Fighting Chance Solutions in the News

Traveling nurse inspires surrounding communities to take action

Oskaloosa Herald | By Shelly Ragen
February 22, 2018

OSKALOOSA OSKALOOSA ––A southeast Iowa mom and her friends have taken matters into their own hands concerning school safety, by raising $5,000 in one afternoon for a school security device known as The Sleeve.

Fast forward a few years and Melissa Mahon came into the picture when her friend suggests The Sleeve to her. Mahon is from Keosauqua and is a nurse anesthesiologist that travels to Sigourney hospital as well as seven other hospitals. She has three kids in elementary school. When the school shooting happened, she and her group of friends didn’t waste any time.

"We have a group of mom friends and our kids are all kind of in the same grade," she said. "Usually we meet at the bus stop. We started a message chat on Facebook with the five of us and it was on Feb. 15."

Schools across the country turn to local former teachers for security

KWQC | By Terrace Myles
February 22, 2018


Although it’s a product he hopes many educators never have to use he feels he and his team are doing something that will make a difference, and potentially save lives.

"People just want to do something, people are tired of sitting back, people just want to do something, There is that level of assurance that we’re trying to do a good thing, we’re trying to help," he said.

Securing Classrooms During Active Shootings

Our Quad Cities | Shawn Lodging
February 15, 2018

Our Quad Cities

Muscatine, Iowa – When an active shooting situation begins, a company in Muscatine is working to make sure students and teachers have a level of protection. Fighting Chance Solutions sells a metal device designed to lock the door closing arm from inside the classroom.

For President and CEO of Fighting Chance Solutions Daniel Nietzel, the calls and emails just keep coming. Daniel Nietzel said, "We’re getting anything from colleges to major corporations to just concerned parents."

Iowa Company Seeing Demand

KWWL | By Mac Hageman
February 16, 2018


Fighting Chance Solutions is dedicated to creating safety items to keep intruders from entering rooms.

The Muscatine, Iowa-based company is experiencing a spike in demand for their two products, the sleeve and the rampart. Both devices can block an inward or outward-swinging door in a matter of seconds.

"We’re trying to make a difference. One of our products was used last year in an active-shooter situation and withstood a door breach at the U.C.L.A. campus, right across the street from where the shooting occurred," teacher and company founder, Daniel Nietzel said.

Security tips for your organization in the event of a live shooter

We Are Iowa | Sabrina Ahmed, Amanda Krenz
October 15, 2017

Sabrina Ahmed, Amanda Krenz

Daniel Nietzel
President, Fighting Chance Solutions

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Teacher’s Invention Could Save Students During A School Shooting

The Huffington Post | By Tyler McCarthy
xxx 22, 2018

As of June 10, there have been 74 school shootings since the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Wary of the dangers facing their students, teachers at one Iowa school have developed a device that could save lives in the event of an on-campus attack.

A group of educators at West Middle School in Muscatine created The Sleeve, a 12-gauge carbon steel case that quickly slides over a door’s closer arm. According to Illinois news outlet WQAD, the device is able to withstand 550 foot-pounds of pressure on the door from the outside. The idea here is that, if the door cannot be opened from the outside, a shooter will be in too much of a hurry to try and force his way into the room and will move on.

West Middle School teacher Daniel Nietzel got the idea for "The Sleeve" while undergoing the school’s active shooter training. A few of his fellow teachers were apparently eager to help develop the idea and formed Fighting Chance Solutions to turn The Sleeve into a reality. Their product is currently waiting for patent approval.

"We were instructed to tie a belt or a cord around the closer arm. It seemed like a logical way to secure a door without having to go into the hallway, [but] it took us a long time to get a cord, stand on a chair, and tie a knot, which could potentially be the most important tie of your life," he told WQAD of the training session that inspired The Sleeve. "I can tell you in our training, all five rooms that the teachers were trained in; the doors were breached, the cords were ripped, and the officer who was portraying the active shooter came in and killed all of us."

While the safety device doesn’t solve the country’s problem of shootings in schools, it does provide an added bit of safety for students and faculty alike.

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Door lock keeps intruders out of classrooms

KWQC | By Tiffany Liou

MUSCATINE, Iowa (KWQC) – It’s a simple metal piece that can save lives during an active shooter setting. All you do is slip it on the door closer and it can resist up to 550 pounds of force.

Daniel Nietzel is a teacher in Muscatine and President of Fighting Chance Solutions. He says this is safety in schools is personal.

"I tried to put my son in that classroom, what would I want on that door?" he says.

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American Innovation

Fox News | By Lauren Blanchard

Muscatine, IA – A group of small town teachers have a big idea called The Sleeve. It’s a device that slips over the closer-arm of a door to prevent the door from being opened from the outside. The idea is to buy time for teachers and students during a school shooting.

Daniel Nietzel, President of Fighting Chance Solutions and middle-school teacher said he came up with the idea of The Sleeve after realizing the tactics they were taught during active-shooter drills weren’t effective.

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Teacher’s Invention Could Stop a Gunman in His Tracks — and Save Your Child’s Life

The Blaze | By Billy Hallowell

Concern over school shootings recently led a middle school teacher in Iowa to take definitive action, inventing a new device that helps educators protect students and faculty, alike.

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Iowa teachers invent ‘sleeve’ device to keep classroom doors closed in shooting rampage | By Crystal Bonvillian

MUSCATINE, Iowa — A group of middle school teachers in Iowa have added a device to the litany of ideas for protecting schoolchildren from armed intruders.

The teachers at West Middle School in Muscatine, Iowa, formed their own company, Fighting Chance Solutions, to create "The Sleeve," a 12-gauge carbon steel case that slides onto a door’s closer arm.

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Keeping children safer

Times Herald Online | By Lindsay Owens

Parents whose children attend Griffith Elementary can rest a little easier knowing that extra precautions are being taken to protect children at the school in case of an intruder.

With the help of the Griffith PTO, the school is now equipped with the Sleeve, a metal device that fits over the arm joints of doors. Griffith PTO President Nancy Armstrong said the first school in southern Indiana to purchase the device that was created by an Iowa teacher in 2013 but recently patented.

"The PTO waited for the teacher, Daniel Nietzel, to get the patent and to get his product on the market," said Armstrong, who said the Sleeves are in the process of being placed in each classroom as well as the doors to other popular destinations at the elementary. "We actually saw these about a year ago and it’s really that a teacher came up with this idea."

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School Safety

CNYHomepage | By Mary Wilson

Speed and safety, that could save lives. That’s the idea behind a new security device presented today at Muscatine Community College. The five middle school teachers who designed the product call it “The Sleeve.” The Sleeve fits over the closing arm found on almost every public school door and is able to withstand 550 foot pounds of pressure.

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WQAD – Quad Cities

WQAD | By Caroline Reinwald

It’s the last thing a teacher wants to have to think about: what to do in case a shooter is in the building.

Mass shootings in the past year like Sandy Hook, and the one at an Oregon high school on Tuesday, have led a few Muscatine middle school teachers to take action, and invent a device that will protect their classrooms.

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What We Can Learn From UCLA

What We Can Learn From UCLA…

Jun 2, 2016

The tragic shooting at UCLA on Wednesday is another event in a seemingly never-ending string of unfortunate school and public space shootings.

After 3 gunshots, the campus went into lockdown. Students were afraid… nervous… panicked. Some groups were forced to decide between escaping the area or trying to hide and secure a door.

Some students showed great ingenuity by using cords, furniture, or belts to secure doors that couldn’t lock from the inside.

SWAT teams arrived after the gunfire was reported, but there will always be delay in how quickly authorities are able to arrive.

Many of the school’s facilities use doors that are unable to be locked from the inside, and some experts recommend the costly endeavor of replacing door locks. According to CNN, this endeavor could cost between $200-$400 per door.

One office, right across the street from the engineering building where the shooting occurred, was prepared. Art Rocha, a UCLA employee in the Department of Neurobiology, purchased The Sleeve from Fighting Chance Solutions. Instead of taking the time to rig up a way to secure the door using belts or cords, Mr. Rocha could simply and quickly slip the device over the door closure and secure the door without the risk of going outside. The device was able to be deployed and protect everyone inside the office immediately and before SWAT teams arrived. The product is an innovative solution that is much less costly than replacing locks on the buildings doors.

Thankfully, the shooting was an isolated incident and a shooter did not attempt to continue towards Mr. Rocha’s building, but The Sleeve was able to prove its merit when another UCLA employee failed to enter the door from the outside. (His knowledge of the building allowed him to find another entrance.)

The efforts of the quick-thinking students and UCLA staff should be applauded, but when the university examines its lockdown protocol, innovations such as The Sleeve should be considered to ensure secure, fast, and cost-effective lockdowns.