About Our Organization
RISC was founded by journalist Sebastian Junger after the tragic death of his good friend and colleague Tim Hetherington, the acclaimed British photographer who was killed in a mortar attack while covering the Libyan conflict in April 2011. Hetherington and Junger co-directed the 2011 Oscar-nominated documentary 'Restrepo,' about a remote American military outpost in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley. At Hetherington's funeral, Junger learned from a combat medic that his friend may not have succumbed to his wounds if one of the journalists he was traveling with had the proper training or equipment to stop the bleeding. But most freelancers covering conflicts today are not trained, and it is our mission to change that. RISC trains and equips freelance journalists in all media to treat life-threatening injuries on the battlefield. Freelancers comprise the vast majority of those covering war from the frontlines, and consequently make up the vast majority of deaths and injuries. Surviving a gunshot or shrapnel wound is often a matter of doing the right thing in the first few minutes, and our training focuses on that brief, critical period of time. It is our hope to make first aid training the industry norm - like having a flak jacket or satellite phone - and to prevent unnecessary deaths in a job that is so vital to human dignity and human rights. RISC trainings are provided free of cost to experienced, published freelance conflict journalists. While staff reporters are often provided training by their employers, freelancers have to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket to participate in traditional hostile environment courses – and most simply cannot afford to. RISC raises funds from corporate and individual donors to cover the costs of instruction, accommodations, and medical kits for these freelancers. To learn more, please visit our website at www.risctraining.org.