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Today is an Exciting Day for I.C.E. Training Company and for me personally.
When I look at the milestones of my career as a professional trainer, one that certainly stands out in the early evolution of my approach to training occurred about a decade ago in Florida. I had been invited to observe and participate in a Special Operations Team’s week of Annual Training… but the team leader didn’t know it. As it turned out, between the time I had been invited and the time of the AT, the team’s previous leader (whom I had met at an Anti-Terrorism Course a few months earlier) had changed jobs and been replaced. When I rolled up at the meeting point, no one really had any idea who I was or why I was there. Luckily for me, I was able to establish enough legitimacy that I was accepted and I was able to help orchestrate some of the team’s CQB Scenario Training. It was during that week that I ran the first of what would be thousands of Extreme Close Quarters Counter Ambush Scenarios, combining unarmed skills with sim-gun training, which eventually became the staple of my work with elite military teams and civilian students. It was during that week that I first was introduced to High Gear impact reduction suits, which lead to many years of collaboration and training with Tony Blauer. And, it was during that week, most importantly in regard to today’s announcement that I became friends with Gary Meares.
Gary and I saw eye-to-eye on a lot of training topics and we hit it off. Over several years, he extended the invitation to his team’s AT and continued to allow me to become more and more involved in their training during the intense sessions. It was a great opportunity to work with a very professional group of law enforcement personnel and develop a lot of great processes for training S.W.A.T. personnel. As time went on, I gained several friends in the area, spent more time there and got to know Gary’s family, including his wife Teresa who was also a law enforcement officer. Over those years, I was able to pick up several things from Gary and, honestly, was very surprised when I got word from him at one point that he was retiring and going into what we have referred to as “the widget business”. I was sorta disappointed that my buddy, a great trainer and leader, was going to run a store selling Tasers, holsters, uniforms and all sorts of tacticool accessories. Of course, I was glad that I was going to get to see him at SHOT Show that year and I took him around to meet a few friends in the industry as he was expanding his company to include more and more product lines.
A couple of years ago, I stopped by his shop and realized that what I had been teasing him about while inviting him to come out to the range and train sometime was actually an incredibly successful business. By now, Teresa had also retired and they were working together as a great team at the helm of DGG Taser, Inc. They had developed great relationships with many, many agencies, built a very successful store in Jacksonville, FL and expanded into online sales as well.
Earlier this year, we met to discuss how we might (finally) be able to work together and the three of us came to a simple conclusion: Rather than teasing each other about selling widgets or standing on the range all day, we needed to find a way to work together to expand each other’s opportunities.The result of that meeting is the website and online store that is launching today and, at least as importantly, the expansion of DGG’s services to include handling course registration, host venue liaison and customer service for I.C.E. Training Company.
For many years, I resisted the thought of having a full service online store because I felt that my primary service was to provide information and training and I did not want to dilute that. While I felt it was important for people to have a reliable source for quality gear and have certainly been interested in being able to highlight certain items that I thought were great gear choices, it just wasn’t something I had time for or wanted to make time for. Similarly, Gary and Teresa have been interested in providing quality training services (and have even hosted several of my courses over the years), but have been too busy focusing on the growth and development of their retail company to pursue the interest. Now, through this cooperative arrangement, both of our companies will be working together to give our clients, customers & students the best possible service in both areas.
As a bonus, I.C.E. Training Company has a brand new website which integrates perfectly with the DGG Store System and with this new Blog. I am really excited about this big step for I.C.E. and to be working with great friends. There is no way that I would launch a gear shop on my own and there are very few people that I would trust to run the administrative services of my company. I am sincerely looking forward to the feedback from students and customers as we move forward!
In celebration of the new I.C.E. Training Company Website and our new Online Gear Store, we are offering a 20% Discount on all in stock orders for our First Week! Use the Code “ICECREW” Share the news and share the opportunity to save 20% on holsters, clothing, flashlights, optics and a variety of other accessories!
Thank you all for your support.