A Girl in the Uniform, or How to Learn Military Art in a Civil University

25 September 2015 University life 233

She knows how to evacuate people from a building on fire; she can give first aid to a person in need; she impresses with her charm and beauty. She is a third year student of the Institute for Military Engineering and Safety Research (IMESR) of the Polytechnic University - Sabina Zdesenko. In her interview with Media Center, Sabina told us how she manages to study at the Military Institute and supervise the IMESR adapters, and uncovered her plans about a career in the Ministry of Emergency Situations (MES).

- Sabina, tell us why you have chosen the Institute for Military Engineering and Safety Research in civil institution – Polytechnic University?

- I graduated from the MES school, and over the final two years, the 10th and 11th grade, we used to have classes here, in the Institute for Military Engineering and Safety Research. So, at the time I was already thinking about entering the Polytechnic University. After examining all possible options in this major, I realized that there is more freedom in a civil institution. What I particularly liked about IMESR is that students are trained here not just as rescue officers, but also as managers and engineers. It seemed more interesting and close to me.

A Girl in the Uniform, or How to Learn Military Art in a Civil University
A Girl in the Uniform, or How to Learn Military Art in a Civil University

- What exactly do you study at the Department "Civil Protection and Emergency Management"? Do you enjoy studying?

- We are studying all aspects of a job of an MES employee, from toxicology issues to engineering. The focus is on engineering, because we are future managers in the MES. This means that we get all the information about an emergency, develop a rescue plan, and send a team to the place of emergency, that is we are engaged in managing both human and technical resources.
I like learning pretty much. The most interesting disciplines for me are toxicology in which we study different types of poisons and their structure, and our classes in medicine. Medicine has always attracted me, and in the classes we are taught about human anatomy, and how to give first aid correctly. This knowledge can be useful in everyday life - you never know what can happen in the next second.

-Have you ever applied this knowledge in practice?

- I have not encountered such situations in real life. In the first year we had practical fire-rescue classes, where we were taught to evacuate people. This was both exciting because you had never done anything like that before, and informative, because you got an idea how to deal with people and to stop panic. Therefore, I think that even at the moment my training is sufficient to quickly orientate myself in an emergency and take the first actions with a cold mind.

- What role does physical training play in your institute?

- Physical training at our institute is slightly less significant than in the MES, because we have a different focus, therefore, and different loads. But still there are certain qualifying standards that we have to hit during the session. In the third year we go through training at the military department, where all standards shall be reached both by boys and girls, and after that we become lieutenants.

-You stand out among the Polytechnic University students due to your uniform. Tell us about it.

- Our uniform is a khaki suit. On my jacket you can see the stripes of the institute itself and the emblem of the Polytechnic University (showing). It was introduced not so long ago, 2-3 years ago, and initially our institute students perceived it very differently. After all we enrolled in a civil university, though for the military specialty. But over time, we got used to the uniform and now we enjoy wearing it! It promotes discipline and team building. We understand that IMESR differs from other institutes of the Polytechnic University, and the uniform brings certain responsibilities and status to us.

-Are there any special rules for the girls?

- Not very strict, but there are some. We are advised to pull hair back, but, in my opinion, it looks more neat that way. Also, bright makeup is not welcomed, though none of us overdoes it – stay-true make up is in trend (smiling).

- Are you a member of the training fire-volunteer team "Polytechnic"?

- I am not personally, but many of my classmates are. They carry out emergency management models in practice. I think that is a big plus when you learn something in theory and then have an opportunity to try to apply it in practice. Every year we try to update the composition of the team, involving guys from the 1st and 2nd years, so the senior years’ guys are sometimes short of places. But from the 4th year we are invited to work in the MES Department, and from the 3rd year we have practical training, so the team "Polytechnic" is not the only way to practice.

- Do you take part in the university drills and camps?

- Of course, after all it is our specialty and our course. We help as much as possible in carrying out such activities, both as their participants and as organizers. For example, on September 29 the Polytechnic University will hold drills to improve the protection level of the staff and students of the University in the field of fire-fighting, anti-terrorism and anti-crime safety, and our students will take a very active part the event.

-Where would you like to work after graduation?

- I would like to work in the MES Department, so my plan for the 4th year is to combine studies and work in the MES. I have already received such an offer. Subsequently, if I meet their requirements as a specialist, a promotion is possible after graduation and accordingly, I will be able to get full time employment there.

- Do you have enough time for extra-curricular activities? What else do you do in the Polytechnic University?

- I am the head of our institute adapters – people who help freshmen to integrate into university student life. Just recently we held a quest for freshmen over the Polytechnic campus so that they could learn about the main buildings of our institution: they learnt what they are called and where they are located. I really like this job and I am really pleased to see that our activities help other guys to get used to the new place of study and make friends.

- Give us a couple of tips about how to avoid emergencies.

- First of all it is complying with all regulations. And if you are suddenly in an emergency, the most important thing is not to panic. Panic is the worst enemy that hinders the work of professionals. You must calm down and appeal the reason. Thus you will be able not only to save yourself, but also help others.

Media Center, SPbPU

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