Meet our Trainers
Troy, originally a mechanic, made a change to being a soldier in the NZ Army, where he spent over 10 years. Spending much of the first years either training or on operations overseas. Troy worked with Land Search and Rescue for many years, and during peace-time in the military, was able to work and train with the Army fire-fighters, and this allowed Troy build further on Rope Access and High-Angle Rescue skills.
Troy instructed for a few years within the Army (Land Operations Training Centre), then an opportunity arose to leave the Army and work for an industry training company in the Bay of Plenty, teaching Fall Arrest, Confined Space Entry and Specialist Rescue Techniques.
Out in “civi-street”, Troy noticed the large void of realistic training within industry, with too many people were going through “tick-the-box” training courses. Troy then started Elite Training Services, and since, has developed all of the courses that the company runs, with a distinct focus on realism. Clients have also enjoyed the “realistic training” that Elite Training Services delivers. Troy linked-up with Ropeworks Managing Director, Scott Savage to start contracting for rope access work. With both a training and a working side to the companies, this combination has worked very well, so Troy and Scott amalgamated the two companies (Elite Training Services, and Ropeworks). This will only lead to greater skills and experience in the company.
Troy and his wifes passion is motorsport, and they are always planning their path to the next event. This has lead to Troy running Advanced Driver Training for Manfield Track (National Driver Training Centre).
Scott, Originally from Taranaki, has spent time in the NZ Army and as a Professional Rugby Player in the UK.
Scott is a trained Rigger and has vast experience in the oil industry in both The UK and New Zealand. Since 2000 Scott has been back home in New Zealand where he has been employed as an offshore radio operator and abseiler.
Much of this time has also been spent on the Shell Todd Oil Services’ offshore assets and Scott is a STOS recognised Level 3 Rope Access Supervisor. He is also trained in fall arrest Systems and Industrial Height Rescue and supervised these systems when employed as the abseil supervisor for Fitroy Engineering offshore division.
In 2004 Scott set up Ropeworks with another rope access worker, and in January 2016 he brought-out the other director, and amalgamated Ropeworks and Elite Training Services with Troy. Scott and Troy now spend most of their time in the specialist rope working area. -That’s when Scott can be dragged away from his passion of Surfing, which he “must” indulge in regularly.
When Scott does train, which he tries to avoid, he gets great feedback because of his sense of humour that the trainees can relate to.
James began his career as a fitter welder spending many hours in confined spaces no one else wanted to enter
That lead to a career move to Australia, traveling around the country and pacific Islands while learning everything from rigging to Crane Driving and spending much time at height.
James in his lucky ways then returned to NZ after 6 years and joined a small tourism company, building, setting up installing, auditing and training tourism operations around the world. James spent a lot his time guiding and teaching people with 0 experience to stay safe at height.
In 2015 James was looking for more of a challenge (mainly more work) and started contracting to Elite Training as a specialist trainer.
His specialty and passion is height safety. He has spent many years safely throwing people off things, which gives him a unique ability to help stop people from falling from them.
When not in the class James still gets out on the job doing the real work, climbing in things and swinging off them.
If Kyla ever lets him have time off, James enjoys Hunting fishing and Adventure Tourism.
Kevin, after leaving the military, went on to join the New Zealand Fire Service in an operational capacity.
For the past 10 years he has actively been instructing, assessing and moderating confined space and specialist rescue techniques, and specialist skills, such as gas testing, breathing apparatus, first aid, and general fire safety. Also conducting audits on rescue, and emergency procedures and operations.
Kevin has used his knowledge of NZ and Australian standards to design and write confined space policies and procedures, and to establish a complete emergency packages for various companies in both countries.
Kevin brings to the “Elite Training Team” a global understanding of emergency management, and how local industrial companies can benefit from site specific emergency planning. Although generic training has its place, Kevin is aware that Elite Training Services prefers to work with industry to create training solutions that marry the DoL (Worksafe NZ) requirements, with a company’s needs for job/site specific applications.
Along with all other members of the “Elite Training Team” he continues working in all the relative industries as well as instructing/training, keeping a current and expert approach to your companies training requirements.
Steve has spent 28 years as a Fire-Fighter within the New Zealand Fire Service. In this time, Steve has held many roles, but held on to a passion for rescue. 25 years of his career has been spent on a Fire Service Rescue appliance. Whether it’s a positive, or a negative, his time on a rescue appliance has meant that Steve has had to deal with many industrial accidents, both at heights, and in confined spaces. Although it is very clear that Steve brings a sound knowledge of rescue with him, he continues to work in industry, to maintain his knowledge of the latest cutting edge techniques.
Steve brings this knowledge with him to Elite Training Services, and with his personality, he simply slipped into the team without an issue. Steve has a sense of humour that industry trainees will relate to, and his background gives his training credibility.
Dion served six years as a fuel injection specialist, and utilised his spare time in being an active part of the Local Coast Guard and Dive recovery Team. In 1996 Dion took on a career as a full time fire fighter. This opened the door for new opportunities and experiences from gaining accreditation as a BA technician, to going on to being the Tutor, teaching and re-certifying BA technicians.
Dion expanded his training roll from BA, to a trainer for the Realistic Fire Training Building; recruit fire fighter training; and the Fire Service’s new Incident Command Unit. He has also been heavily involved in the Advanced Line Rescue Team.
Then along came Elite training services, allowing Dion add to his training skills and sound BA knowledge to an already well qualified and professional team. The feedback from Dion’s training is always exceptional, and his ability to relate to trainees helps him achieve excellent results. Information is always absorbed easier from a person that live and breathes their subject matter. Dion has taken to growing the Elite Training Services name in the Gisborne area, so if you are over this way, get in touch and see what training he can offer that is specific to your requirements.
Hayden spent 10 years in the Electrical industry as a Branch Manager of an electrical wholesaler where he dealt with the day to day requirements of looking after trades people and ensuring the business had Health and Safety at the forefront of their minds.
Hayden’s passion was always to become a Career Firefighter which he achieved In 2013. Prior to this Hayden was a volunteer Firefighter in his community and also worked as an emergency call taker and dispatcher in the South Island Communication Centre for the New Zealand Fire Service over the period of the Christchurch earthquakes.
Hayden has always had an interest in rescue, and he has cut his teeth and built his experience with working at heights and confined spaces including breathing apparatus in his current role. Having dealt with incidents in all these areas, Hayden brings his knowledge and skills to the training environment. Hayden is always willing to learn, and after talking to Kevin McCombe and Steve Smylie from Elite Training Services’ South Island branch, the new boy on the block was created. I say created as Kevin and Steve are doing a fantastic job of moulding him into their way of thinking. Hayden continues to grow his knowledge and be willing to ensure that all students are kept informed and up to date with the most in depth and quality training that Elite Training Services can offer.
Graeme (Johnno) Johnson
Johnno spent 24 years in the Army. Holding many positions from and infantryman, through to the pointiest end of the spear, in the Special Forces.
Enjoying travel, and hobbies that many would see as “extreme”. Johnno is an avid spear fisherman and has over 1000 jumps skydiving. So the change to teaching how to be safe at heights and in tricky confined space situations, wasn’t a big challenge. Johnno is certified as a Rope Access Technician and holds the NZ National Certificate.
His sense of humour and teaching methods has made Johnno a hit with trainees on his courses. An ongoing joke is that Johnno’s claim-to-fame is that he was “Number three driver” at Troy and Kyla’s wedding many years ago.