Muscatine’s classroom safety device business booming after mass shootings

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A Muscatine business that specializes in safety products is experiencing a business boom following the Florida school shooting.

Fighting Chance Solutions started nearly four years ago to protect kids.  Today, it's mission is more important than ever.

Just hours after the Florida school shooting, another school lockdown prompted emotional calls from teachers.

"One was crying," recalled Daniel Nietzel, president and CEO of Fighting Chance Solutions, on Wednesday, February 28.  "She was saying, we're panicked. We're sick of this.  I'm on your website. How can you get this to me?"

The Sleeve is a safety product designed by Muscatine teachers for other teachers to use.  Since the Florida shootings, its sales are more than doubling entire 2017 figures.

To keep up with nearly 80 orders a day, Nietzel is working 17-hour days and taking a leave of absence from his day job.

"When things like this happen, there's a huge spike in what we do because people are scared," he said.  "They want to be proactive."

While the Sleeve works on doors that open to the outside, the Rampart protects doors that open into a building.  At $40, it costs about half as much as the Sleeve, but the company offers volume discounts.

"I don't want to keep working 15 to 17 hour days," Nietzel said.  "That's not sustainable, but right now that's what's demanded."

Nietzel and his fellow educators make and sell their products in Muscatine.  He does see a day when they will eventually sell the company and concentrate on their passion - teaching kids.

"For now, we're going to keep doing what we're doing, he concluded.  "Be responsive and try to help as much as we can."

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