Today we’d like to introduce you to Heidi Wysocki and Ed Pietrowski.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
First Defense is an enterprise-class security solutions business. We offer a selection of methods to address active shooter situations in schools and businesses that focus on realistic, applicable training, physical security, and continuity management. Our concept is based on visualizing an active threat in three stages: Before, During and After. By approaching the problem from different angles, we engage as many people as possible to help stop threats before they start, end them as fast as possible, and help clients recover successfully in the aftermath.
We began forming our business model in late 2015 while walking our dogs around the neighborhood (we are family friends and neighbors). I had recently left a career in finance and Ed has been in law enforcement for over 10 years. Earlier that day, he had been called to a local school and we talked about how he was concerned about the lack of security, As we talked further, we formulated ideas around what a safe school would look like. That became a business model which eventually developed into the services we offer today.
Has it been a smooth road?
As a partnership, it’s been a smooth road. Our backgrounds create a complementary approach to security that isn’t found in other security-focused companies. By combining law enforcement expertise from someone who has survived multiple active shooter situations with a corporate/management consultant’s program management skills, First Defense offers an approach that is truly our own.
I think the biggest challenge we’ve had is figuring out how to position ourselves in the industry and how to get across the fact that, as school administrators or business owners, we need to reconsider our definition of “security”. The idea of security being a 20-minute training class, cameras and badge access, or an armed guard at the front door is outdated. We are seeing a shift in criminal activity and how workplace & school violence unfolds, so we spend a lot of time working with clients to shift their understanding from being reactive to running multiple workstreams simultaneously to try to approach the threat of a crisis.
Another challenge we’ve faced is finding the best collaboration partners. Part of what makes our solutions so valuable is the resources we offer, particularly in our training modules. As we created our training program (which is comprised of 12 courses as of this publication), we knew we wanted to offer the best available guidance. Through research and referrals, we’ve joined forces with experts in different areas so that we can provide best in class training to our clients. Some of our partnerships include child psychologists, adult psychologists, and various law enforcement experts with focused career experience such as Special Victims.
Collaborators present training both together and individually, depending on the topic. For example, this fall we will be offering a course for schools on teen dating violence, with presentations customized for specific age groups and audiences. Our collaborations have really added a level of expertise and useful resources, and at the end of the day, that’s what our clients deserve.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
First Defense Solutions provides enterprise-class security solutions to schools and businesses. Our goal is to help you protect your people through communication and engagement and to mitigate risks that may impact your ability to maintain your business if a crisis occurs.
While our primary focus is on school safety, we offer training for businesses in a variety of industries. Our training modules are ideal for employee onboarding, town halls, and regular engagement of employees across all functions in a company. For more than 20 years I worked in corporate, from Fortune 50 to small businesses, and was never trained on what to do if workplace violence occurred. We are here to help you ensure your staff knows how to get to safety if a crisis happens, which benefits employers in multiple ways.
Schools are truly at the heart of what we do. For private and charter schools, we offer physical security in addition to training and continuity management. Plainclothes officers who have experienced active shootings and are proven professionals are the only employees we hire, and our teams are held to rigorous standards. Our physical security teams are dedicated to the schools where they work and we consider them ancillary support staff, to make sure that teachers can teach and kids can focus on learning. Our goal is to handle security so that faculty and staff can do the jobs they love.
Security is never a one-time part of any business, but it’s often treated that way. We believe in maintaining partnerships for the long haul with our clients so they are always prepared to protect their employees and maintain operational productivity.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I think DFW is an excellent place for First Defense Solutions. With the influx of companies relocating to the area, we are in a unique situation that is challenging the ability for some areas to maintain their small town feel. Of the solutions we offer, I think our training particularly encourages increasing how we see and care about our community, which makes DFW an ideal location for us.
- Address: 5700 Granite Pkway, Ste 200 Plano, TX 75024
- Website: firstdefensesolutions.us
- Phone: 9726969864
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @firstdefensesolutions
- Facebook: facebook.com/firstdefensesolutions
- Twitter: @1stDefenseSols