So the company picnic is in Baghdad. What now?
Hostile environment training can help. In many cases, it’s the law. Employers must provide adequate training and preparation before sending staff into dangerous places. According to Hostile Environment Training, Limited (HETL): ‘’This is a requirement, under ‘Duty of Care and Security’ for the Department for International Development, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and all other international grant and funding providers.’’
Don’t worry; you’re not going to have to run up a mountain with 30-kilo weights strapped to your back. In fact, the most important piece of equipment in much of hostile environment training is a cool head.
HETL describes their customers as those who by law have to take a hostile environment course and ‘Those who make a conscious decision to protect themselves, their families, friends and colleagues, by understanding that working in, travelling to or through and living in high risk locations around the world can have significant risks associated.’
A Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT) course can last anywhere from 1 to 5 days, depending on the training. Though located in southern England, HELT delivers. Seminars cover a number of things, including emergency trauma, weapons 101, vehicle/checkpoint safety and risk assessment. HEAT can get personal, with courses on conflict management and ways to prevent being kidnapped and how to handle things if the worst happens. Gadget geeks will love the courses on surveillance, navigation, and communications.
A certificate in some of these courses may get you a cheaper travel medical insurance rate; the rest just keep you from dying.
Preparation before going to a scary place can be the best safety measure. HETL again, quoting the Australian Parachute Training School: ‘Knowledge dispels fear.’
According to HETL, ‘Actions and inactions can have far reaching consequences.’ In other words, if you can’t take the Hostile Environment Awareness Training, stay out of the kitchen!