Although it might seem like the job of a flight attendant is easy, the selection process and training school is not for the faint of heart. The job of a flight attendant is inherently dangerous and physically demanding on many levels. Here are four reasons why being a flight attendant comes with immense responsibility not to be taken lightly:

INTENSE TRAINING: The flight attendant school is not a simple instruction process. After going through the intense application process, accepted students must attend the comprehensive training school. The intentionally stressful training is designed to weed out students that are not up to the task of performing in intense situations. A typical training school session lasts six to eight weeks. During this short time, there is an immense amount of information to learn. Not only do students need to learn the general federal aviation regulations, but they also need to learn the specifics of the aircraft they will be using. In addition, in today’s world, hopeful flight attendants are trained in how to defend themselves against passengers and what to do in hostile situations.

MEDICAL TRAINING: One of the most intensive parts of the instruction is the medical training component. As part of the medical instruction, students learn basic first aid skills as well as how to use an AED and how to perform CPR. All of these components help to ensure that flight attendants are well-equipped to handle any type of medical emergency while in flight.

EVACUATION DRILLS: Learning how to effectively and efficiently evacuate an airplane is a mandatory skill for any flight attendant in training. A flight simulator is used to teach students emergency management skills. A common industry standard is to mandate that flight attendants are able to fully evacuate a plane within 90 seconds with half of the emergency exits blocked. As part of the evacuation instruction, students must master the use of the emergency slide as well as complete the course in water evacuations.

TRAINING REFRESHER: The instruction is not over once the training school is complete. Every year, active flight attendants must take a refresher course to ensure that they are up to date on the latest instruction and ready to handle any emergency in the air.