About First Strike Safety Solutions

First Strike Safety Solutions, Inc., began offering safety services in 2007 to a few local businesses and industries. We have grown to well over 100 clients throughout the Upper Midwest. First Strike provides two separate customized client needs: Safety Training and Standby/Emergency Services.

During standby/emergency services we pride ourselves in building relationships with our clients by being interactive on the jobsite; with a goal of incident prevention and incident stabilization. Our proactive, boots-on-the-ground approach, with continuous monitoring, preplanning, and assessment throughout a project sets us apart and shows our dedication and passion to safety. We have the latest in rescue and monitoring equipment, and strive to be at the pinnacle of services available.

As we prepare training programs it is our priority to customize each class to the clients’ needs, facilities, and resources, both in-house and evaluating the emergency response capabilities available within their community.

First Strike employees are career firefighters as well as Paramedics or Emergency Medical Technicians with many years of rope rescue, confined space rescue, emergency medical response and safety experience. We can ‘talk the talk’ because we ‘walk the walk’ every day. We pride ourselves in being passionate about what we do and aligning the best First Strike team with each project or training program to deliver current, accurate, and relatable material.

First Strike prides itself on satisfying our customers’ needs. Whether you are doing annual safety training, routine maintenance, or engaging in a high-risk activity, our First Strike team, with its wide variety of training, experience and expertise, can handle all your safety needs.

First Strike has been jointly owned since 2007 by Jon Langlee, President, and Patricia Langlee who manages the office. They are supported by Dan Lattner, Operations Manager.


John Langlee
Owner / Rescue Technician / Lead Instructor
Jon is the owner and President of First Strike Safety Solutions in Duluth, Minnesota. He was a 29-year Fire Captain/Training Officer with the State of Minnesota at the Duluth International Airport and retired in 2013. Jon has held many different jobs throughout his lifetime, but safety and firefighting were always his passion. This continues in the legacy of First Strike Safety Solutions. Jon resides in Duluth with his wife, Patty, and has 3 grown children. He enjoys time at his cabin in Northern Wisconsin and is an avid hunter and fisherman.
Dan Lattner
Operations Manager / Lead Instructor / Rescue Technician

Dan Lattner has been in the fire service with a busy career department since 1996. He is currently a captain on the main truck company but most of his career has been spent on the heavy rescue company. He serves as the rescue coordinator for the department. Dan also spent 19 years teaching Fire and Rescue classes at the local technical college.

Dan has been with First Strike Safety for over 9 years. At First Strike Safety Dan serves as the Operations Manager as well as Instructor and Rescue Technician. Dan teaches many different courses for First Strike but his true passions lie in the rope rescue and confined space realms. As Operations Manager, Dan will be the point of contact for assigning and coordinating work crews for your job or instructors for your classes.

When not at one of his two jobs, which isn’t often, he spends his time with his wife chasing their two busy daughters around at their many endeavors. He also will get in an occasional hunting trip with his lab or camping with his family.

Dan Smith.jpg
Lead Instructor / Rescue Technician

Dan is a captain for a busy career fire department where he rides on a heavy rescue company. He has been with said department since 2006 and still loves sliding the pole and riding around town in a big red truck! He is also a Hazardous Materials Specialist for a State hazardous materials emergency response team. Dan teaches: Hazardous Materials, Rope Rescue, Confined Space Rescue, First-Aid and CPR, Fire Extinguishers, and Fall Protection.

His passion for rope rescue was kindled years ago as a young rock climber living in Montana. Times have changed; his recreational knot tying now consists of lacing up his kids’ hockey skates. When not tying knots, Dan likes to watch his kids play sports, family travel, cooking, mountain biking and snowboarding.

Corey Swartout
Lead Instructor / Rescue Technician

Corey is a Captain with career fire department; working out of the Big House and has been on the busiest engine in the city, since the beginning of his career, over 20 years ago. In addition to his work on the engine, Corey is a Specialist on the state hazardous materials emergency response team. Corey has lived all over the world from the Bronx to India and has stories to illustrate a novel. When Corey isn't at the fire station or working with First Strike he spends his days on the farm or traveling to horse events with his family and pretending to be a "Gentleman Farmer". Corey is a seasoned and experienced instructor but his passion is in the field with dirty hands, much like on the farm.

Nick Downs
Lead Instructor / Rescue Technician

Nick works in a dual status as an aircraft crash, fire and rescue firefighter, as well as structural firefighter. He was hired in 2001 and has progressed to the rank of fire captain. Nick also serves as a Chief in the Air National Guard as the Domestic Operations Liaison for the state of Minnesota.

In addition to his Fire Science Degree, Nick has specialty training in confined space, rope, urban search and trench rescue, as well as hazmat technician and IC. He also is a nationally registered EMT.

In his free time, Nick enjoys running, snowmobiling, hunting and fishing, and coaching youth hockey.

Cody DeBondt
Lead Instructor / Rescue Technician

Cody is a Fire Fighter/Paramedic currently working for "the" Cloquet Area Fire District. Cody started this adventure at Lake Superior College where got his fire science degree, then onto FM Ambulance for his degree in Paramedic Science. Cody started with a private ambulance service called Gold Cross in Duluth MN, and working for them for 4 1/2 years. He converted to the "good" side in March of 2009 where he is currently employed. Cody still love riding the rig and playing fireman on the side. Cody has a passion for teaching CPR and First Aid. Cody is only 3 fish away from achieving expert level in fishing and is a world class athlete in Pickelball.

Brandon Rautell
Lead Instructor / Rescue Technician

Brandon has been a career Firefighter/Paramedic since 2007 and works for a Fire and Emergency Services organization that offers Advanced Life Support (ALS) transport services and Technical Rescue. He holds a B.A. in Fire Science, an A.A.S. in Paramedicine, and is currently working towards completing the Managing Officer program through the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He instructs CPR, Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ALS), Advanced Medical Life Support, and Fireground Survival skills.

At home Brandon enjoys spending time with his kids hunting, fishing, camping, raising chickens, and mountain biking. He travels with his wife and coaches youth soccer.

Grant Gimpel
Lead Instructor / Rescue Technician

Grant is a captain of an International Airport Fire Department where he leads a crew on an engine company or crash truck. He has been with this fire department since 2004 and enjoys helping the community and working with his mutual aid partners. He is also a fire chief of a township volunteer fire department and works as a wildland firefighter for the state. Grant has taught: Confined Space Rescue, Fire Extinguishers and First Aid / CPR.

Grant learned a lot about rope rescue working at the airport with First Strike owner Jon Langlee. Grant loves spending time with his son hunting, fishing and watching him play hockey.

Camron Vollbrecht
Lead Instructor / Rescue Technician

For a day job Camron works as a Battalion Chief for a small fire department in a city with a large heavy industrial and petroleum presence. Camron oversees the operation of a regional hazmat team and was a member of a State Urban Search and Rescue team. Prior to his career in the fire service Camron worked as a scientist in the environmental consulting and hazardous materials response field. Camron teaches: Hazardous Material Response, First-Aid and CPR, Fire Fighting, and Fire Extinguishers

Camron spends his free time outside hiking, backpacking, hunting, and fishing

Carmine Langlois
Lead Instructor / Rescue Technician

Carmine has worked in the Fire Service since 1991, and has been with his current department since 2002; he is currently the driver of the Heavy Rescue Company for that department. His dream of being a fire fighter started at 5 with stories from his grandfather and his 40 year fire service career. The sound of a wound up Q-siren and Air Horn is still music to his ears. Carmine teaches Confined Space Rescue, Rope Rescue, First Aid and CPR, Fall Protection and Fire Extinguishers. He also does Confined Space Rescue Standby and Industrial Firefighting.

When he is not working he chases after his 4 daughters, watches soccer, horseback riding, and music concerts. He enjoys watching movies, cooking, being in the garage, and outdoors.

Mike Garberg
Lead Instructor / Rescue Technician

Mike is a Captain / Paramedic on a career department that runs the ambulance along with traditional fire / rescue. He has been with the department since 2006. Mike is also a Team Leader on his department's technical rescue team. Mile teaches: CPR / First-Aid, Rope Rescue, Confined Space, and Fire Extinguishers. When not working, you will either find Mike at his camper with his wife and kids or on a mountain bike trail with his son. Most of the winter he is in a gym somewhere watching his kids play sports while trying to get out on the ice.

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