At Broadreach, safety is a priority in all our considerations from conception to completion of each program. While no one can guarantee safety, we are extremely proud of our safety record and believe that the combination of our risk management plans, local contacts, staff training, and our extensive experience planning and operating programs abroad allows us to focus on safety in a way that many faculty-led or exchange programs cannot. Below you will find general information about our comprehensive approach to risk management; if you have further questions about specific programs or activities please contact our office for more information.
For each program—from Costa Rica to South Africa—we develop a detailed emergency action plan. In the unlikely event of a medical emergency, we already know where the hospitals are, what facilities they have, and whether or not they’re open 24 hours a day. We have already identified potential obstacles and resources to assist with medical care, evacuations or other emergencies. We know that, in emergency situations, preparation is critical and our staff are provided with and review this material before as part of their comprehensive pre-program preparation. We also have a dedicated staffed 24hr emergency hotline as a resource.
For every program, activity, or location, we conduct a thorough risk analysis and annual review. We choose outfitters and partners that approach safety as rigorously as we do. We want to know whether or not their staff has been background checked, and whether they’re trained in how to respond to emergencies. Safety is important to us and we make sure it’s equally important to our partners.
On each program, at least one Broadreach staffer is a certified Wilderness First Responder (EFR), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or equivalent. That team member knows how to respond to emergencies—even in remote settings. He or she knows how to treat minor wounds and manage potential infections, realigning fractures and dislocations, administer CPR, and make sound medical decisions in time-sensitive situations.
First, we look to hire staff members that are well traveled and have experience traveling and leading students. Then, before they ever set off on a Broadreach program, we put them through our own comprehensive staff training program that is the most thorough in the industry. In addition to individual program components and group management, this training focuses decision making, judgment and our approach to risk management.
At Broadreach, we think learning to evaluate, respect and manage risks is a critical part of the study abroad experience. As such, we teach and empower our students to share in the responsibility for their own safety and the safety of others on the course. We teach them what to look out for, how to be more aware and how to minimize risks to their own personal safety.