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HostileWorld is a new interactive training platform that applies Near-Life technology to Hostile Environment Training (HEAT Training). The site is aimed at journalists, aid workers and others stationed overseas.
Digital Training Solutions (DTS) have partnered with the Resilience Advisors Network and the security company Blue Mountain Group to develop content that allows individuals to test their skills via filmed, interactive learning scenarios. The team have also worked with staff deployed through UK Aid, the Department for International Development’s rescue teams, to see that the material is as relevant as possible.
Using real actors, filmed in several realistic locations, the Near-Life interactive scenarios gives learners a taste of the situations they’ll most likely encounter in the field. As in real-life, they must make quick decisions, or the scenario proceeds, with decisions made on their behalf.
HEAT Training is designed for those working in or travelling to potentially dangerous or unsettled regions and territories. Traditionally provided for international journalists, oil and gas contractors, government employees or NGO/Humanitarian aid workers, the training, until now, has required time away. HostileWorld changes that by providing remote access to training.
In 2015 DTS worked with the disaster relief NGO, RedR UK, to deliver Mission Ready; funded by USAID and DFID, Mission ready provided several interactive simulations aimed at the NGO sector.
Mike Todd, co-founder of DTS and HostileWorld, said: “HostileWorld will revolutionise HEAT training, bringing learning online, directly to those who need it the most – whether out in the field, or in advance of an overseas mission. There will of course always be a place for traditional role-play training where appropriate and available, but historically this training has been prohibitively expensive for many, and sometimes difficult to access logistically. HostileWorld will work to close that gap, making sure that everyone has the opportunity to receive the training they need to keep themselves safe in dangerous environments.”
Nigel Thomas, CEO of Blue Mountain Group, said: “Nothing is black and white, not all risk can be mitigated and there is no ‘silver bullet’ solution – we must teach people to be aware, so that they can anticipate and avoid, ensuring that they are able to do often very difficult, but much-needed roles as safely as possible. HEAT training allows us to raise people’s awareness, from their immediate personal space through to risk assessment – we teach, empower and give confidence, allowing people to work in challenging environments unhindered and unrestricted.”
And Jon Hall, managing director of the Resilience Advisors Network, said: “HostileWorld has been rigorously designed and tested by responders that have operated in extreme environments over recent years including major natural disasters such as the tsunami in Japan and Nepal earthquakes. The safety and security of staff we deploy overseas is critical to them achieving their mission – rescuers and support workers travel with clear objectives and the ability for them to operate in as safe a manner as possible is vital, not only to them but also for the peace of mind of those monitoring and co-ordinating back at home.”