Rangers First Aid: Rigorous selection course & evaluation
On 1 February 2010, the FCF anti-poaching division welcomed Mr. Ruben de Kock and Mr. Theo Landman of the African Field Ranger Training Services (AFRTS) to our Lake Natron concession. Ruben and Theo were called upon to put our anti-poaching field staff through a rigorous selection course and evaluation, followed by a basic field training course. Of the 76 rangers who were put thru their paces (4 additional rangers were excused due to injury/illness) just twenty men passed the selection stage. While this may appear to be a high attrition rate, we view it as an indication of the overall quality of our ranger corps. It is our sincere hope that these 20 men will be the foundation upon which we build the anti-poaching program in the years to come.
An additional 40 rangers were invited back (on probation) to attend the training course, which covered topics such as the role of the field ranger, patrol techniques, observation points, listening points, distance sighting, orders, patrol planning, aspects of Tanzanian wildlife law, arrest procedures, self-defense and minimum force techniques. In the near future we will conduct another selection course and evaluation in order to build our numbers back to the desired eighty personnel.
We at FCF would like to thank Ruben and Theo and the AFRTS for helping us establish a new ethos and standard by which our anti-poaching field staff will be measured by. It is our expectation that this will in turn result in a higher level of efficacy in our fight against poaching in Tanzania.
FCF patrol commanders attended a 2-day (14 hour) first aid training course conducted by Samantha Roberts on the 15th and 16th of February. Areas that were covered include:
- Artificial respiration
- Cardiac resuscitation
- Wound management
- Bandaging, splinting and immobilization techniques
- Heat related illnesses
- Snake bites
Instructor Sam Roberts said that she “found the commanders as a whole to be calm and well organized with all aspects of the training”. Due to the potentially dangerous nature of anti-poaching work, training such as this will prove invaluable and could realistically save a life.
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