I sent this out to all of the people in my Battalion today and thought I'd share with you all. Hope you enjoy it.
Below are three links that will let you see the recent interview on "60-Minutes" with the crew of U.S Airway Flight 1429. I want you to watch all three portions. Make sure when you watch them, you can give them your full attention. Though these videos are obviously about the flight and subsequent successful rescue of all 155 passengers, a subtle comparison can be made to our job.
Though every call we respond to is dynamic, most of our responses go "according to plan," just like every other flight Captain Sullinberger had experienced. What averted complete disaster in the case of flight 1429 was the fact that the "Entire Crew" was on the same page when the "unusual" occurred.
In the first segment, Kati Courik is speaking with Captain Sullinberger. I want you listen to his responses and think about the remarks he makes and try to relate it to your crews. The main point I gathered from the first video was the officers knew what to do, how to do it and they believed they could succeed. Also, the remainder of the flight crew knew their jobs cold. If you relate this to your crew, could they perform as well at "the big one?" Or, would you, as the officer, have to direct them to perform every step? If Captain Sully would have had to worry about everyone else knowing their job duties at the time of crisis it is likely a positive result would not have occurred. You know where I'm going with this but just to make sure; it comes down to effective training. We cannot be satisfied with just doing the school and having our personnel perform the required tasks. We must insist they practice those skills to perfection. They, like the flight crew, must be able to perform the necessary skills efficiently, at a moments notice.
Just like that flight crew, we will only have one chance to do it right. We will only have one opportunity to make that rescue at that scene. We will only get one shot to perform effective ventilation at the right time. We will only have time to decide the correct line and length of line before it is too late. We only get to try once to drive the correct route before we've cost precious time. We only have a few moments to recognize the need for VES and execute it properly. That ladder has to be thrown to the window and make the rescue before the room flashes over Etc, etc, etc.
The second video will be the interview with the entire crew. What I took from that was they were scared, very scared. But they were still able to perform admirably.
The third video is where it really drove it home to me. Capt. Sully will tell of instances where loved ones of the passengers have thanked him for not making them widows, orphans, etc. I'm curious if it affects you like it did me.
I hope you all get the point, especially if you haven't felt like training lately or ever. Have the courage to train to perfection. If we hope for luck we invite tragedy.
Write me back and let me know if any other points stood out to you.