June 4, 2015 12:27 am

A behind-the-scenes look at how BC Ferries handles emergencies

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WATCH: BC Ferries gave Chris Gailus a rare, behind-the-scenes look at its emergency procedures.

To thousands of passengers on BC Ferries every week, Michelle Harbott is just a worker in the cafeteria.

But if an emergency breaks, it becomes all hands on deck.

“They don’t really realize what we’re capable of. We are the paramedics, we’re the police, we’re the security on the ship,” she says.

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Harbott was one of the many crew members taking part in extensive drills on the Queen of New Westminster this week. In detailed simulations, they prepare for everything from people jumping overboard to large fires.

In total, they now have the equivalent of 15,000 training days on their 34 vessels, well above federal standards.

“We’ve been doing this for about three years. The feedback we get from the crews…are awesome,” says Captain Jamie Marshall, Vice-President of Fleet Operations.

“Safety doesn’t take a back seat to anything. It’s our most important thing,” added Chief Officer Brad Kramer.

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