HEST: Hostile Environment Safety Training

HEST: Hostile Environment Safety Training


As a journalist, you need to be well equipped physically and mentally to face potential dangers when reporting in unsafe and unpredictable situations.

You will acquire the tools and knowledge needed to assess danger in war zones, areas of civil unrest and also urban uprisings, humanitarian crises, terrorist attacks as well as natural disasters.

HEST addresses your questions on safety, trauma and stress while you prepare stories under simulated hostile environments, in both rural and urban settings.


  • Journalist, reporter, correspondent
  • Cameraman working in the field and
    technical staff
  • Head of foreign news desk


  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses when reporting in hostile environments
  • Better assess the risks of operating in extreme conditions
  • Acquire essential tools to handle stress and safety
  • Exchange experiences in a stimulating environment



  • Collection of participants between 13:00 and 13:30 at Munich airport, please ensure that your flight lands by no later than 12:30
  • Reception and introduction to situation awareness and personal security module at 15:30 at the Castle Hexenagger


  • Course ending time: 16:30
  • Back to Munich airport at 18:00


  • Situation awareness and personal security
  • Planning how to get a story
  • Logistics and safety planning
  • Basic life-support course
  • Avoiding kidnap, surviving abduction
  • Stress management
  • Working with the military
  • Practical training in civil disturbance and operating safety in high risk urban areas
  • Practical training in a conflict environment
  • Medical and first aid (gunshot wound, heavy bleeding, broken limbs)


Objective Safety Travel professionals, including:

  • Former senior officers
  • Trainers and operators from the British Special Forces
  • Front-line media professionals
  • Specialists in technical and IT security
  • Medical experts

Meet your faculty

Charlie McGrath

Director, Objective Safety Travel Ltd, UK

Charlie spent 15 years in the British Army, leaving in 1997 at the rank of Major. In the immediate years prior to his departure he managed the Army's prime intelligence cell in Northern Ireland for 2 1/2 years and then became Second in Command of the 1st Bn Irish Guards.

For 3 years he worked for Railtrack PLC as Facilites Manager and in 2002 Founded Objective Team plc, now Objective Travel Safety.

Specialties: Overseas safety training for business travellers, NGOs & journalist operating in hostile and/or post conflict countries. Risk assessments and general secuirty advice.

Objective Travel Safety ltd specialises in providing safety training for a range of clients working or travelling abroad. They offer hostile environment courses for journalists, NGOs and business travellers operating in conflict and post conflict countries. In addition they run courses for expedition and gap year students. Their business clients include BAe Systems, Exxon Mobil, the European Broadcast Union and they trained Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman prior to thier Long Way Down and Round expeditions.