What started out as an idea to bring tactical medical training to law enforcement from military experience, quickly took on a life of its own. CTOMS™ evolved into unexpected directions and passions, usually faster than could ever have been foreseen. It’s been a steep learning curve and the lessons have been hard, unforgiving, expensive at times, and without regret. I’ve come to learn that companies have personalities, most often defined by their leadership whether they realize it or not. One of the many keys to success has been to surround ourselves with like minded people and companies that share our values, while distancing ourselves from poison. Above all, always striving to be logical and professional, regardless of emotional inertia to the contrary at times. I’ve also come to learn that companies are not easy, static or predictably linear, but rather are living entities. Alive with their personality and growth. Maturing with age. They can get fat, and must go on diets. And they exist, like all of us, in the eternal fight against entropy.
CTOMS™ started out like a lot of companies; an all time consuming endeavor that slowly took over my house, until finally we moved into our commercial space. The hard work in those early days hasn’t really let up, it’s just changed form. As CTOMS™ has grown, so has the complexity of the company and the market we work in.
Business is really about the customers. Without customers, quite obviously there is no business. But customers are not just the supporters of the business, they are the reward for us as well. We’ve had the privileged of training with amazing units and agencies, all of which will remain nameless. The teaching and learning has always been a two way street. We’ve also had the honor to meet some truly amazing people that do some truly amazing things for the world, their country, their community and their families. Our mission has always been ‘to make a difference’. The great thing about that mission, is that it is an extension of our customers mission as well. Being an enabler so that our customers can ‘make a difference’, whether that is fighting terrorists in far away dangerous lands, protecting us at home, or protecting your families, that is our reward. Being a modest link is a chain of security. Or more accurately, contributing to the two foundation layers in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in the form of confidence, knowledge and tools for safety and security.
By far, the most rewarding aspect of CTOMS™ has been hearing from the individuals who have had to put the training and equipment into real world use. When put in those life changing, life or death moments, former students have always excelled in the face of unimaginable circumstances. If we played even only a small part in a successful outcome, that is our reward. I’ve always said, this is serious business. Hearing success stories of Care Under Fire and Tactical Rescue, tourniquet save after tourniquet save, only reassures us, we’re in the right business for the right reasons.
With highs come the lows. While the death of every law enforcement officer, soldier, airman, airwoman, sailor, first responder (you get the picture) is heart breaking, 4 in particular have hit close to home being former students; MCpl Kristal Giesbrecht, Pte. Andrew Miller, Cpl Nicolas Beauchamp and MCpl Christian Duchesne. Their images honor our hall and serve as a reminder of why we do what we do every day.
There are two other groups that have helped immensely in getting us to where we are today. This first is our vendors, who have provided support and best of breed products so that we may bring them to the Canadian market. To name only a few; Smokehouse a Design Company and Composite Resources both of which have been with us since the very beginning. TacMed Solutions, Atomic Mike (and of course Don, the prototype shop and everyone at CF), and ITTS all deserve mention. There are certainly more, and not being listed only means I have mTBI, and not that you aren’t appreciated.
The second group has been our staff, past and present, full time and part time, employees, instructors, support and without a doubt our families. I’ve learned from everyone. Everyone’s contributions have been essential in making a difference – not just for the company, but for end users. I thank every single one of you.
To all our customers, staff, vendors and associates, we thank you from the depths of our hearts and look forward to continuing our great relationships. The magnetism of all these players has been defined in our underpinning Corporate Ethos, which I truly believe has been the quintessential component to our success. And so in keeping with that Ethos, we will be foregoing pomp and circumstance, because there is more important work to do.