USA Today has a gushing article ( Coffee? Tea? CPR? ) on how flight attendants respond to medical emergencies and bring people back to life. A few anecdotes are presented and some numbers are thrown around –like an estimate of the number of lives saved by automated external defibrillators– but there’s actually no hard evidence presented.
With up to 2 million people on roughly 25,000 domestic flights daily, an attendant somewhere in the skies over the USA is dealing with an incident each day. Many can be matters of life and death. And their responses are often heroic.
Maybe I’m just in a bad mood after encountering surly flight attendants on my flight today, but I don’t think it makes a lot of sense to portray flight attendants as EMTs. Usually when I’m on a flight and there’s a problem the flight attendants go looking for doctor and nurse passengers on board. Of course that’s hit or miss too.