The safety and well being of all of our students and staff is the highest priority on any Round River Conservation Studies program. We work in remote areas and include our students in actual conservation work, but those efforts never take precedence over the welfare of students. While we cannot guarantee absolute safety anywhere, we can minimize risk to the best of our ability. We have developed extraordinary programs that offer the opportunity for personal and professional growth while still keeping the safety and health of our students as our top priority.
Risk Management Plans
Round River has comprehensive risk management plans in place for each program. We review these plans on a regular basis. Remote Medical International, an industry leader in risk management, has reviewed our plans and has developed medical guidelines for our staff. Global Rescue has also reviewed our safety and communication protocols.
On-site Orientation for Students
Upon arriving on-site, students are provided with a thorough safety orientation and training from program instructors. This orientation covers environmental conditions, wildlife concerns, social and cultural considerations, and emergency protocols. Students are encouraged to ask questions until all participants achieve complete understanding of each topic. The orientation also includes a private conversation between instructors and each student to address individual medical histories and special needs.
Our small group sizes allow us to pay special attention to present or evolving risks, and we revisit safety issues and procedures on a regular basis with students throughout each program to ensure the safety and comfort of everyone. We rely heavily on our local staff, especially in Africa, to advise our safety protocols.
All of our American instructors possess current Wilderness First Responder certification (an 80-hour first aid course). Local instructors also possess first aid certifications. The Wilderness First Responder training focuses on first aid scenarios particular to remote or backcountry environments. Round River has worked with Remote Medical International to develop our medical guidelines. Program instructors carry first aid kits with them at all times.
All students and instructors are enrolled with Global Rescue for evacuation insurance during the program. Through this company, Round River staff and students have 24-hour access to medical professionals. If a situation warrants medical evacuation, Global Rescue will coordinate the evacuation, working with local health care facilities and transportation providers.
During any program, students will have limited access to internet and phone communications. This is due to the remote nature of our research sites. Students can expect to have access to email every two to five weeks, depending on the program location.
Our instructors carry satellite phones and satellite communication devices (inReach units) with them at all times. Our support staff in the USA and Canada are on-call during programs and available to respond quickly and efficiently to any issues that may arise.