Highly trained members of the crew
Passengers have to obey the legal instructions of the crew who act under the legal authority of the Captain. Fortunately the days of seeing them as Trolley Dollies and airborne waitresses are long gone.
- The cabin crew are responsible for the safety of the passengers
- They are licensed crew members
- They are highly trained and checked frequently
Apart from their primary duty of passenger safety, they are also responsible for catering and in-flight service. Something though that is not visible is the extent of their medical training … they will be able to deal with most things in-flight including panic attacks and the feelings of claustrophobia. Each year they will undertake training involving first aid and fire fighting skills, and long-haul crews will have to practice their dinghy drills each year. You should never hesitate to report anything you are unsure about to the crew.
Crew training and practice is normally conducted at a training centre where there are mock-ups of the aircraft which they are licensed to fly on. Training is rigorous and the standards are high. They are trained in crowd control and their role in evacuation of the aircraft is as important as any of the pilots’ responsibilities.
They may need to get the aircraft evacuated without instruction from the pilots and in the unlikely event of one pilot being incapacitated they are trained in using the check lists so that they can integrate with the pilot’s normal and non-normal procedures.
Many airlines combine cabin crew and pilot training where their team skills in simulated emergencies are developed and assessed.
In the event of medical emergencies the crew are able to radio through to diagnostic and help facilities on the ground.