HEST Refresher: Hostile Environment Safety Training Refresher

HEST Refresher: Hostile Environment Safety Training Refresher


Join our Hostile Environment Safety Training Refresher Master Class, a three day safety and risk management course at Hexenagger Castle.

HEST is the reference course in Europe preparing media professionals for assignments under extreme conditions.

Situated near Munich, Hexenagger is the perfect location to do as many practical exercises as possible.

Over three days, journalists and technical media professionals working in the field will be updated on new threats, while consolidating information already learnt but perhaps forgotten.

It is an important reminder that will ultimately increase skill levels so that the entire crew can feel confident in hostile environments and administering first aid to injured colleagues without losing their cool.

Who it's for

All media journalists, reporters, cameramen and technical staff who have already completed the HEST course before.

Course Objectives

  • The bed-rock of personal safety and update on new threats
  • Crime prevention, use of local transport
  • Weapon characteristics - hand guns, rifles, mortars etc. Weapons penetration and selecting protective clothing. An update on mines and IED threats
  • Options in the event of terrorist attack
  • Current kidnap threat. The principles of avoidance and the physical and moral techniques of surviving in captivity
  • Techniques for negotiating safe passage and identifying early escalating dangers
  • Basic life-saving, practising diagnostic and first aid techniques. How to stabilize casualties
  • Useful tips and advice for women working abroad, assisted by women present
  • How to extract a casualty from vehicles. Reduce the chances of an accident


Day 1 - Collection of participants between 14:00 and 14:30 at Munich airport, please ensure that your flight lands by no later than 13:30. Followed by a 2-hour course. Dinner at 20:30 at Schloss Hexenagger.

Day 2 - From 9:00 to 20:00

Day 3 - From 8:45 to 16:30

Content Outline

  • Safety awareness
  • Preparation and personal security
  • Review of field safety
  • Weapons and ballistics awareness
  • Mines and IEDs
  • Medical 1 – introduction and trauma
  • Abduction survival
  • Emotional trauma
  • Working in crowds
  • Medical 2 – practical
  • Women issues abroad
  • Medical 3 – road traffic accidents

Equipment and Clothing

  • Bring your driving licence.
  • Bring enough casual and old clothing and shoes with you for the outside role play exercises, as the conditions may turn muddy and dirty.
  • Bring enough warm clothing and shoes with you as the weather in Germany might be cold and rainy.

About your instructors

Three instructors from Objective Safety Travel:

  • Former senior officers
  • Trainers and operators from the British Special Forces
  • Front-line media professionals
  • 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.