I wonder how long it will be before some airline marketing type decides thay can charge a premium price on exit row seating? Just one more menu item for you to choose from when booking a trip.
"Priority boarding....a mere $20." Nope.
"A cocktail, Sir? Only $5?" Umm....sure.
"Would you like a sandwich....only $8?" Eight bucks? No thanks.
Think you might need to use our convenient in-flight toilet facilities? Just $3?" No, it's only a 2 hour flight. I can hold it.
"How about an exit row seat for a measly $100 additional? Can save your life....whatdayasay, sport?"
Back a dozen years ago when I was active in the airshow biz I completed ARFF (Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting) training at Dallas' Love Field. The Dallas FD periodically puts on training classes for suburban fire departments that have small airports in their area. It was a very eye opening experience.
Not me. This was pinched off the internet for example.
We trained on the Southwest Airlines mock-fuselage at their Dallas home base. In one exercise we were all seated inside, then they pumped in some sort of cloudy gas so thick you couldn't see the end of your nose. Then they told us to find the exit, open it, and slide out. You meet the nicest people crawling around on the floor of an airliner. :)
Next we had to gear up. We put on full firefighter "bunker gear"....heavy boots, fire coat and pants, nomex hood, air mask, helmet, gloves, and a Scott Air Pack. Then in 3-man teams we had to climb a ladder up onto the wing (not easy dressed like we were), open the escape door from the outside, and climb in. That opening is smaller than it looks. It was very hard for me to get my head down and under while at the same time picking my feet/legs up and over. I was pretty much folded in half. And I don't fold in half very gracefully. *no*
Then we had to find the injured guy (a 160 pound dead weight dummy), unbuckle him, pick him up (it's all about leverage), get him down that narrow aisle onto a backboard, and slide him down the chute, all while being timed. The professional firefighter teams did it in 3-4 minutes. My team of amateurs did it in....let's just say my guy would have been dead, cold, stiff, and ripe before we got him out.
Then we got to go out and play with the big trucks. FAA requirements say that equipment must be able to get to any spot on the airport within 3 minutes. Because of this some airports are so large they have multiple fire stations. (DFW has four.)
The surprising thing to me was how fast they are! And when they get to where they need to be they can dump a LOT of water/foam/whatever in no time. As soon as they arrive the driver, using a joystick like a video game, can aim his water cannon and unload in seconds. Very impressive! I got to use the joystick and squirt water, but they wouldn't let me drive the truck. I can't imagine why? ;)
Bottom line: These guys and ladies are VERY good. And they go out on calls a lot more often than you might imagine. Fortunately most incidents turn out to be non-events as the landings turn out OK.
Point is....be thankful for our first responders, pay attention to what your flight attendants say, and bring your own crappy sandwich. ;)