|Don Kinney is the owner and lead instructor for Edmonds Technical Diving Services (ETDS). Don began recreational diving in 1985 in Colorado and took his first warm water vacation in Akumal, Mexico. Don is a police officer who is certified in both Arizona and Washington. He began his public safety diving career in Arizona when he joined a public safety dive team in 1991 working in the waters of Lake Mohave and the Colorado River. While in Arizona he gained extensive experience in working swift water and near zero visibility in fresh water lakes. He took his first Underwater Investigation course from Robert Teather and has dedicated his life to Public safety diving and Underwater investigations.
In 1995 Don moved from the warm desert of Arizona to the cooler weather of Washington State. In Washington, Don continued his recreational diving career and became interested in Technical Diving. He moved from Advanced Nitrox to Trimix and took any class he could find to gain knowledge in this area. After completing his Advanced Trimix classes he decided to take the leap into the recreational / technical professional levels. He started off as a recreational dive instructor and over time became a Trimix instructor trainer.
While expanding his recreational and technical instructor levels, he continued to be employed as a public safety diver. He was placed in charge of his police dive team in 1997 and holds this position to this day. During his time as the team leader, Don has developed the team’s Standard Operations Procedure (SOP) manual, as well as, the manual on operation of the public safety boat.
In 2001, while working in Hoodsport, Washington on the Hood Canal, Don started teaching commercial harvest divers in open water diving and then teamed up with Ron Ault and began a full service instruction program of Surface Supplied Air diving (SSA). The training program expanded and went from the Hood Canal area to the broader area of western Washington. ETDS and Hoodsport ’N dive have the privilege of training members of many Northwest tribes including: Skokomish, Tulalip, Swinomish and Squaxin. Most recently Don has expanded the SSA training to not only include commercial harvesters, but to other people and teams using surface supplied equipment.
Don has never slowed down. In 2006 he took the next step of becoming a partner in a dive store, Hoodsport’N Dive. With his partner, Ron Ault, Hoodsport’N Dive moved from a tiny single compressor shop with one employee to a two compressor shop employing 5 people.
Don transferred his years of public safety diving experience into his knowledge as an Emergency Response Diving Instructor with ERDI (Emergency Response Diving International). He has trained numerous teams and feels he has improved the quality of each diver, as well as, improving overall team safety. One of his greatest accomplishments was training a team of Public Safety divers in Indonesia. His skills helped a young dive team become more comfortable in the water and safer as divers.
In 2011 Don was honored by being asked to participate as an advisor for SDI/TDI/ERDI. As part of the Training Advisory Panel (TAP) Don consults with the development and maintenance of standards and materials. He assists with quality assurance investigations, reviews and outcomes; and he consults during the reviews of “unique” specialties submitted by instructors.
Don has had the privilege of working closely with William High, the developer of Professional Scuba Inspectors (PSI). During his time with PSI, Don developed training programs for their Fire Fighter SCBA program and the training program for Eddy Current devices. In 2013 Don took his extensive knowledge in cylinder inspection and developed Cylinder Training Services (CTS). CTS is designed to help people who deal with high pressure cylinders, frm the inspection to the filling process. With CTS he also designed a full line of affordable inspection tools. CTS has been taught to numerous organizations including: Bellagio Cirque Du Soleil divers, Fire Departments, commercial dive schools and recreational dive facilities. He continues actively training divers and non-divers in the proper procedures for cylinder inspections through the CTS training program.
Don prides himself on his unique diving experiences and the ability to take those experiences to train others. He understands that not every diver learns the same way, but each person has unique qualities and strengths. Those qualities and strengths can be used to improve both an individual’s diving skills and their participation as a diving team member.