step involves a plethora of reasons and is usually linked with some phenomenal story of a bimbo opening a door during take off, for the record it was a crew member from ANOTHER airline or should I say Ex Cabin crew!

In two weeks, I have learnt to open and close doors (and the numerous procedures and checks in dis/arming doors), how to evacuate the plane, commanding passengers, dealing with every turbulence scenario, fighting fires in every nook and cranny possible (don’t ever smoke on a plane), how to deal with a ditching into the ocean, inflate life jackets, how to start a distress signal, ignite a flare, how to survive in the jungle, desert, snow and sea, how to fend off wild animals…and that is just listing a few.

Our trainers have been so incredibly competent and helpful. Honestly once you see the efficiency of our trainers at Emirates you get a feel for why they are the worlds’ leading airline. Their knowledge and professionalism is impeccable. It was interesting to find out that by the time we finish our 6 week training course, the company would have spent around 30,000 dollars per trainee. This would include flying us over, paying recruitment, accommodation, salary (even though we aren’t officially working for 6 weeks), transport (chauffeured by bus every day), trainers, equipment, maintenance, grooming, uniform (2 suitcases full of goodies), processing visas, I.D, Aviation accreditation, energy costs…they don’t really hold back on training.

Over the past 2 weeks I can tell you that I have a higher degree of respect for the job of Cabin crew, we are the primary port of call when it comes to an emergency situation, and our decisions and communication with captain and passengers can be crucial. During our training we looked at a number of case studies of aircraft disasters, there were so many stories of bravery and there were also many things that could have been done to prevent the situation. There were about 15 images of different ditching and crashes and we all looked at each other like hmmm….oh hello.
Funnily during our lunch breaks, our conversations seemed to be dominated by the idea of mortality, but we have learnt that air travel is the safest mode of transport and statistically it is more dangerous crossing the road than flying. My house mate was telling me about a documentary he watched about commercial airplanes; the wings are so strong that they can be folded tip to tip and they will not snap till they touch.

Since a few of you have asked about the highlight so far, i would have to say the ditching in the pool. My whole Abinitio group ditched/baptized into the hallowed Emirates simulator ditching pool. It was freaken freezing. I must say incredible bonds were formed that day when we learnt body heat sharing techniques in the water hihihihihihhi and watching my class mates straddle the side of a slide raft to get back in. My nipples were so frozen; I swear it could cut glass. I have pictures to prove it! LOL So that was the 1st phase of my training it makes me wonder what else is in store. I shall keep you posted.