Prior to training with 1st call, I was serving in the Royal Engineers. The reason I got the opportunity to train as a locksmith was for operational requirements in Afghanistan. My regiment was due to deploy to Kabul and set up HQ ISAF. They requested 4 people to be trained as locksmiths prior to deployment. I volunteered for the training and took a couple of lads from my section.

We searched for suppliers of Locksmith training in the UK and found the response to our request was best matched by 1st Call Lockouts. The training ticked all the boxes for content and we got tools at the end of it! Being engineers getting tools is what sealed the deal!


The training facility back in 2006 was a little more rustic than it is today, but the course content and practical work was second to none. Richard and Jason worked as a double act teaching us the art of locksmithing, with a little magic thrown in for good measure.


Whilst on deployment in Afghanistan our skills were tested to the max, as we weren’t always allowed to just blow the doors off. The tech support from Richard and Jason during the tour and ever since has always been fantastic.


I went back to 1st Call for advanced training in 2008 as part of my resettlement from the army with a view to set up my own company as a mobile locksmith. The training was amazing, and I was very fortunate to get a lot of 1-2-1 training with the wizard Jason Hillier. Richard was able to give me a lot of help with the business aspects of the trade, with advertising, supplier details and contacts for agency work.


I left the army in 2009 and set up my company. The first year was a very steep learning curve and the agency work was a good way to cut my teeth. During the first year I was frequently calling 1st Call for technical assistance and guidance. I saw an opportunity in my area for Auto Locksmithing, so I contacted 1st Call and booked on some more training. This course was brilliant loads more gadgets and gizmos. The classroom facilities were considerably more desirable much better than the old stables! They actually had porcelain toilets and everything!


My business has gone from strength to strength and its all thanks to the training and ongoing support given by 1st Call Lockouts and their fantastic team.


Darren Ford, EFL Fire and Rescue