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 50 Hostile Environment and First Aid Training (HEFAT) courses that have trained more than 700 journalists from diverse mediums, outlets, and levels of experience. In-person HEFAT trainings typically last four days, with at least 50 percent of the course focused on training through practical, realistic scenarios.
The IWMF will host three in-person HEFAT courses in the U.S. in 2022:
- April 17-21: Harrisonburg, Virginia
- June 12-17: Chicago, Illinois
- September 11-16: Los Angeles, California
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Apply at https://bit.ly/HEFAT2022.
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.
The IWMF also coordinates virtual HEFAT courses and physical safety workshops for groups and newsrooms; contact Maria Alejandra Silva Ortega at msilva[at]iwmf[dot]org for more information.
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 Situational Awareness Emotional Care
Kidnapping / Navigating Checkpoints / Reaction under Gunfire