Sebastian Junger Launches Medical Training Program for War Correspondents

Sebastian Junger, author of A Perfect Storm and Producer/Director of Restrepo along with Tim Hetherington, has launched RISC, a three-day training program to “equip freelance journalists in all media to treat life-threatening injuries on the battlefield.”

The organization was founded in large part due to Hetherington’s 2011 death while covering the Libyan revolution.

Via the RISC Web site, Junger writes:

During the siege of Misrata by Colonel Gaddafi’s forces this past April, a single mortar shell landed on the frontlines of Tripoli Street and changed journalism – and my life – forever. In addition to killing and wounding many Libyan fighters, an American photojournalist named Chris Hondros was mortally wounded, and my good friend and colleague, Tim Hetherington, was hit by shrapnel in the groin.

Tim’s wound did not have to be fatal, but it killed him nevertheless. His femoral artery had been cut, and although that is an extremely serious injury, there are things that can be done to prolong life. Unfortunately, none of the journalists or rebels around him knew what to do, and Tim bled out and died in the back of a pickup truck on the way to the Misrata hospital. Tim is not the first friend I have lost in combat, but his death was certainly the most devastating. It has prompted me to start a medical training program for freelancer journalists so that the next tragedy can be averted. Our course is modeled after informal training that Tim and I received in Afghanistan and is taught by experienced medics, many with extensive combat experience.

Interested journalists can apply for training at the RISC Web site.

Training is scheduled for New York City this April, London this fall and Beruit next Winter.