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Published: November 3, 2014

From cyclones to tsunamis, dirt tracks to flash floods, you do not have to be in a war zone to know that shooting dramatic footage and getting it fast can be dangerous. Recognising this, a new TraumaMed™ training course in managing serious injuries has been developed for the world’s media by security specialist, Pilgrims Group Limited.

The new course, led by experts with hands-on experience of trauma medicine and operating in hostile environments, was developed in response to a request from the major US broadcaster, NBC. The course provides essential trauma medicine training and includes vehicle extraction techniques utilising easily available tools and equipment ranging from seat belts to reciprocating saws.

Mark Stansfield, Pilgrims Deputy Training Manager, explains: “NBC contacted us after one of their teams was in a vehicle that rolled 300 feet off a road while they were chasing a tornado. It had been a very serious incident and the nearest hospital was 65 miles away. Fortunately no-one lost their life but this near miss was the catalyst for NBC to consider whether there was anything more they could possibly do to protect and prepare their staff.”

The TraumaMed™ course was developed with the aim of going into the subject more deeply than a typical first aid course, demonstrating vital life-saving skills with a no-nonsense, pragmatic approach. A challenge for the Pilgrims training team was to create realistic scenarios that were as lifelike as possible, using role players and vehicle wrecks from which to extract casualties.

Stansfield continues: “NBC is at the forefront of staff protection and has always been quick to respond and ensure its teams have the best safety training there is. The organisation gave permission for us to use footage from the actual accident, which was extremely powerful and shows clearly the high impact, both for those who witnessed the incident and the passengers who sustained injuries inside the vehicle. We were able to discuss, for example, specific treatment options for chest injuries as well as trauma risk management for witnesses, both vital skills.”

“The storm season in the US seems to be increasing with more devastation and injuries than ever before. Those that report on this and other disasters to a nation thirsty for news need to be prepared, not only for themselves but for the casualties they may encounter.”

As well as a two day practical course, the training includes E-Learning and is completely portable. The plan is now to extend the training beyond the US, taking it to client locations, wherever they may be. The training can also be adapted to suit not just media clients but other businesses and organisations whose staff might face similar dangers, such as communications engineers and people working for international charities and other NGOs.

For more information about any of Pilgrims training courses, including TraumaMed™ and Fastrack HEAT™ (Hostile Environment Awareness Training), contact the company’s UK headquarters on: +44 (0)1483 228 778.