In response to the extreme nature and level of threat NGOs operating in Somalia are exposed to, NSP has developed Hostile Environment Individual Safety Training (HEIST). the objective of the course is ‘To better prepare NGO staff for working and living in insecure and remote environments through the provision of basic skills and techniques’.
HEIST comprises the following key elements:
- Communications – Participants are introduced to VHF and other equipment.
- Weapon awareness – Participants are introduced to Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) and, the actions to take on encountering IEDs and other weapon systems.
- Travel – Participants are shown how to plan and protect themselves on a road move. Including ambush, IED and accident drills.
- Problem Solving – Participants are introduced to the concept of problem solving through a series of practical exercises.
- Psychological preparedness – Participants discuss the psychological aspects of operating in a hostile environment through a series of discussion exercises.
- Medical Care - Practical and Theory. Much use is made of simulation.
- Personal Security – Participants are given instruction on personal security and introduced to security management risk assessment and mitigation strategies employed at the agency level.
- Incident Management – Through theory and practical scenario participants are gradually introduced to complex incidents which require them to use the skills and knowledge gained throughout the course
The course is so designed that each element leads naturally to the next, each building on the previous, culminating in the execution of practical scenarios requiring the application of both the theory and hard skills previously taught.
The Kenya based course lasts 4 days and is residential. The training is currently free with no costs to the Agency or Individual, except for getting to/from the pickup and drop off point. Courses run in Somalia / Somaliland are non-residential and normally operate from hotels. NSP will provide food and water for the training period only.