Marking World First Aid Day this month, Emirates celebrates with 3,000 new cabin crew recruits who are now equipped with first aid skills, after successfully graduating from the airline’s rigorous cabin crew 8-week training programme.

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The need for crew members to be able to administer first aid is followed by an incident in July earlier this year where Emirates crew members saved the lives of two passengers by administering cardiovascular pulmonary respiration (CPR) and using a defibrillator.

The ‘ab-Initio’ training period takes approximately 8 weeks. This includes but is not limited to courses from security to service, safety and emergency to hospitality, and the critically important medical response training.

From the erroneous perception of cabin crew just serving meals and looking glamorous, Emirates crew are trained to manage a range of situations on board, and this includes learning essential life-saving skills.

What first aid training do cabin crew members receive?

First aid training is something every cabin crew member on every airline, including the pilot, undergoes. New recruits are schooled in the life-saving skills of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), where they practice on patient simulation mannequins, and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED) machine properly.

Cabin crew are also taught how to deal with injuries like fractures, burns, and amputations, as well as communicable diseases, the importance of infection control procedures, and on-board hygiene.

Medical training is provided to new cabin crew members on all aspects of first aid, including dealing with a collapsed casualty who has fainted, managing choking, recognising and managing breathing difficulties like asthma and hyperventilation, sudden illnesses like chest pain, stroke, low blood sugar, allergic reactions, deep vein thrombosis, barotrauma, decompression illness, and substance misuse.

If or when there is a medical incident on board, cabin crew are supported by the flight deck crew (Captain/Pilot and First Officer/co-pilot) and a team on the ground in case of emergencies.

From a psychological perspective, cabin crew also receive training on gaining consent to assist passengers, showing empathy to the sick and their families, staying calm, keeping the casualty informed at all stages and being present with the casualty until the situation improves.

They are also taught how to professionally break difficult news when required, without inducing panic in other passengers, both on and off the flight.

As some people do experience discomfort when flying, knowing what type of training crew members take may also make passengers more relaxed. Let us know your thoughts.

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