Local Rangers Empowered By First Responder Courses

On the frontline of the war against rhino poaching, anti-poaching rangers work in remote and dangerous environments daily. Recently, funded by Chipembere Rhino Foundation and Game Rangers Association of Africa, local rangers received critical training empowering them to handle emergencies safely and professionally.

Rangers operate in high threat environments, facing potential physical harm from wild animals as well as armed, dangerous poaching syndicates with every patrol. Rangers are also responsible for their colleagues’ safety while on patrol, as well as the well-being of any poaching suspects.

Between 23 and 27 September 2021 at Amakhala Game Reserve, local rangers from Addo National Park, Great Fish River Nature Reserve and participating Indalo reserves received crucial training empowering them with the knowledge and skills to handle a trauma emergency confidently while patrolling.

This is not only essential for the ongoing morale of the ranger units, but also to the reputation of the reserve, the industry and the country.

All training sessions were conducted and funded by a continued and positive collaboration between Chipembere Rhino Foundation and Game Rangers Association of Africa to provide Eastern Cape rangers with approved training and vital equipment.

The Ranger First Responder course provides fundamental skills for rangers operating in high threat environments. Covering relevant laws, situational awareness, incident management, direct and indirect threat care and practical training in the field. The training gives rangers confidence to face medical emergencies in the field.

The training consisted of two courses. The first two-day First Responder Ranger course focused on eleven K9 handlers including canine first aid while the second course focused on nine rangers working in reaction units and anti-poaching units. The courses were conducted by Doug Lang of Safe Ranger Africa, which offers specialist “Reality Based Training” for field rangers that meets international best practice guidelines. Dr William Fowlds and his veterinary team from African Rhino Conservation Collaboration (ARCC) conducted the canine first aid component.

Equipment was provided to all participants thanks to Safeguard Medical and Meddev, who donated the Individual First Aid Kits (IFAKS). K9 First Aid Kits were sourced by Dr Fowlds and funded by ARCC and GCF (Global Conservation Force).

Thank you to all the sponsors, trainers and rangers who collaborated on this successful training event.

Images Credit: Douglas Lang

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