The Huffington Post : Sebastian Junger Launches Medical Training Program For Freelance Journalists In War Zones

March 20th, 2012

The Huffington Post
By, Michael Calderone
March 20, 2012

Sebastian Junger Tim Hetherington

NEW YORK — Tim Hetherington didn’t have to die in Libya.

It’s that belief that has led Sebastian Junger, a close friend and colleague of the award-winning photojournalist, to launch Reporters Instructed In Saving Colleagues (RISC), an organization providing freelance journalists with emergency medical training.

Junger began thinking about RISC following Hetherington’s funeral in London, where a combat medic told him that Hetherington — who’d sustained a serious shrapnel wound — may have reached a nearby Misrata hospital alive if someone, perhaps another journalist on the scene, had stopped the bleeding for 10 more minutes. But Hetherington, along with photographer Chris Hondros, died in Libya that day.

Junger has spoken to some colleagues about RISC in recent months, but the project didn’t get wider attention until Monday. Junger posted a link on the Facebook page for The Vulture Club, a gathering place for journalists who regularly flock to war zones, several of whom have built strong bonds given their shared experience in conflicts around the world. Many in the group are freelancers who don’t work full-time for a major network or newspaper, and thus they are less likely to receive medical training or have the weight of an institution behind them when working on the front lines.

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