In the following pages you will read about the man that created the empire WreckMaster. Through his passion, his vision and his motivation, WreckMaster Inc. has grown and evolved to become the world's largest training and certification organization worldwide.
When the water in the harbor rises, all the boats go up, except for the boats anchored to old methods and old beliefs… This was a quote from Donnie's book, it has a lot of meaning, it opens the door to the fact that we can change the way things are. By our own actions, we can influence the ones around us.
I'd like to take you back in time, back to the early seventies to mid eighties when two brothers and their father began their quest within the towing and recovery industry. It all began at Cruse Heavy Towing in Hamilton, Ontario Canada.
A towing company that specialized in heavy recovery, both Donnie and Ken found themselves getting more and more involved with the towing industry. When they would complete a heavy truck wreck they would meet back at the shop and discuss their performance at the scene. They would try to establish a more efficient way of performing that particular task. From those meetings they developed their own in-house training that was organized each weekend for the operators in their fleet. As weeks went by they heard that their mini clinics were getting around to the other towing firms, and before too long they noticed their competitors were peering in with binoculars trying to get in on the action. It didn't take very long for one of the individuals to approach the fence and ask Ken, "Hey, do you think I can come play too?" Ken's response to the individual was "Of course, come on in!"
"And that's where it all began!
DC Schools was the first step towards our industry's first training and certification curriculum. In the mid to late eighties, Donnie Cruse traveled the continent teaching seminars on towing and recovery. He spoke on topics such as weights and resistance, everything from light duty to heavy duty and from snatch blocks to wire rope. The course was filled with information. As more and more of these classes were presented Donnie began to feel a sense that something was missing, he felt as though the students were not getting any direction from his training. So at his next training class he decided to ask the students the questions that were challenging his approach. As the class began Donnie started off with his usual opening comments. Donnie's opening comments set the mindset for the class; they sparked a question inside the students that challenged everything they were taught before.
After the first break he selected an individual from the class, and asked him, "Should there be a way to classify the skill level of the towing and recovery operator?" the student replied,"YES." As Donnie looked around the room, he noticed, that question grabbed the complete attention of the entire class, so he continued. "Would you support a program, designed specifically for the towing and recovery operator?" all eyes in the room were still focused on the topic, "Should the towing and recovery operator be paid in direct proportion to his/her skill level?" A hand rises at the back of the room, "What are you getting at Donnie?" Donnie took a second to gather his thoughts; he explained to the students that his training needed to change. There was too much information to learn in his current class. So he began to discuss his new theory, he talked about splitting the class into sections. There would be different levels, each requiring the student to focus on his career, his profession. Removing the thought that this was a J O B and instilling true value and worth in the minds of our industry's career operators.
Every student in the class supported Donnie's vision. Then, as the conversation calmed, a student asks Donnie,
"What will you call it?"
After the class and on his way home Donnie though about the student's question. He thought long and hard "What do I call it?" Donnie wanted the meaning of the name to be the pinnacle, to reflect the best. One day when Ken and Donnie were discussing the name of this new organization, Ken said, "I think a student that completes our training should be able to master any wreck, he should…."
Donnie interrupted Ken. "That's it!" "What's it?" Ken asks. "We'll call it just that, The Master of Wrecks;"
"We will call it WreckMaster!"
By 1991 the name was selected and the program was created. It took a few years to develop the curriculum, Donnie had spent many long hours discussing his vision with his wife, Mary Helen Cruse, before asking the local universities and colleges, how you create a training program and what system it should follow. Mary Helen was a school teacher, and made a huge contribution to the programs success, not only due to her background in the field of training, but more for her support of her husband. Mary Helen's input was a great asset to the growth of the program. She was an integral part of the birth of WreckMaster. It was a very unique process building the WreckMaster training program It's content began with the information found in the USA, Canadian, and British Army manuals, Donnie and Ken's extensive experience and background in the field of towing and recovery and countless hours of research, developing new techniques and new methods for today's towing and recovery operator. In April of 1991 an individual by the name of Terry R. Humelsine became the first WreckMaster graduate. Terry brought a wealth of information to the WreckMaster Program. From that day forth, Donnie, Ken and Terry continued to build what you know today as:
WreckMaster Inc. has trained over 20,000 individuals, the largest training organization in the world. Today WreckMaster leads the way in the eyes of career professionals, with the newest methods of quick clearance and single lane recoveries.
On behalf of all WreckMasters