Tag Archives: expedition leadership

Gabon themed field safety and outdoor first aid quiz

We are busy packing and preparing for one of our team to head off to Gabon for ten days of first aid trainingrisk assessment and emergency management and remote worker support for a new project starting up out there.  So since it’s been a while since our last refresher quiz – what better than a little Gabon themed quiz to top up your outdoor first aid and field safety skills…

Field safety and outdoor first aid quiz

Field safety and outdoor first aid quiz

 

Question 1

You are managing a remote field camp in Gabon.  One of your team takes a big fall whilst scrambling on a rocky outcrop, twenty minutes walk from the camp.  They land on their front, they are unresponsive but you can detect breathing.  You are on your own with no phone reception… what would you do?

Answer

The answer is… it depends! What it mainly depends on is are they now in a STABLE, OPEN, DRAINING AIRWAY position – if so, you could make them safe, protect from the elements and go to find help.  However if they are not, you would have to adjust the position to ensure their airway and breathing is maintained whilst you are away.  Move them as little as possible, support the head and neck – but you must make sure their airway will be maintained whilst you are away from them.

Question 2

You are working in a remote field area of Gabon.  On a trek deep into the forest you discover a river blocks your path into a target study site.  What considerations would you make in deciding whether or not to cross the river?

Answer

Rivers can potentially be a serious hazard and sadly drowning does occur on overseas trips.  Therefore we would need to make a number of careful assessments – all of which will be governed by the overall principle: “If in doubt – stay out”!

We;d have to recommend some more training such as our RLSS Water Safety Management Programme, but some considerations would be:

1 – How crucial is this particular site – we have to balance up risk and benefit – an element of risk management which is too often forgot

2 – Your own experience and knowledge of rivers and river crossings

3 – The speed and depth of the water

4 – The entry and exit points

5 – Any hazards in the water, currents, entrapment objects, animals, water borne disease…

6 – If it rains whilst I am on the other side – what will the river look like then…

The number of considerations and the knowledge and experience required to judge all these things takes us back to where we originally started… “If in doubt, stay out”.

If its time for you to update your risk management,  field safety or outdoor first aid skills then just get in touch.

Occupational Water Safety Programme

Here at Training Expertise we are committed to running quality training programmes, and tailored courses that are effective at transferring knowledge, skills and attitudes.

Training Expertise RLSS NWSMP Southend child

Safeguarding not Life guarding. The RLSS UK National Water Safety Management Programme, through Training Expertise

We are proud to be working with the RLSS UK as a key provider of this Occupational Water Safety Programme.

The Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS UK) developed this programme to improve water safety across a wide range of working environments and operational sectors. Delivered as a suite of interlinked training awards, specifically designed to assist those organisations with employees who work in or near water to meet their civil & statutory safety management obligations, especially where employees have supervisory responsibilities.

The Health & Safety Executive endorses the sensible, proportionate, reasonable & balanced advice provided by the National Water Safety Management Programme.

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What we do

Since 1998, Training Expertise has been working with organisations and people who operate in outdoor or remote environments. Devoting our time to designing training courses in the fields of first aid (outdoor first aid, expedition first aid and workplace first aid), fieldwork safety, defensive & off road driver training and field leadership.

Over the years we have built a network of elite trainers to deliver this range of tailor made programmes.  These include doctors, paramedics, nurses, field trip leaders, mountain rescue personnel and crisis management experts.  We pride ourselves on the quality of training, adaptation to the operating conditions and recommendations of practical solutions.

Inspiration for your 2014 adventures from National Geographic Adventurer of the year

With 2014 fast approaching we thought you might like some inspiration for the coming year – and where better to look than to National Geographic Adventurer of the year. The list includes a man who jumped from space, an exploratory kayaker completing the first descent of the world’s largest rapids by paddling the Congo River’s Inga Rapids and Humanitarian Shannon Galpin, a women’s rights activist and mountain biker who brings a photographic survey to a country in the grip of war.

National Geographic Adventurer of the Year

Some expedition skills are trickier than others

There is inspiration for all of you to get out on expedition, or to hone your outdoor skills – the video summary alone is well worth a good look!

 

Expedition Leadership Weekend

Last weekend we ran our first expedition leadership weekend in partnership with Explorers Connect. It was a great success with attendees coming with plans ranging from a new take on the three peaks challenge (an overseas version!) to getting into working in the expedition industry, to cycling from Land’s End of John O’Groats and all manner of other ideas and plans.

Expedition training weekend

Expedition Leadership Weekend with Explorers Connect

Dom headed the course covering everything from expedition soft skills, leadership styles, risk management and emergency planning. Belinda Kirk from Explorers Connect also added a valuable session giving her insight into media and fundraising and we were lucky to be joined in the evening by Ken Hames who added his own perspective of invaluable lessons learnt from his expedition career.

It was a great fun weekend and everyone left enthused and ready to take the next step to make their expedition plans a reality. Plans are already afoot to run more dates as this course was already oversubscribed, so if you are interested in getting your name down early get in touch or drop Belinda an email at Explorers Connect belinda@explorersconnect.com

RGS Explore 2013 – Top weekend for all expeditioners

We are delighted that Training Expertise will again be at the RGS Explore conference, the year’s top expedition weekend event.  It is on the 15th to 17th Nov and early bird booking is open NOW! We’re pleased to announce that Business Manager Dom will be speaking on the main stage about practical solutions to risk management in field safety.  He will  also be chairing the tropical forest panel.

We’re really looking forward to it and hope as many of you as possible will be able to join us there. There are lectures, workshops and exhibits to help organise your own expedition or field research projects in a variety of environments and disciplines. Over 90 leading field scientists and explorers to provide inspiration, contacts and advice over the course of this unique weekend.

What’s more there is an early bird booking discount available NOW of just £75 and only £55 for students and under 25s! Full details of the conference and how to book is available at the RGS website.

Vehicle safety on expeditions overseas

New Training Expertise Business Manager Matt Ilott has just returned from leading an amazing school expedition to Cambodia with our partners at Wilderness Expertise.  He’s been reflecting on one of the biggest challenges we face when working overseas – vehicle safety.

One of the hardest elements of expedition travel safety – when it can be hardest to control the team and their safety is undoubtedly when using vehicles. Splitting the team to fit into the forms of transport available, be it Tuk-Tuks, taxis or minivans can be a real challenge, with hectic roads and language barriers. 

Cambodia expedition vehicle safety

vehicle safety on overseas expedition in Cambodia

It is crucial to know what to look for when assessing the vehicle safety, the driver and their driving.  So, some top tips:

  • WHO is driving – select trusted drivers, get local recommendations, ensure they are licensed and fit to drive
  • WHAT are they driving – is the vehicle appropriate and in good working order
  • WHEN they are driving – when did the driver last take a break…
  • WHERE are they driving – plan routes and avoid known hotspots, busier times of day where possible
  • HOW are they driving – don’t be afraid to say STOP and get out!

If you’d be interested in discussing any training in dynamic risk assessmentfield safety or vehicle safety on expedition, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

If you know of a school looking for an amazing adventure next year, check out Wilderness Expertise’s outstanding school expeditions.

Managing Water Safety

So many excursions venture on or near bodies of water – whether researching fluvial dynamics, marine ecosystems or simply a university climbing club trip to Swanage.

The water element can be a major highlight of the trip but you have to consider what you would do in the event of an accident:

  • What if someone slipped in the water?
  • How much time do you have to get them out?
  • What should you do with the rest of the group?
  • What is that orange ring thing and where is it!?

Lots of courses focus on the lifesaving knowledge needed to deal with this sort of situation should it arise.  However, the The Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) National Water Safety Management Programme (NWSMP) is different.  It is designed to give people the knowledge base and confidence to ensure that no one falls in the water in the first place – “prevention is better than a cure”!

It focuses on managing groups and their safety to prevent incidents occurring, as well as giving you the tools to know how to affect a rescue should the worst happen.

 

Water Safety Management Programme

Water Safety Management Programme

Water Safety is of paramount importance to the well being of anyone visiting a body of water, be it a swimming pool, lake, river or beach. This pragmatic, principle based course sits perfectly within our ethos at Training Expertise and we are therefore proud to offer the RLSS NWSMP as both a bespoke or open course as part of our Field Safety Training.

This qualification’s modular structure can be specifically tailored to your school’s needs so to learn more about this course, please feel free to get in touch

Field safety support in Namibia

Our field safety training is based firmly on real field experience.  All our trainers are active fieldworkers and expedition leaders and as well as training, they work regularly out in the field as medics and fieldwork safety advisors.  Dom has just returned from Namibia where he spent a week in the desert providing on-site field safety support to one of our clients.  We thought we’d share a few photos and some of his experiences.

field safety in the Namibian desert

Enjoying the dunes on the final day of the trip

Namibia was a beautiful place, with wide expanses of true wilderness.  We drove for days on end without seeing any sign of other human life, let alone any actual people! Magical as this wilderness is it poses some field safety challenges as well.  The wildlife was magnificent, seeing zebra, oryx. meerkats, ostrich, springboks as well as regular signs of elephant and lion.  Care had to be taken around camp in the evenings and overnight.

It was also a good environment for putting driver training skills into practice.  We encountered deep sand, rocky terrain and some challenges for drivers and toyota landcruisers alike.  Sharp rock edges proved a challenge for the lancruiser tyres and we got plenty of practice in the challenges of changing tyres in remote desert environments!

field safety in the Namibian desert

Endless desert wilderness

Visiting rocky outcrops also posed some challenges with the need for careful group management, expedition leadership and outdoor skills to manage issues such as loose rock and steep exposed areas.

Through a combination of good field sense, dynamic risk assessment by the team and good pre-planning the trip ran safely and successfully and we all returned dusty, happy and tired for a much needed cool drink and hot shower in Windhoek!

Driver training in practice in the desert

Challenging off road 4×4 driving in Namibia

If you would like any support or field safety training to help make your field plans a reality please don’t hesitate to get in touch.  You can also see more photos from Namibia on our facebook page.

Exciting Expedition Training partnership with Explorers Connect

We are delighted to announce an exciting new course partnership with Explorers Connect.  This October (5th and 6th) we are launching a joint expedition leadership weekend.  This fun and informative weekend will include our full IOL approved CPD expedition training course with some special added extras from the team from Explorers Connect including a guest speaker on the Saturday evening.

Expedition Training for Remote Environments

Expedition leadership training

The course combines insight into the expedition industry with ideas on how to get into the sector.  It also covers many of the soft skills such as managing groups and facilitation, alongside hard skills such as risk management and field safety.

It is clearly crucial that all expedition leaders have up to date outdoor first aid skills and the ability to navigate and other hard outdoor skills.  However we consider it equally important to learn about managing groups, group facilitation and support for those tricky issues which always rear their head in the middle of the jungle!

We look forward to sharing new skills over a fun and relaxed weekend of expedition training – get in touch for more details or you can book direct via explorers connect.

Managing Field Safety by Managing People

We run many field safety courses each year for university staff and students, for schools and for large commercial organisations, NGOs and charities. A recent four day field first aid and leadership course we were running in Norway got us reflecting on just how much of the content was about managing people.

Field safety in Norway

Dealing with first aid and incident management on field safety course in Norway

The timetable contained “soft skills scenarios”, “giving effective safety briefing”, and “leadership styles”. Even some of the harder skills of risk assessment were dominated by discussion of how to get people engaged with the process, how to share the information on risk assessments and how to get people to follow the control measures you have put in place.

Reading a step by step guide to the company’s overlying field safety policy with this in mind we noticed a little line we’d not really noticed before, “engage participants in a thinking approach to field safety”. It really made us reflect on quite how important this often neglected area is. It can be too easy to get focused on safety policies and paperwork and forget that so much of fieldwork safety comes down to the skill of the organisers and leaders to engage everyone in a thoughtful and common sense approach to risk management.

The course focused on group management skills, delivery styles and options for quality field safety briefings. These are core to any successful safety management and are skills which are crucial to outdoor instructors and commercial exploration managers, to school teachers and field scientists alike.

If you are interested in learning more about field safety and leadership skills, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.