5 Benefits of Hostile Environment and First Aid Training

5 Benefits of Hostile Environment and First Aid Training

Published: May 30, 2023

People entering hostile environments for work purposes, such as journalists, foreign aid workers and news production teams have to undergo a specific type of training.

The standard type of training that falls under this category is HEFAT training, which stands for Hostile Environment and Emergency First Aid Training. There is also another course known as Hostile Environment and Awareness Training. This guide explains why these types of foreign first aid training are crucial and ultimately beneficial.

Differences Between HEAT and HEFAT Training

Both HEFAT and HEAT training courses are recognised types of hostile environment training, similar to other acronyms you may have come across like HETT and HETC.

However, the most popular are both HEAT and HEFAT, which both run for a minimum of three days. International and corporate travellers need to undertake these if they are to work in a hostile environment.

  • The HEAT training course runs for three days.
  • The HEFAT course runs for four days.

Apart from the course duration, the only significant difference between HEAT and HEFAT training is that in the latter, delegates will be given advanced trauma first aid training and skills needed to treat post-traumatic and environmental stress. A HEAT training course will cover first aid training but not delve deeper into treating trauma injuries. More information on the course elements is outlined below.

Why Take Hostile Environment Awareness Training?

Hostile environment awareness training was designed for travellers across all sectors, from broadcast media companies, oil and gas workers and charities to international government agencies. These workers can find themselves working in unfamiliar and often hostile environments.

No prior experience is necessary to enrol into hostile environment training courses, which are structured to enable individuals and organisations to transition to and work in a region while being inherently aware of all risks and threats present.

Moreover, this training teaches delegates how to avoid and respond to situations they may be faced with.

ATR's team

What Does HEAT and HEFAT Training Teach You?


The features of structured first aid and hostile environment awareness training include the following (though not limited to):

Recognising risks and tactics you can use individually or in a team.
Utilising effective skills in personal safety and security in a wide range of volatile situations.
Survival using vital mental and physical skills and techniques.
The ability to assess environments using principles of situational awareness and decision-making.

As said above, HEFAT courses involve learning trauma first aid, whereas HEAT courses will delve into important first aid skills too, but not specifically trauma injuries. Read more about why it’s important to learn first aid in hostile environment awareness training here.

What is Covered in a Hostile Environment Training Course?

If you undertake any hostile environment training, you can expect to learn the following:

  • Threat risk assessments
  • Hostile situational awareness
  • Security risk management
  • Vehicle security
  • Navigation techniques
  • Checkpoint management
  • Practice with military-grade GPS tracking and communication products
  • Medical trauma management (see trauma first aid)
  • Surveillance and counter-surveillance
  • Environmental threats
  • IEDs, UXOs and landmines
  • Personal security
  • Conflict management
  • Civil disturbances
  • Weapon familiarisation

5 Advantages of HEAT and HEFAT Training

Our flagship hostile environment awareness training has been designed to suit a variety of individuals and organisations. Using a blend of workshops, demonstrations and scenario-based exercises, the courses teach delegates theoretical knowledge and practical examples to reinforce these theories.

There are five main benefits of taking situational awareness (HEAT) training:

  1. HEAT training prepares your workforce for entering hostile environments confidently and assuredly.
  2. They provide peace of mind to travelling staff on deployment operations.
  3. Structured security training helps build awareness and understanding of threats.
  4. You can subsequently develop a security and safety policy and mitigate various risks.
  5. Delegates will obtain a recognised CPD accreditation certificate upon completion (valid for 12 months).

This course is physically and mentally demanding, but our trainers will facilitate learning in a safe and structured way. Advanced Tactical Resources utilise experienced security trainers, all ex-law enforcement, military or Special Forces, with extensive knowledge of situational awareness, security and protection.

Scenario-Based Hostile Environment Awareness and First Aid Courses

Undertaking HEAT training from a recognised training organisation like Advanced Tactical Resources will be the best investment you can make in terms of your employees’ safety and fulfilling your duty of care.

With our scenario-based approach to first aid and safety training, we are confident all delegates will walk away more confident, aware and prepared to face risks in volatile and hostile situations.

You can find our next available HEAT training course below, but please contact us directly to enquire about additional spaces.

guardian travel - 3-day Hostile Environment Awareness Training

£999 + VAT

guardian training - Security Awareness Fragile Environments

£999 + VAT

guardian training - Close Protection

£3400 + VAT

guardian travel - 3-day Hostile Environment Awareness Training

999 + VAT

guardian training - Trauma First Aid

£135 + VAT