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Aircrew and passengers

The fire alarm went off today. It was totally unexpected and so everyone thought it was a real fire and the office was empty in about 10 seconds, pushing and shoving to get people moving. I trailed along behind as I collected my USB stick and my coat before I went. I knew that outside the window was a fire escape but the escape route took us through most of the building and perhaps even leading us to a fire. So I walked along behind. As I walked past the conference room I noticed that the door was closed while I remember someone in there when I passed earlier and pointed it out to the office manager who was just in front of me, having waited until I had appeared in the corridor. On checking we discovered two visitors in the room sitting there patiently waiting for someone to come and get them.

It transpired that being frequent visitors as trustees on the board they didn’t bother signing in nor making their presence known. In addition they had actually thought it was a real fire yet decided to stay in an inside room for someone to find them. Berks. The fire marshal was giving them a lecture as we all went back in after it was found to be a false alarm and I’m sure it will not be the last they hear about it.

People were complaining about them ignoring H&S and their own rules while I was more thinking about how stupid you have to be to sit in a chair waiting whilst a fire alarm is going off in your ear. I pointed it out and most agreed. So I bored them with a lesson I remember from my time in the Aerospace industry.

I was on a large military plane ready for some systems tests. As we went on one of the crew came over and asked who were Aircrew and who were Passengers. I was the only passenger so he took me to one side and gave me very explicit instructions on what to do in an emergency and pointed out a few key areas. One other guy with me was certified Aircrew and missed out on the talk. Later after the flight my colleague said that he never bothered with the talk because it was unlikely to happen and he would work it out when it happened. I thought nothing of it. Not long later I was back again, this time on my own, and again I was asked Aircrew or Passenger. So I asked what the difference was. He said ‘If we were at 20K ft and the wings fell off. I personally would come back, help you into a chute, check it was all fitted correctly, take you to the door and make sure you got out. I would then sort myself out. If, on the other hand you were Aircrew and the wings fell off, if you asked ‘What do I do?’ you would be talking to yourself’.

Ever since then I have been very careful in what experiences and claims I make about my abilities. Sure you get away with things most of the time but it is all about reducing risk.

Being honest about your abilities and status is the best way to go. It will get you help and advice where you need it. It will ensure that the right people can help you and nobody makes false assumptions.

In our area though it is more issues like first aid experience. I’ve had training so nobody bothers to train you and you don’t have or it was 5 minutes of YouTube instructions. Turning up at the laird’s deer hunt and going unannounced in camouflage gear is also not a good plan.

In prepping this means being honest about your abilities and what you have to do. Don’t make assumptions about others and make sure people know you are there and what you are doing.

99.99 times out of a thousand it will be fine. That odd one though makes all the difference. Make sure you are Aircrew before you say it. The difference may make you feel good but does nothing when it counts.

2 comments to Aircrew and passengers

  • Skvez

    With trustees like that I expect you’ll be seeking new employment shortly (due to the collapse of that company).

  • Skean Dhude

    Skvez,

    It is a charity so it won’t go bust and they are like store manikins anyway. They do it so they can point to the role on their CVs. I on the other hand am doing some pro bono work on their systems for them so I can point to my CV. At least I’m doing something though.

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