|HET: Hostile Environment Training
HEAT: Hostile Environment Awareness Training
HEFAT: Hostile Environment and Emergency First Aid Training
No matter what the acronym, these seminars cover the basics of badass: emergency first aid, weapons 101, safety and risk assessment.
It can get personal, with region-specific tutorials addressing conflict management, ways to prevent being kidnapped and how to handle things if the worst happens.
It isn’t cheap. Expect to shell out around £2,000 with accommodation.
The Rory Peck Trust, established in memory of a freelance cameraman killed in Moscow in 1993, offers both monetary and in-kind resources to freelancers for security training.
Once you’ve been schooled, you need gear. Reporters Without Borders offers free, basic first-aid kits and two-month loans of body armor, helmets, and personal distress beacons.
AKE Group - UK
+44 1432 267111
Days: 5-day course; 3-day refresher
Certificates: 4 BTEC in Surviving Hostile Regions (SHR); Edexcel accreditation
FYI: Courses offered in the UK, US, and Canada
Centurion RAS Ltd - UK
+44 1637 873661
Days: 4-day course; 2-day refresher
FYI: Centurion recently held training courses in Ukraine
PGI Training - UK
+44 1884 849460
Days: 2, 4, and 6-day courses, depending on threat level
FYI: Lots of medical add-ons. Unless on a diet, skip the medical video before lunch.
Tundra Group - Canada, UK, Sri Lanka
+1 519 473 6434
Days: 3-day course
FYI: some grants available for freelance journalists
TYR Solutions – UK, USA, Turkey
+44 20 3239 5257
Certificates: HET; emergency first aid certificate; automated external defibrillator (AED) qualification
FYI: free Trauma Pack upon course completion, optional 4x4 training