SDI, TDI and ERDI Celebrate 20 years of scuba training innovation

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The world’s largest technical diving training agency celebrates 20 years of innovation.

In 1994, Bret Gilliam, David Sipperly and Mitch Skaggs created Technical Diving International (TDI) as a solution to implementing training in specialized diving situations that exceeded the limits and boundaries of what was accepted as sport diving. TDI was to not only provide training, but also educational materials and certifications for many courses that were not only un-popular, but also discouraged by other organizations.

“How can we make things better and different…?” This became the theme and philosophy for the next 20 years.

During this time, two other training agencies evolved from TDI that followed the same training mentality. The first agency to surface was Scuba Diving International (SDI), formed in 1998. SDI was designed to be the sport arm of TDI. The next agency was Emergency Response Diving International (ERDI), formed in 2000. ERDI’s focus was to standardize training for law enforcement, fire rescue and search & rescue/recovery dive teams and be a stand-alone organization focusing on public safety diving.

Under the umbrella of International Training, all three agencies have stayed true to the belief that if improvement can be made on an outdated method, then it should be made, regardless of what the rest of the industry is doing.

Replacing tables with personal dive computers, offering a “Solo Diver” course to the public and introducing the eLearning curriculum have been game changers within the scuba industry itself. But it does not end with new ideas either…

Good customer service and stability within the ranks are the key elements to the growth of the organization. This is not accomplished by making decisions from an ‘ivory tower’ but rather by listening to the divers needs and wants at regional and global levels. The feedback has allowed International Training to grow, prosper and provide more and better materials. We look forward to another 20 years filled with innovation and cutting edge courses with the most up-to-date techniques.

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