HEFAT Training

HEFAT training

The IWMF is committed to helping improve the ability of journalists to report safely in an increasingly complex world, and improve their situational awareness, self-defense and first aid skills. Since 2014, we have organized 28 Hostile Environment and First Aid Training (HEFAT) courses that have trained more than 400 journalists from diverse mediums, outlets, and levels of experience. HEFAT trainings typically last four days, with at least 50 percent of the course focused on training through practical, realistic scenarios.

The fact that each reporting trip offers HEFAT training at the beginning alone is a game changer for those of us working in dangerous places often without institutional support.

-Natalie Keyssar, IWMF Connect Fellow

The IWMF organizes safety training courses in conjunction with every IWMF reporting trip, to ensure that our fellows have the skills needed to operate safely in challenging environments. Additionally, the IWMF has organized trainings for local journalists through in-country training and in collaboration with members of the ACOS (A Culture of Safety) Alliance.

I cannot emphasize enough how important the skills I learned from HEFAT – through IWMF’s support – were to keeping me safe.

-Alice Su, Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists Grantee and IWMF Reporting Fellow

During our HEFAT courses, journalists participate in both classroom-based learning and scenarios to simulate situations that journalists may realistically encounter in the field. Some of the topics covered in trainings include:

  • Emergency First Aid
  • Digital Security
  • Self Defense
  • Hotel Security / Personal Security
  • Civil Unrest / Demonstrations
  • Kidnapping / Navigating Checkpoints /  Reaction under Gunfire 
  • Situation Awareness
  • Emotional Care

Watch the IWMF’s HEFAT video.