Again, for those late to the party: the thread is about realistically training mariners, not passengers.
This seems to me what I described before: army maneuvers where the good guys always win, because the chance is the good guys will win, and because we don’t want to upset the field marshal. But if the generals would say to the field marshal, "What if the plan doesn’t work?..
We used to do “real world” training until someone got hurt during the training. The smoke machine was never seen again.
Which I understand. Normal human reaction. I understand your irony here: Once your crew deviated from the kabuki-theater of normal shipboard fire drill reality raised its ugly head and taught a valuable lesson. Company reaction: go back to kabuki theater.
Unfortunately, the reality of ISM as I see it is for the company to protect their “metrics” at all cost.
I’m glad the company I work for doesn’t have an ISM and SMS: in this regard at least they seem counterproductive. My same feeling with the El Faro disaster. Reading of the captain trying to comply with a useless dictate in a manual written by lawyers for lawyers as his ship is dying. What use the ISM except as a final humiliation? But that’s another thread…
I run a lot of training in a private fire fighting facility. 5,000 square feet. Three decks. Simulations where the crew doesn’t always win. Sometimes the fire kicks the crew’s a$$. Always a good way to learn.
Some takeaways from twenty years of training mariners to fight fires:
- Unless crews breath live-air from SCBAs during shipboard drills they shouldn’t be allowed to use them down below for actual firefighting. The chance is they’re just going to asphyxiate themselves.
- The main danger from fire is smoke. A poorly trained firefighter in an SCBA in a smoke-filled ship is like a poor swimmer trying to cross a raging river.
- When shipboard fire-fighting teams deal with an actual fire somebody is going to crack. They’re going to crack because of the conjunction of smoke and SCBA usage. Someone is going to have claustrophobia, or hyperventilate, or have circulatory problems. The smoke freaks them out. I’ve had trainees rip off their masks in IDLH smoke atmospheres from hyperventilation. When that person cracks the whole firefighting effort is over. It would be good to know beforehand who’s going to crack, so they don’t don an SCBA to begin with.
Performing the most basic fire-fighting training without robbing someone of their vision is like drown-proofing someone without getting them in the water.