Today we hit the pools! I wasn’t sure what to expect, all I knew of today is that I’d be jumping into an Olympic sized pool fully clothed. When it was time to start we were asked to line up in front of a row of aircraft life vests. We were asked to list off all the features of the life vests such as the beacons, manual inflation tubes, and so on. Once that was completed we had to don the life vest and head over to the pool. By pulling on the tabs we inflated the life jackets. It was set up that only one half inflated automatically, so we had to inflate the other half using the manual inflation tubes. Next we jumped into the pool, swam into the center and linked arms in groups of four for a few minutes until we were told to break apart and swim to the other side of the pool.
Once on the other side we were asked to exit the pool, deflate our life jackets, and hand them over to our instructors. Our instructors would then throw the life jacket back into the pool and we would jump in after it. Again we’d don the life jacket (this time in the water) and manually inflate both sides. Once it was re-inflated we had to again swim across the pool. Once on the other side we were done! We deflated the life jackets and handed them over to our instructors. I think this was the easiest drill so far to grasp mentally (very little information to memorize), however it was physically exhausting. Still, I think it’s one of my favourites!
Fun Fact! Transport Canada does not require airlines to have their flight attendants complete this drill, my airline chooses to do it as an added safety precaution. I appreciate it as it is much more realistic than learning to use a life vest out of the water. For example: When I was donning the life jacket in the pool, I needed to keep myself floating while trying to untangle the straps on the jacket and then inflate it. That is something that you just don’t consider out of the pool.
Aside from the pool drills, we also started learning our pre-flight safety demonstrations. For Monday we’ll be expected to have the entire demonstration memorized. We’ll have a drill where we’ll need to complete the demonstration while following along with both the English and French announcements. We’ve also begun diving into detail with our safety procedures. We’ll have an exam on those next Tuesday.
Related topic: Do You Need to Be Able to Swim to Be a Flight Attendant?