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For years there has been a lot of misinformation, misdirection, twisted information, and at times there is false data to support the claims from various organization(s) in order to solidify and/or justify their self proclaimed superiority in specific professional areas. Our goal at STARR has always been to provide students, organizations, agencies, and departments with the highest quality training materials and best qualified and/or certified instructors to positively impact saving lives within the community.

STARR has and will continue to do this through highly professional staff, outstanding customer service, providing the best information available, while maintaining an unrefutable ethical and morals status. Unfortunately, there has been some issues that need debunking for clarity to decrease misdirection through twisted information and half-truths.   

1.  Are STARR Instructors qualified to teach?

Each of our instructors have been certified as instructors through the American Heart Association, National Association of EMT's, Certified State Instructors, or Certified Fire / EMS Instructors. They have not only taken the provider course, taken an instructors course, but also vetted, and monitored annually. We do not allow our instructor candidates to become instructors with only a class or two completed. We insure they are well trained and have real-world experience in a particular expertise. More than 1/2 of our instructors were initially trained by "Jim Segerstrom" who is known as the founding father of water rescue.

2.  STARR does not continue to keep raising the bar of training to ensure training provided is always up-to-date.

STARR's executive staff works hard each year to research new information, new training techniques, new equipment, go over all course evaluations, and refute any past practices. All educational manuals and materials are updated every 4 years, with the most up-to-date information provided once it is released. This information comes from a variety of sources to include water rescue organizations, national associations, and international organizations or agencies. We believe in providing the highest quality of educational materials for our clients, customers, and students.

3.  STARR instructors are not experienced.

Each instructor with STARR, respective to their area of expertise, maintains a high level of physicality, continues to obtain training from outside sources, while striving to promote the best within that professional field can offer. These instructors just do not go to classes as an instructor but rather as a student wanting to learn and soak up the knowledge that class has to offer. Our goal to is to learn to bring back the best practices from classes to pass that information on to our students.

Most of our instructors posses various types of higher learning degrees, the highest possible level of IFSAC / ProBoard Fire instructor rating, or have instructor certifications from governmental agencies. Our advisory board has been working hard to improve all training courses especially those that not accredited by a credentialing agency. There are individuals and organizations that will debate whether these credentials or degrees mean anything, but without true meaningful education raising the bar of education and knowledge for our students becomes difficult.

4.  STARR's Safety Record is not good.

Everyone with STARR strongly believes in providing the safest and best training possible. None of our instructors WILL EVER place any student in harms way, nor suggest any skill that the instructor will not do themselves. Since the first day STARR opened its doors as a Public Safety Training Center, there has been NO recordable accidents / incidents. STARR has moved its water rescue training site due to the dangerous hazards that Mother Nature has placed at our site that makes training in that area extremely dangerous. Additionally, STARR has developed and implemented a Program Administration Manual (PAM) to further ensure safety of our students that provides explicit instructor to student ratio's. 


Of course, there is the occasional scratch, bump, or bruise but nothing more serious that can't be treated by basic first aid. We NEVER push the issue when it comes to safety. Training is not where accidents should happen but rather to practice skills that ensure the best possible outcome without causing any type of accident or incident.  

 5. STARR is not a legitimate business.

STARR is listed with the Mississippi Secretary of State as "Southern Technical Aquatic Resource & Rescue, Inc." If you would like to verify this please go to the Mississippi SoS site, STARR is listed as an LLC which was changed a few years later to an Inc vs LLC. Per the law, the LLC was dissolved as the Inc was uploaded as in good standings. We are a certified and verified 501c3, non-profit organization by the IRS which can be confirmed through a creditable agent or the IRS. We file all the necessary documentation required by the IRS through our certified tax agent, Pigott Accounting in Picayune, MS. Since we are a small business the IRS does not publish our status on their website, because they do not have the resources to ensure every small non-profit business is published on that site.

6.  STARR or those employed by STARR have never worked in the movie industry.

Many of our employees have worked within the movie and production industry. Some have worked only a few days on several different films, while others have worked in a multitude of areas within a production. Our employees were used in various support roles such as providing health & safety, first aid, medical staff for stunts, and water safety either at set construction sites, for cast members, or during an actual shoot. For the most part, our employees were asked never to take pictures of the movie set, the surroundings, or of staff and actors. This means there are no actual pictures of the work each individual performed as we FOLLOW the rules as set by the production company. Additionally, the movie credits are completely up to the actual production staff and does not correctly represent the actual work performed by any individual.

7.  STARR employ's individuals with criminal records, i.e. felony's.

Our executive staff ensures that all employees are vetted for any type of criminal activities as this would affect many of our credentials. Nevertheless, as our company attorney has stated, "anyone with $50.00 can slither up to the court house because they are offended and file charges". Thankfully, this does not mean they are guilty, but rather that someone feels they have been wronged and is looking for legal action.

Has anyone employed with STARR gone to court due to being charged with a possible crime? YES, but non of those individuals were ever convicted of a crime or have a criminal record which anyone can obtain through public records. Additionally, STARR has never engaged in any type of legal action towards any former or ex employee with this organization or another organization. 

We believe our actions, or lack of actions, speaks towards our ethical, moral, and good name.

8.  STARR Instructor had their instructor status revoked due to safety issues.

Of course bad information and rumors spread faster than water, however this rumor is false. Beware of letters posted by others without verifying the original source because technology these days allow for fake documents with little to no effort. There are those who believe that when someone leaves their organization the individual leaving also loses their knowledge, skills, experience, or professionalism of a particular subject matter. All instructors at STARR are certified and qualified to teach the course they are assigned.

9.  STARR courses are plagiarized. The information in the course came from another company.

STARR has and will remain an ethical and morally straight organization. Therefore, at no time has any of the training material been plagiarized. All the training materials have been researched, validated, and tested either in real-world experiences or by practical application. There are a variety of different water rescue training documents available and most have similar information or techniques. At STARR our water rescue training materials are reviewed by our Advisory Committee for completeness, accuracy, and validation while ensuring they meet NFPA standards. Additionally, STARR has worked collaboratively with other State and Federal agencies to develop specific water rescue courses.  

10.  STARR acquire the equipment used in there water rescue programs by illegal means.

STARR initially obtained the basic equipment though a donation from a local organization. Since then, STARR has legally purchased any other equipment used  to positively move our training programs forward while continuing to raise the training bar above minimum standards. As a federally recognized 501c3, STARR can legally receive donations.

11.  STARR's training is not up-to-date and it is not maintained. 

STARR promotes and  supports every instructor to seek continued education through outside sources. When our instructors take courses, they go as a student and not as an instructor or subject matter expert. They are not there to intimidate, break records, prove superiority but rather there to learn. The information and skills obtained is then vetted, presented to the advisory committee, and possibly incorporated into our training programs. 

12.  STARR is a fly by night business and a scam.

STARR's  Executive Staff has been working within the public service arena for over 30 plus years in the volunteer and professional settings. These individuals have advanced degrees from accredited universities, taught at higher educational institutions, and some are published subject matter experts in various peer-reviewed journals. 

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