Tom Wood PMI-VRS Interview Part 1: The Gears Behind The Art and Science Of Rigging and Rescue

Written By: Lance Piatt

Tom Wood PMI-VRS Interview Part: The gears behind the training

In this first of a two part series, we are spending some time with Tom Wood, Director of Training at PMI VRS.  Tom shares a lot of his life, both private and public, with us.  The first half of our interview looks through his life as the training director of PMI VRS and how it all came into being.  Tom, being the adventuring sojourner he is, didn’t take the most direct route and likely wouldn’t change a thing and he tells us why.

Training and Education is the focus for Vertical Rescue Solutions, which exemplifies Tom’s perspective on life. Tom’s feeling that life should embrace all aspects.. people, events, jobs (paid and non paid). There is or are no compartmentalizing and each represents “aspects” or pieces of his life.  Family and the devotion to helping others often creates a mosaic of choices and as colorful as this may sound, pain and challenges are always part it.

Tom’s philosophy surrounding gear (whether high angle rescue, mountain rescue, cave rescue, rope access or canyoneering) is that to know gear is to use gear.  To train hard and with excellence.  The PMI company handbook goes so far as to encourage all employees to be involved in “volunteer” rescue service (non paid rescue).  Juggling long SAR missions can have quite the impact on the office if it isn’t organized well to begin with.  Tom shares some of his insight into how best to work this out… ahead of time.

To Vertical Rescue Solutions, a premiere training and education company… known on a global scale, “continuity” is huge!… and what kind of impact does PMI VRS want to have on the industry?   Identity, growth and staying true to the spirit of the company can be a struggle when balancing “life and work”.  How does this work?  Tom feels Community is key.  His perspective in living his life; resources, networking, and legacy… is a responsibility he has chosen to embrace and pass on to the incoming generation.

We talk about “what creates the hunger to learn more”?  Is it training?  Is it how we learn?  Is it the person or people we are learning from?  Our environment?  Tom talks us through his relationships with Pat Rhodes, Steve Hudson, Loui McCurley and many others and how they impacted his life and thus how this has impacted his training and the educating of a generation.

Tom also talks about his new book, Trading Steel For Stone.  For more information on this book… Stay tuned to Part 2 of this interview. See Tom and Vertical Rescue Solutions courses…









Thanks for joining us… Part 2 is coming soon.

Peace on your days!


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