On this year's World First Aid Day, Emirates celebrates the successful graduation of 3000 new cabin crew equipped with the highest level of aviation first aid skills from the airline's demanding cabin crew training programme.
As part of its highly successful hiring target this year, Emirates has already hired 3000 new employees. New employees undergo an intensive 8-week introductory training to become a first-class cabin crew member. The introductory period consists of a number of courses from security to service, safety and emergency to hospitality, as well as a critical medical response training. Challenging the misconception that cabin crew's only job is to serve meals and look gorgeous, Emirates crew are trained to manage the various situations that can occur on board, while learning vitally important skills.
New cabin crew members should be advised of coping with a fainting person, dealing with suffocation hazards, respiratory difficulties such as asthma and hyperventilation, sudden onset illnesses such as chest pain, stroke, low blood sugar, allergic reactions, deep vein thrombosis, pressure trauma, decompression sickness, and substance abuse. Medical training is provided that addresses all aspects of first aid, such as detecting and managing its use. Cabin crew also learn how to deal with injuries such as fractures, burns and amputations, as well as infectious diseases, the importance of infection control procedures and onboard hygiene.
New employees are also taught life-saving skills, such as the proper use of CPR and Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), where they practice on patient simulation mock-ups. Cabin crew also learn how to give birth and manage death situations on the plane on a specially designed medical model. All training is delivered by aviation-certified first aid instructors at the Cabin Crew Training Centre, Emirates' world-class training facility in Dubai.
In July 2022 alone, Emirates cabin crew rescued two heart-stopping passengers on two different flights. Emirates cabin crew used CPR techniques and a defibrillator to save the lives of both passengers, and the emergency services stabilized the passengers until medical attention was given. Currently, both passengers are in good condition.
When a medical incident occurs on board, the cabin crew is assisted by the flight crew (Captain/Pilot and Co-Pilot/Co-pilot) and a team called Ground Medical Support. Medical Support on the Ground is a team based at Emirates Headquarters and available 7/24 via satellite communication to provide support and information in onboard medical cases around the world.
Psychologically, the cabin crew is also trained to help the passengers in obtaining their consent, showing empathy towards patients and their families, staying calm, informing the patient at every stage, and being with the patient until recovery. They also learn how to deliver difficult news when needed. After any incident, cabin crew receive support for their mental health through Emirates' Employee Support Program, Peer Support Service and Sehaty, Emirates' employee wellness programme.
Cabin crew knowledge and skills are tested in annual retraining, and they are required to complete 1,5 hours of online training, a 2-hour hands-on session for CPR, AED, severe bleeding and severe allergy management, and assessments for each. Experienced cabin crew members participate in a flight simulation exercise each year to ensure they are fully equipped to manage all medical cases and to ensure their knowledge is regularly refreshed.