Hello and I hope I am writing to the appropriate individual, but if not please forward to whom it may concern:
I just finished an IDC with Rainbow Reef and wow was it an experience! I competed my Dive Master in Orlando and though it wasn't the most in-depth experience it did fulfill all the requirements. What it did though was get me motivated to instruct myself for I saw many areas of improvement and how better to see change but to seek higher education and change for the better in yourself. My wife and I had dived with Rainbow Reef in the past and had a very enjoyable experience with their interns and professionals as dive guides. Throughout that long weekend of October 8th, 2011, the staff made us feel like one of the gang not for tips but because they really enjoy what they do and want to share it with others. When I researched areas to compete the instructor level, RR was really my only option do to their amazing website and go out of their way staff. What I wasn't prepared for was what an experience it would be.
Now, I have many levels of EMS training. I have been practicing EMS as an EMT since 1998 and have been employed by the Big Sky Fire Department as a full time Firefighter Critical Care Paramedic for 10 years. I have taught every level of EMS and fire training and feel that I have a pretty good understanding for the education process that it takes for one to acquire and master a skill. What I thought I had was patience for students and the learning experience. What I learned during the IDC process equaled if not succeeded the intensity of my Paramedic internship.
May I first say that Ross Neill # 154764 is one of the most gifted educators I have had the pleasure of making acquaintance with. What he withstood during our program was I hope, unprecedented. At times we as students, if not one independently, put Ross as a Course Director through such an emotional trying and patience testing program that at times I wanted to give up myself. We endured one individual that from the beginning seemed to want to fight every learning opportunity and even though it was not his first IDC Ross treated him with respect and undeserving dignity. I along with others were asked if we would prefer to leave the room for, as Ross stated "sounds like this may get personal". As I'm sure you can sympathize and understand what an extremely stressful experience the IDC is. The unneeded stressors that this one individual placed on himself and overtly shared unprovoked with the class as a whole was completely disrespectful to fellow students and at times bigoted and chauvinistically rude! I remember thinking that P ADI had sent this student down from headquarters to test Ross since he had received the instructor of the month award to see if he really deserved it. Let me tell you that he deserves more recognition than that. Along with performing standup comedy and singing muse from many of his Broadway musical repeteur, Ross exhibited the utmost in self-control and from that I learned real patience. I thought I had this quality from all the many transports to our local hospitals with the most difficult medical patients. I have witnessed a new level of understanding for diving as a whole and what it truly takes to be a highly trained Professional. For this I am thankful.
I will return to Rainbow Reef to dive and for my MSDT. If Ross Neill is instructing somewhere else I will seek him out. He truly is a rare individual. P ADI is very fortunate to have a staff of instructors of this caliber and may I also mention the rest of the IDC instructor crew. Not only was Ross Neill exemplary alone but was joined by two others that were quintessential in the success of myself and the two other IDC candidates that are PADI's newest Open Water Scuba Instructors. May you also give recognition to Jason Nocks #234581 and Big Joe? [O'Keefe] #296489. They not only kept us motivated on the emotional level but endured the at times knife cutting tension with the rest of us. They have chosen well to continue on their path while under the tutelage of CD Neill. They will achieve greatness, I am sure of it. Thank you for your time in reading this mono log and I hope to rise to the instructional prowess of my mentors at Rainbow Reef and P ADI dive brothers and sisters that stood by my side during the IDC of January 2013.