Company Profile: TEAM-1 Academy

Oakville, Ontario-based TEAM-1 Academy draws on two decades of emergency rescue experience in delivering its portfolio of training, services, and equipment to the wind energy industry.


For Team-1 Academy, one success has led to another. Success in the hazardous waste management and industrial cleaning markets, complimented by a grand total of zero injuries, planted the seeds for their HazMat response team. HazMat response teams, formed in 1995 and sold in 2008, specialized in cleaning up high-hazard chemical spills and conducting high-hazard confined space entry work.

“Many of these confined space jobs involved technical rope rescue, which allowed us to get into doing stand-by rescue for confined spaces and working at heights,” said Scott Connor, director of training for TEAM-1 Academy. “Our rescue/safety equipment division came from repeated requests by many of our customers to provide such a service. We are the authorized distributor of many of the top manufacturers in the world of safety and rescue. We only promote manufacturers that our own rescue teams use their products. So right now we have three main departments: training, equipment sales, rescue/rope access services.” Figure 1

Successful in these areas, TEAM-1 naturally became a popular choice to conduct training sessions to the fire service, police, and the military—both in Canada and the U.S.

Continuing that trend of evolution and expansion into emerging industries, TEAM-1 has been able to grow with the wind industry sector since the company began. “It’s growing everywhere,” Connor said. “Our company deals with all industry sectors, and the wind/renewable energy sector is an exciting one.”

It’s a natural progression from TEAM-1 to the wind industry; its fall protection/rescue-from-heights courses are widely recognized. Connor said, “So much of the work that is done on the wind turbines involves some type of fall protection and having rescue capabilities. It was a natural transition for many of our customers that already use us in their other divisions to start using us in their wind businesses.”

In addition to safety/training courses, TEAM-1 also performs on-site services such as equipment inspections and confined space stand-by rescue services. The company also sells top-line safety and rescue equipment, including fall protection gear and hand/eye/ear/foot protection.

One example of TEAM-1’s commitment to the wind energy industry is its regular presence at industry trade shows and exhibitions. The company will be exhibiting this year at the Canadian Wind Energy Association’s Annual Conference and Exhibition in Toronto (booth 1100). Figure 2

“We look forward to the CanWEA show every year,” Connor said of the event. “All our customers attend and it is great to see them and show them our newest products. We look forward to meeting new customers and will answer any questions they have should they come to visit us. The CanWEA show is a great show and we are proud to be a part of it.”

As members of SPRAT (Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians) and ISFP (International Society of Fall Protection), TEAM-1 encounters various wind energy scenarios on a regular basis. It’s helped them develop fast and professional solutions to difficult access problems such as blade inspection, painting, and cleaning.

Fully-insured and offering CEU’s, TEAM-1 provides training courses and other services for Canadian government (provincial and federal) environmental, safety, and inspection agencies, along with some of the largest companies in the world. Last year, TEAM-1 attained ISO9001 and 18000 certification (their company facilitates close to 1,000 safety and rescue courses per year without any injuries); many of their clients have been with them for over 20 years. Figure 3

One of the key contributors to TEAM-1’s being recongnized as an authority in rescue and at-height safety training, Connor explained, is its staff of experienced, communicative instructors, who do more than simply “instruct.” These instructors have the benefit of extensive experience and are the backbone of these sessions.

“It is easy to find people that know the information,” Connor said. “Very few people can convey it professionally. We will only hold a training course if we can do it very well—we don’t just hire any instructor. It may take years before an assistant instructor with our company becomes a lead instructor.”

So when a customer calls last minute with a need for a training session, TEAM-1 makes an effort to cover it with one of their 16-plus instructors. If no instructor is available, there’s no settling for less.
“We refuse to contract some so-called instructor off the street to make a buck. Imagine if an accident occurred during a training exercise or on the job—when the investigation team or prosecution learns of this, they will have a heyday.”

The training normally takes place at the customer’s site. TEAM-1 travels all over the world to conduct training sessions to ensure the customer is learning their equipment at their location. Of course, this on-site option isn’t ideal for all customers, some of whom can’t free up the location or have too many on site disruptions, so TEAM-1 offers three training locations, located in southern Ontario, to be used at no extra charge.

“The customer may have employees that need to travel to the training location from all corners of the continent,” Connor said. “Our southern Ontario training centers are close to major airports and hotels and are very safe places to be.”

“People are most impressed that we could do such dangerous work and never have an injury,” Connor continued. “That record remains to this day. We encourage our potential customers to do their homework and their due diligence and they will see why we are the most recommended and trusted name in rescue and safety. Our philosophy is simple: provide services that are the benchmark for the industry and maintain this under all costs. A company works so hard to get a reputation like ours and our employees realize that. Our employees are proud of the company name and reputation.” 


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