About Us

BUSINESS • HEALTHCARE • HOSPITALITY • SCHOOLS

OUR MISSION

Founded in January 2016 in Plano, TX, First Defense Solutions is redefining how businesses and schools view security. We offer workable, thoughtful solutions that address all aspects of an active threat so you can lead your staff, clients, and business through a crisis and ensure optimal resiliency.

​Our goal is to change the trajectory of crises and save lives. So you can walk down the aisle with your child. So that today’s kids will be here tomorrow to cure cancer, build a city in space, write the next Great American Novel, or just be a great friend to someone who needs one. We want safer communities and have designed our business with these things in mind.

Keeping you safe is our job so that you can do yours.

WHY DO WE DO THIS?

We founded First Defense Solutions to create a safer community. With our expertise and on-the-job experience with active threats, our vision is to share our knowledge with our clients so they can enhance the safety and resilience of their workspace, to promote a resilient and secure organization for everyone.

Our values are reflected in our vision. We believe that everyone should feel confident that they are going to have a safe environment for their children to attend school, for their loved ones to get home safely at the end of the work day, and have skills that they can use even on a sunny day at a sport event if a threat ever occurs. We believe in fortifying our community through knowledge and preparedness. We look forward to working with you.

HEIDI WYSOCKI

FOUNDER

ED PIETROWSKI

FOUNDER

Benefits of using us

Active threats, tactics and methods of attack have changed. Rethink your approach to security with our training modules. Let us customize a program that covers a broad array of security-related topics for you, from Crisis Leadership to The Anatomy of Fear, with training services everyone from your CEO to your hourly staff members. Ready to plan for your long-term success? Let’s talk about enhancing or creating a Business Continuity Management (BCM) plan for you.

First Defense Solutions gives small businesses the same level and quality of BCM that Fortune 100 companies have access to, but at affordable, small business prices. Our clients get context, worksheets, and everything you need to create a meaningful plan, along with in-person professional guidance through the project. We also deliver a fully collated, professional hard copy of your plan and train-the-trainer guidance, so you can train staff on your own schedule.

CRISIS LEADERSHIP

This course is intended for leaders, administration, board members and other leadership roles with the goal of improving leadership activity before, during, and after a crisis. Topics include defining and understanding types of crises, types of impact, characteristics of successful crisis leaders, predictable surprises, continuity management and building a resilient workforce, compassionate response, and more. Available online for viewing at your convenience. 

OBJECTIVES:

As a result of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand the 7 characteristics of a crisis leader
  2. Define goals for the organization to improve resiliency among staff members
  3. Effectively communicate at different points with different audiences throughout the crisis timeline
  4. Reduce Predictable Surprises
  5. Recognize different leadership tactics for different situations
  6. Enjoy a high-level understanding of continuity management
  7. Improve overall leadership skills

ANATOMY OF FEAR

This course covers the physical reaction to extreme stress/panic so that participants can learn what to expect and how to overcome these obstacles and get to safety. Unlike typical “Active Shooter Training”, this course teaches you to work with your natural reaction to improve your safety. Topics include our reaction to known vs. unknown stimulants, a review of situational awareness, and most critically, methods to reduce the physical reaction to panic. The goal is to help participants learn how to get to safety and how to help others once there. We conclude with discussion among participants about their natural, expected reaction and how your team can work together to achieve safety in a threat situation.

OBJECTIVES:

As a result of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand the importance of situational awareness and the role it plays in daily life
  2. Define and recognize the physical fear response
  3. Utilize techniques ahead of time to improve the reaction to the fear response
  4. Recognize and use techniques in real-time to improve the reaction to the fear response
  5. Assist others such as students or other staff members
  6. Utilize techniques during lockdowns and lockdown drills as needed
  7. Facilitate group discussion on innate response, to understand the role each person will likely play in a crisis and plan accordingly

SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

This course covers the basics of situational awareness. Topics include implementing situationalawarenessthrough the “OODA Loop” (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) and how this is impacted by known and unknownstimulants. The goal is to help participants learn how to be more aware of their surroundings, read behaviors, overcomeobstacles such as normalcy bias, and achieve a higher state of awareness overall to anticipate and prevent threats

OBJECTIVES:

As a result of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Define the components of OODA loop and understand how to quickly assess a situation
  2. Understand the “Invisible O” (mentally freezing) and how it is impacted by the Anatomy of Fear
  3. Understand how to avoid or escape the “Invisible O” and refocus on getting to safety
  4. Define anchor points, collective mood, and habitual areas
  5. Define obstacles to awareness
  6. Define normalcy bias
  7. Understand heightened mental states due to excitement

DE-ESCALATION IN THE WORKPLACE

This course covers the definition of de-escalation and allows participants to learn various techniques based on different situations. Topics include defining the goal of the interaction, the balance of power between persons in an escalating discussion and how to manage it, verbal and non-verbal communications, body language, and how to use empathy, understanding, and respect. The goal is to help participants learn how to recognize escalating situations and prevent them from going further. This one-hour course is very high level, touching on the basics of de-escalation. We offer a series of three 90-minute courses to explore de-escalation in-depth.

OBJECTIVES:

As a result of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Define de-escalation
  2. Define situational awareness
  3. Define their goal in an escalating setting
  4. Use verbal and non-verbal methods to achieve desired results

DE-ESCALATION (IN-DEPTH SERIES)

Ideal for those in high-risk and high-stress settings such as healthcare facilities, we offer three 90-minute courses to enhance your staff’s capabilities. Ideal for managers and higher, descriptions are below.

DE-ESCALATION 101

This course is the first in a series of De-escalation courses modeled after training provided to law enforcement officers. De-escalation 101 covers the definition of de-escalation and understanding nuanced behaviors that help the participant identify de-escalation vs. conflict resolution. Topics include avoidance, de-escalation vs conflict resolution, levels of aggression, establishing behavioral baselines, match and mirror, and establishing rapport. Available in person or online for your convenience.

OBJECTIVES:

As a result of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand the value of avoidance
  2. Define and understand de-escalation
  3. Define and understand conflict resolution
  4. Recognize verbal and non-verbal cues indicating levels of aggression
  5. Establish a behavioral baseline that is referential throughout the entire interaction
  6. Define their goal in an escalating setting
  7. Understand the situation and participants

 

DE-ESCALATION 102

De-escalation 102 builds on the 101 curricula, picking up with a review of body language indicators and moving into establishing appropriate goals in various situations. Topics include reading nuances of the target, understanding your personal behavior and physicality, acknowledge and offer tactics, personalizing the issue and defining de-escalation and/or conflict resolution goals. This course includes interactive scenarios where the participant selects the response and reviews possible outcomes. De-escalation 101 is a required prerequisite. Available in person or online for your convenience.

OBJECTIVES:

As a result of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Define and understand de-escalation
  2. Define and understand conflict resolution
  3. Recognize verbal and non-verbal cues indicating levels of aggression
  4. Understand the impact of physique on de-escalation and how to best use it to your advantage
  5. Understand techniques including match and mirror, acknowledge and offer 
  6. Clarify the target’s goal in an escalating setting
  7. Understand the situation and participants

 

DE-ESCALATION 103

De-escalation 103 builds on the 101 & 102 curriculum, picking up with goals for de-escalation and conflict resolution and moving into how to achieve goals in various scenarios. Topics include Goal definition, MHMR, medical and other drug reactions, a review of established behavioral baselines, and appropriate usage of empathy, understanding, and respect. This is the final course in the De-escalation series and includes interactive scenarios and video segments. De-escalation courses 101 and 102 are required prerequisites. Available in person or online for your convenience.

OBJECTIVES:

As a result of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand and define goals for situations where de-escalation is appropriate
  2. Define the differences in approach to MHMR and other situations where the target’s baseline is neurologically atypical
  3. Recognize different scenarios and possible outcomes applying the pre-established behavioral baseline
  4. Understand how to achieve de-escalation goals based on different scenarios
  5. Understand how to achieve de-escalation goals using different techniques

STOP THE BLEED

This is a FREE course available for any group, appropriate for ages 8 and up. Blood loss is the #1 cause of death in a violent scenario. Learn to save lives with the Stop the Bleed campaign. In this 1 hour course you will learn how to identify various types of wounds and how to treat them through tourniquet use and compression techniques. This is a hands-on course with simulation wounds and tourniquet practice on yourself and a “partner”. 

Navigating Teen Relationships

 This course covers teen relationships and how to identify signs that a relationship is healthy. With an increase in school shootings related to unhealthy relationships, human trafficking issues, and social media playing a critical role in how youths interact, this course will help adults guide kids to healthy relationships. Created by experts in child psychology, special victims, law enforcement, and adolescent mental health, this workshop is vital to keeping kids – and schools – safe. A shorter program for students and/or “train the trainer” with documentation is available for a small extra charge.

OBJECTIVES:

As a result of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Define healthy relationships and understand what others define as healthy relationships
  2. Identify “red flags” that indicate overt signs of danger
  3. Identify “purple flags” that indicate nuanced signs of unhealthy behaviors 
  4. Define human trafficking/sexual violence grooming behaviors
  5. Address secret keeping and self-checking (“Is this okay/does this feel okay to me?”) behaviors with children
  6. Define trust factors in healthy relationships
  7. Understand the impact of social media on teen relationships
  8. Recognize the difference between coercion and consent
  9. Offer resources to ask for/offer/get help

Campus IQ

Do you have a teen getting ready to move away from home for the first time? This course covers situational awareness and campus safety in various situations. Topics include a review of situational awareness, dorm and apartment safety, campus parking and off-campus parties, and Pan-Hellenic activities. The goal is to help students moving away from home to attend college have a safe college experience. Suitable for high school students and graduating seniors, small groups or larger groups. Parents are welcome to attend. Course is 60-90 minutes depending on size of group and participation level. Our online recorded webinar is $25.

 TOPICS COVERED:

  • Situational Awareness & OODA Loop
  • Physical Reactions to Extreme Stress/The Anatomy of Fear
  • Dorm & Apartment Safety
  • Parking Lots & Public Spaces
  • Pan-Hellenic: Pledging, hazing & personal boundaries 
  • Partying
    • Alcohol & bad decisions
    • Having a plan 
    • Never leave anyone behind – even if they’re insisting you do
    • Roofies, ride shares and getting home
    • Situational self-checking
  • Living Your Best Life
    • Healthy vs Unhealthy relationships
    • Dating abuse
    • Consent vs Coercion
    • Setting personal boundaries
  • Escort Programs & Campus Safety Programs
  • Your Best Self Defense

OBJECTIVES:

As a result of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Practice situational awareness in various situations and deploy tactics to improve safety
  2. Recognize best practices for campus safety and off-campus safety
  3. Agree on a plan with friends prior to attending a social function including committing to watching out for each other
  4. Practice self-checking in uncomfortable situations such as potential hazing, peer pressure and other situations where family is not immediately present to provide support
  5. Have plans for safety in various situations
  6. Understand available resources and how to use them
  7. Make better decisions and be aware of possible dangers

DISCLAIMER: Some topics discussed may be triggering for some participants 

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