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Published: June 28, 2012

A selection of editors were put through their paces this May when they attended Pilgrims' Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT) course, set at Pilgrims' unique training ground in Surrey, England.

Representatives from publications, including Business Traveller magazine and Public Service magazine, attended the course, having heard about its high reputation.

Training manager Sam Mostyn didn't hold back and put the attendees through rigorous training, consisting of both real life scenarios and classroom based theory.

"The course was fantastic," enthused editor of Public Service magazine, Oliver Rowe. "Right from the start of the eleven hour, first day – with the issuing of a visa for a fictitious country – we were immersed in an unknown country in the grip of a complex civil war. During what was a very challenging day, we learned and practised trauma first aid, as well as the all-important preparation necessary before and after arriving in a foreign country. It was never possible to predict what was coming next."

"The scenarios imitate the threats posed to business travellers in high-risk areas," continued Business Traveller magazine’s Rose Dykins. "You find yourself getting immersed in the situations, desperately wanting to do the right thing. There are lots of surprises; one minute you'll be in the classroom and suddenly you have to put your first aid skills to use. There's a lot of fake blood, blank weapons, simulated explosions and very realistic acting from the instructors and actors, who don't break character."

To read the magazine articles, click the links below: