Race Across The World hits the screens
As Race Across The World hits our screens, the 1st Option Head of High Risk Services, Chris Lawton, who led on the security and safety support for the production, gives 5 of the fundamentals to supporting such an ambitious production.
1. Get Out There
A lot of effort went into reconnoitring this production. At first, we spent the time reviewing routes and mapping. On our staff we had team members who had traveled the world, overland, and this was invaluable in discussing the range of travel options and the logistical and security challenges this could present. Our thoughts were put to the test on an extended recce, supported at the higher risk phases by one of our dual role safety advisers and UK qualified paramedics. This also gave us a chance to test a range of emergency communication and tracking approaches – we settled on the Garmin In Reach supplied by our equipment team.
2. Focused Training
Once the recce was complete momentum really took hold. Quickly, the production team scaled up. We met them at our training base in Kent and provided a day of first aid and travel safety training focused on the significant risks the teams would face on their journey using highly realistic casualty simulation and role-play. Could we have done more – of course! But we made sure we got the key information across in the most effective was possible. There is no one better to do this than our full time, professional training team
.3. Get The Right Support
I knew exactly who I wanted to support this production. We needed individuals who would be comfortable working in far from help, remote and austere conditions. They would also need to be compatible with small teams, able to work under intense pressure and with very tight deadlines. Each of my team was a qualified paramedic, with extensive safety and security experience. Across this team I had individuals who had travelled the route, those who had worked in the highest risk areas imaginable and those with extensive health and safety experience. Importantly, all of them understood production.
4. Get The Right Kit
Once chosen, our team assembled their equipment. Requiring comprehensive first aid equipment, our team had to be able to carry everything that they needed, and would need to cross a lot of borders and undergo a lot of checks. Therefore the equipment was carefully chosen and packed to give the best chance of success. Our failure to do this correctly could hinder the participants in the show – and this would not be acceptable! As we have an in house equipment service, able to provide everything from medical kits to body armour, we were able to make sure that each of our team was fully equipped for their task.
5. Keep Going!
It would be wrong to pretend that everything went perfectly. It did not. With multiple teams racing across the world there would inevitably be difficulties in communication, mixed messages and competing views on what should be done and when. However, on all parts, as everyone had a shared desire for this to be great work, the whole production kept on working, and kept on going!