Tag Archives: tsvdi

Certified Security Driving – A Student’s Review

 

By Einar Myklebust

While recently attending the ICON Executive Protection Academy I found that one of the skills they stressed over and over as vital to an individual working in the protection business was to have knowledge of motor vehicles and how they work.  I mean as protectors working with clients, we spend a lot of time in and around cars.  When asked for their recommendation, one company name kept popping up.  Tony Scotti and his Vehicle Dynamic’s Institute.  With that in mind, I did some additional research and made the decision to attend as to add “more tools in the toolbox”.  Fast forward to me on the road to southern New Jersey to attend Tony Scotti’s Vehicle Dynamics Institute (TSVDI) for their Protective Driving Course.

When I arrived at the track at 11:30 PM the night before the class began, I was met at the gate by the Director of the TSVDI Program, Joe Autera, who was there to greet me, make sure I got in ok, give directions to the lodging, and additional information on how to find the part of the track where lessons were going to be conducted.

Day One

Started with a few hours in the classroom, where we learned a wealth of information about cars and their handling properties. One topic was G-force and the importance of calculating it for each specific car.  Another topic covered during the day was the importance of, often overlooked, tire pressure and preventative car maintenance in general.  Along these lines, there were many other details about cars that I had previously known nothing about, but which turns out to be paramount to vehicle dynamics.

Then we were told we were going to be evaluated on where we were as drivers, skill-wise, so we could chart our progression as we continued through the course.  A weather related note: as we walked outside to start our driving — It was raining hard and the wind was blasting. We had standing water in many parts of the training track.  In my mind I thought, “Well this can’t be conducive to high performance driving”. Boy was I wrong.  Thinking back, I am glad it was raining that hard as it afforded me the opportunity to learn a lot about car handling in adverse weather and see what a car is capable of in a controlled environment.

Day Two

Started at 8am with a short briefing on the day’s exercises, followed by a full day of driving. When Joe tells you “we teach to a standard, not a clock”, it’s not just words.  TSVDI actually does it. We got back to our rooms around 9:30 PM that day. They ran the attendees through our paces, over and over, until we got it right. And if anyone wanted a few extra runs for good measure, all you had to do was ask and it was done. We performed J-turns, backing up drills around cones, into garages, slalom, braking drills, straight in turns at high speed.  You name it we did it.

Day Three

Another early morning with the students finishing up a few drills, then back into the class room for a briefing on lessons learned from security driving to car jacking’s stories.  We then entered the testing phase, appropriately named Carjackistan.  A timed event encompassing runs on the track of the drills we had worked on over the 3 days of class, with unknown obstacles and a few surprises tossed in.

No review of any school or program can be accurately complete without also mentioning the instructors. TSVDI’s instructors are top notch. From their lead instructor (Janine Paul) on down the ranks, I have nothing but good things to say about their enthusiasm, skill, and attitude. I would highly recommend this school to anyone seeking to add security driver to their resume and I am confident that I came out of the program a much better driver than when I went in.  As Mark “6” James of Panther Protective Services so aptly put it in one of his remarks on the program, “You can find different, but you can’t find better.”  I agree with every word.

Einar Myklebust, ICON Alumni.

With Tony Scotti, Founder of Tony Scotti's Vehicle Dynamics Institute
With Tony Scotti, Founder of Tony Scotti’s Vehicle Dynamics Institute

Learn more at StephenBabcock.com.

Tony Scotti Offers his Views on ICON

If you’re in the Executive Protection world, chances are you’ve heard of Tony Scotti.  He’s a gentleman that has written numerous books and offered instruction for decades on the subject of how vehicles operate and how they play a vital part in the role of the Personal Protection Specialist.    If you’ve ever had the benefit of being instructed by him, know him personally, or follow his work on social media, then you know he’s famous for speaking his mind.

In light of that, I’m particularly honored by the kind words he used to describe both me and the services I provide in the areas of Executive Protection Training and dealing directly with clients.

You can find the post over at his excellent Blog, SECURITYDRIVER.COM

 

 

Tony Scotti speaking before a class attending the ICON Academy Celebrity & VIP Protection Course

 

Business of Security Interviews Elijah Shaw on Executive Protection

Larry Snow is a guy who moves behind the scenes in the Executive Protection community.  He has long ties to the industry, and as an expert in the field of Social Media, has a unique outlook– one that I share on a variety of topics.  He recently interviewed me regarding the Bodyguard Industry, with a recurring theme of the role mentorship plays.  *The above photo includes me and one of my mentors, Tony Scotti , a true gentleman that has offered me sound advice since our initial meeting.

One of the things we laughed about was the challenge to get the interview conducted due to my crazy schedule.  In fact, while you don’t see the video that accompanied this podcast, I was surrounded by half packed bags, and immediately after the interview, threw in the rest of my clothes, made a mad dash to the airport, and boarded a 18 hour flight to the other side of the world. Small Business Management or just anything that Elijah teaches isnt something I was going to miss.

If you’ve got a few minutes on the way to the range (or on the treadmill) I encourage you to give it a listen.

Click HERE

The Circuit Talks to Security Driving Expert Tony Scotti

A short time ago, Harlan Austin of BodyguardCareers.com sat down for an interview with Security Driving Expert, Tony Scotti, President of Tony Scotti Driving for The Circuit Magazine.   The wonderful conversation between two industry professionals, covered Vehicle Dynamics, Executive Protection and Tony’s views on the  current state of the industry.  Read an excerpt below.

Circuit Interview: With Tony Scotti

 

Tony Scotti is considered by many as one of the most influential individuals in the business. Like Bob Duggan and Dr. Richard Kobetz, he is a true pioneer in the field of executive protection. Tony’s niche is driver’s training; he is the most recognizable name in that field. Since the 70’s Tony has catered to the training needs of industry and public service agencies. He has trained governments, corporations, law enforcement agencies and military organizations to avoid the terrorist threat. For four decades Tony has conducted training programs in over 30 countries, he has trained students from 64 countries, and conducted training programs in five continents. He has conducted more training programs in more locations than any other private training institution in the world.

 

Question: Who or what inspired you to get involved in the field of executive protection?

Answer – It began with a moment of opportunity, which was followed by a life time of inspiration.  In the mid 70’s the concept of training people to avoid an ambush while in a vehicle was not common, and in fact almost unheard of. In 1974 two gentleman, Diego Arguello, a Cuban National, who worked security in Venezuela, and Steve Van Cleave, a security consultant and an original member of ASIS, took a chance on this new concept called “anti terrorist driving”, of which I was offered the opportunity to teach. I spent the mid 70’s conducting training throughout South America and the Middle East. The inspiration came from the positive results of the training and discovering how rewarding it was to apply my education as an engineer to this type of training.

 

Question: Do you think there is a particular personality type that is drawn to the executive protection business?

Answer – In my opinion, it attracts risk takers – not taking risk while on the job but taking the risk of getting into the business. They all seem to have a strong personality, have a high sense of morality and honor, and find that protecting people from harm is noble calling. I have found that the successful ones tend to be no ‘BS’ people and have a low tolerance for incompetence.

 

Question: What is the biggest misconception about executive protection?

Answer – This question includes more than one misconception. First, the misconception of those that hire the EP Agent is that the job can be done by anybody with a law enforcement or military background. Also, I feel it varies in accordance to the market. An example would be corporations who have a handle on what it takes to be an EP Agent. For the EP Agent, the misconception is that you can go to a school and come out and get a job. But by far the biggest misconception is that the job is all about reacting to a problem, when in my opinion the job is more cerebral than most in the business think it is.

 

Question: Tony many clients believe you can put anybody behind the wheel of a car; from your perspective how important is it to have a qualified driver on your detail?

Answer – I’m a bit prejudice about this subject. Driving is a measurable skill, and statistics point out that the likelihood of a problem occurring while the person is in the car is very high. For reason of safety and security, it is imperative that the driver be trained and their skills measured.  In fact, corporations now demand in their job descriptions that a driver must attend a training program that measures skill – it is a liability issue.

 

Question: What tips might you have for new people trying to break into the executive protection business?

Answer – Training, Determination, and Perseverance. Attend a recognized training program, one that has a good network of former students and teaches the core skills: driving – advancing – surveillance detection. These are the skills that show up on job descriptions. Be willing to start at the bottom. Become a student of the profession – learn as much about the business end of the industry as you would about the operational end of the industry. Network – network – and then network some more. Emulate those who are successful in the business – do the right thing and pass it forward.

 

Question: How has Executive Protection evolved over the past 25 years?

Answer – This could be and will eventually be the subject of a book. The first issue that comes to mind is that there are more people and training companies than there have been in the past and I’ don’t think the number of jobs have kept up with the pace of people entering into the business. There are new markets available that were not available as little as 7 years ago. Iraq and Afghanistan have changed the landscape of the business. As the threat evolved so has the skills and training needed to defeat the threat. The market is much more diverse than it has been in the past, but it is much easier to network and communicate with others. The job is much more sophisticated than it was in the past and those that hire are more demanding.

 

For the full article grab back issue issue #9 of The Circuit at www.BodyguardMagazines.com.   To pick up the latest issue of The Circuit as well as subscribe to future editions click HERE.