"The course provides the agents with the basic
skills in the event of an aviation emergency,"
said Steve Lino, section chief, of the Kansas
City, Mo., based Air Operations Division. "Since
they are flying nearly every day of their
working lives, they need to be ready to react.
The familiarization and hands-on situations they
experience during the training gives them an
aviation perspective they might not otherwise
ever encounter in their careers."
During the four-day course, classroom study is
coupled with real-life simulated exercises to
teach students how to safely react to a range of
unpredictable scenarios. From recognizing fire
in the cabin to emergency landings and
evacuations, the scenarios run the gamut.
Additionally, they undergo aviation physiology
training to learn the signs of hypoxia and the
effects that flying has on the body. Once out of
the classroom and in a flight simulator, they
take part in an emergency ground landing, as
well as a water landing, using a pool and life
rafts. The immigration enforcement agents also
experience what it is like to be a restrained
passenger during an emergency and train on how
to effectively evacuate and manage those
"Because they are working with restrained
criminal aliens, some of whom are uncooperative
and in an adverse environment, teamwork and
safety are paramount during each flight," said
Lino. "This training teaches them how to
communicate during stressful situations where
visibility may be nonexistent or the
surroundings that may formidable; lives may
depend on everyone understanding their roles and
coming together as a team."