I attended a talk on the 27th Feb at the Frontline Club entitled “Unprepared, inexperienced and in a war zone” which has started a discussion about the safety of journalists, documentary makers and camera men in conflict zones and how the industry must do more to protect them.
This is going to be a difficult discussion that should have been started years ago but has been bought to the fore by the terrible conditions in Syria, Mexico and Somalia and the terrible risks that freelancers are taking with little or no training. I think it boils down to one issue and that is ££££. It costs money to do these courses.
So what we’re proposing is 6 times a year to run a 2 day course at The Artist Rifles Clubhouse in Bisley, Surrey for £400 covering the subjects below and giving freelancers a tick in the box.
Staying safe when out and about
“Switching on” to your surroundings
The presence of the abnormal or absence of the normal
What’s more important, your safety or the job?
At what point do you call it a day and come back another time?
How you dress, look, behave and speak can have a positive effect, in some situations. However, it can also get you into trouble and draw attention to you in the wrong neighbourhood. We also look at some common mistakes.
Operating safely in your area by day and night
Getting a feel for the place
Moving from the airport to the hotel
Guarding against complacency
How to enhance your personal safety, in your hotel and on the move
Comprehensive Medical and First Aid Training
This is a significant part of the course, with emphasis on realistic and practical scenarios. We cover falls, road traffic accidents, blasts, how to assemble & use your own Med Kit and how to look after one another when miles from help. Upon completion, delegates will be awarded the Emergency First Aid Certificate (formerly known as ‘the appointed persons first aid certificate’).
Navigation and Orientation
Both in the city and in the countryside, if you have to call for help, you must know where you are. Identifying and finding your way to key rendezvous points in an emergency (Embassies and safe hotels frequented by Internationals) and some basic navigation.
Detailed inventory of equipment required and documentation
Importance of making a Will
Is one of your team a diabetic, or on prescription medication?
From searching vehicles to controlling your driver, more people are killed in road traffic accidents in Colombia annually than are kidnapped.
Vehicle Check Points (VCPs)
Successful negotiation and safe passing through both police & illegal VCPs and knowing when to call it a day and turn around.
Practical and theoretical training, mines kill indiscriminately and can lay hidden for decades waiting to maim or kill the unwary. Know what to look out for and what to do.
Different types of weapons, their ranges, effects and cover from fire/view, including small arms, heavy weapons, missiles and artillery (myths and the reality).
Covering injuries associated with mines and weapons.
This training is not just for war correspondents, what we’ll teach you can be useful all around the world wherever you feel threatened.
My background: Ex-British Army, I have been training BBC teams in the UK, Africa, Pakistan and India for the past five years and now run training for my own clients, which include a number of freelancers.
If you're interested in attending one of my invaluable courses, please get in touch, either by text on +44 (0)7884 001 600, or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org Looking forward to hearing from you.