All Aboard the Safety Train

By Eleanor Snite

Since 1996, ComTrain Texas LLC has provided climbing safety, full protection and rescue training for hundreds of companies and government organizations around the globe. In 2010, Zane Windham purchased the company from the founder and realized that with the growth of anything wireless, there was a market for safety classes aimed at telecom towers. Today, ComTrain has classes throughout the United States, including Puerto Rico. The classes meet the standards required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and include education, training, and climbing. There is also a Train-the-Trainer class for tower companies who want to implement an in-house instructor to train their climbers. He is also seeing a growing demand from tower companies for classes in tower rigging.

By the first two years under Windham’s ownership, ComTrain’s business was doubled. He hired more people and increased the classes. “The learning curve to understand the business and its challenges is very steep,” Windham said. “And we’re dealing with rapid advancement in the telecom industry. We have to keep up with the demand of the industry. All of our classes are full.” ComTrain instructors for the company live all over the country, but it can be tough to find towers they can use to train on, and Windham spends a lot of his time searching for suitable towers. ComTrain deals with independent tower owners and pays them for the use of their tower or provides free training to their employees. Windham is working on starting three regional training centers for permanent training locations. ComTrain already owns one in Cartersville, Georgia, and Windham anticipates adding another in Austin, Texas, the company’s headquarters.