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Yelling Commands During An Evacuation  
User currently offlineMats From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 625 posts, RR: 1
Posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 7628 times:

For as long as I can remember, flight attendants have been instructed to yell specific commands during in an evacuation: "Unfasten Seatbelts!" "This way!" "Let's go!" "Move it!" "Jump!" "Jump!" "Jump!"

But I was thinking of Air France 358. This was a "successful" evacuation. Passengers commented about how CALM the crew was during the evacuation.

So here is my quesion:

Is there any rationale for why the crew should yell or use a megaphone? If Air France can evacuate in a calm way, why bark the commands?

Of course I wasn't ON AF358, so maybe they were screaming like crazy, but I'm asking on somewhat hypothetical terms.

7 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineVHXLR8 From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 500 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 7602 times:

I wasn't on that flight either, but I think you could safely assume that the crew were indeed yelling loudly. You can yell commands very loudly and remain calm at the same time.
The recruitment and training process of most airlines depends on a person's ability to be able to shout very loudly and very clearly, often above alot of background noise.


User currently offlineWMUPilot From United States of America, joined Jan 2003, 1473 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 7570 times:

If a flight crew isn't yelling commands is anybody going to listen to them or hear them for that matter over all the commission? I think not. A huge mass of people is going to react better a person yelling commands.


JetBlue - Bringing humanity back to air travel
User currently offlineMarkHKG From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 960 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 7411 times:

That is interesting you should mention this. A study sponsored by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau is due to release a study entitled, "Evacuation commands for optimal passenger management" by Ms. Lauren Thomas of Cranfield University. It will be an interesting read when it comes out later this year.

For some reason I am convinced that although the Air France cabin crew were calm, they were still shouting commands. (See Below)

From my understanding, it has long been cited that ASSERTIVE cabin crew using positive commands can significantly reduce pax evacuation times. Some researchers have indicated that being LOUD and even to the point of being PUSHY can get passengers to get out faster. (Saying, for instance, "MOVE IT!")

Time can be essential. A TWA memo I read cited that if the cabin is on fire during an evacuation, flashover can occur in as little as 90 seconds-- the benchmark for evacuation trials with half the exits blocked. So the faster people get out, the better.

Emergency commands can also be important to ensure passengers adopt a brace position, leave baggage, or to take life-vests, so I don't doubt its value.

Here are some variations I have heard:

"RELEASE YOUR SEAT BELT! LEAVE EVERYTHING BEHIND! GET OUT! YOU AND YOU, STAY AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SLIDE, HELP PEOPLE OFF. YOU, SEND THEM AWAY. JUMP, SLIDE! JUMP, SLIDE! JUMP, SLIDE, MOVE AWAY!" -Canadian

"EMERGENCY-OPEN SEAT BELT-EVACUATE! JUMP AND SLIDE!" - Several EU carriers

"RELEASE SEAT BELT! GET UP! GET OUT! JUMP, JUMP, JUMP..."

"RELEASE YOUR SEAT BELT AND GET OUT! RELEASE YOUR SEAT BELT AND GET OUT! COME THIS WAY, FORM TWO LINES. COME THIS WAY, FORM TWO LINES! JUMP! JUMP! JUMP!"


Also, check out this video at http://www.youtube.com/?v=lr19mz9XmeU ... it is an emergency "ditching" drill on what I believe is a Filipino carrier.


----------

From http://www.tsb.gc.ca/en/reports/air/...h0002/a05h0002_update_20051116.asp

(TSB Report on Air France Flight 358 Overrrun)

Evacuation and Emergency Response

After the aircraft stopped, flight attendants observed a fire outside the aircraft and gave the evacuation order. The airport's emergency response services (ERS) personnel and vehicles arrived on site within a couple of minutes of the aircraft coming to rest. Their primary task consisted of assisting with the evacuation of the passengers and crew to a safe area and the control of the rapidly intensifying fuel-fed fire, which eventually destroyed most of the aircraft fuselage. The firefighting/extinguishing capability of the foam-equipped ERS vehicles was initially severely hindered by the intense downpour from the thunderstorm, which caused dilution of the foam, rendering it less effective against that type of fire.

The aircraft is equipped with eight exit doors and associated evacuation slides. The two left rear exits were not opened due to the fire observed in that area immediately after the aircraft stopped. One right middle exit was opened, but was closed after the slide deflated after it came into contact with aircraft wreckage. One left exit was opened, but the slide did not deploy. The remaining four exits were commanded open by flight attendants, although the left forward slide was damaged. Many passengers took carry-on luggage with them as they evacuated the aircraft. The complete evacuation was effected in less than two minutes.



Release your seat-belts and get out! Leave everything!
User currently offlineS5FA170 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 534 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 7397 times:

We are taught to use strong, verbal commands. We are also taught to use very concise commands. We use commands at my airline like "RELEASE SEATBELTS" rather than "UNFASTEN SEATBELTS" because studies have shown passengers may only hear "FASTEN" in the word "unfasten" and become confused in the midst of panic.

We are also taught to push people down the slide if need be, pull people to an exit (if they are lining up for one door rather than both) and also taught to grab carryons from them and throw them out the door. No time is to be wasted reasoning or arguing. Get them out. Thats all that counts. If you have to "be rude" to do it, then oh well.

-Tony



Prepare doors for departure and cross-check.
User currently offlineHiJazzey From Saudi Arabia, joined Sep 2005, 864 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 7387 times:

Now here's another question, how would attendants deal with people who don't speak English? Do you make gestures while you issue the commands?

User currently offlineMarkHKG From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 960 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 7368 times:

Quoting S5FA170 (Reply 4):
"RELEASE SEATBELTS" rather than "UNFASTEN SEATBELTS"

I have seen several EU carriers use the phrase, "UNDO SEAT BELTS" or "UNFASTEN SEAT BELTS" and have been surprised to hear them because of the reasons you mention.

I have also heard some "negative" commands on some carriers such as "DON'T INFLATE INSIDE" or "DON'T SIT" which could result in the same confusion...

Quoting HiJazzey (Reply 5):
how would attendants deal with people who don't speak English?

Some carriers-- for instance, Luftansa-- will do it in mutiple languages. (For instance, German and English.) I love it when I hear "GET OUT" followed by "RAUS RAUS!".

If you didn't speak any of the languages, now is the time to go with the flow...lest you have the f/a chuck you out.  Wink



Release your seat-belts and get out! Leave everything!
User currently offlineMats From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 625 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7302 times:

I'll check out the article. This is an interesting topic from an organizational behavior standpoint. I'm glad to hear that it's been studied in an academic context.

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