The History of ANDI
ANDI's beginnings are a significant part of diving history
Ed Betts and Dick Rutkowski joined together in 1988 to form American Nitrox Divers, Inc. (“ANDI”). The purpose was to standardize Instructor Training, Sport Diver Training, and refill station dispensing procedures for Enriched Air Nitrox diving.
Dick Rutkowski retired from the USA's National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with 33 years of service in 1985. He served as Deputy Diving Coordinator and was the founder and director of the NOAA Diving/Hyperbaric Training and Diver Treatment Facility. He began teaching what he called "Nitrox Diving" for sport divers in 1987 under his IAND company. He is directly responsible for introducing this major advancement into the Sport Diving Industry.
After contractually agreeing to close IAND and work exclusively with ANDI, Dick sold IAND to an ANDI Instructor Trainer, Tom Mount. Although both companies continued, this act caused the founders to acrimoniously separate. Tom Mount continued with IAND under the trade name IANTD.
Ed Betts was the co-founder of Island Scuba Centers, Inc. (ANDI # 1), of Freeport, New York in 1968. The Betts Family closed Island Scuba Centers in 1997 after 29 years of service to the local diving community. At that time it was Long Island's oldest full-service scuba facility and had been one of the world's first “high tech” dive centers.
Ed has extensive experience as a practical engineer. He designs and installs specialty gas production and delivery systems and hyperbaric chambers. Ed is founder and Executive Director of ANDI International and has authored numerous published articles, instructor manuals and student text books.
It was through Ed's efforts and business acumen that so many of the standards and procedures that were developed by ANDI are now standard practices in the diving industry of today. In addition, Ed was the first individual to introduce SafeAir®, technical and rebreather diving to many parts of the world.
When the first production-run recreational rebreather was marketed by Dräger of Lubeck Germany, it was ANDI that produced the first training manual in English and German. Since then ANDI has closely followed the emerging rebreather market. As new production product has become available ANDI has produced manufacturer-approved training materials of the highest quality.
In 1991, ANDI trained and opened the first EAN facility outside of the USA. The concept and technology quickly spread as ANDI expanded throughout the world. ANDI’s concept of “optimal breathing gas technology”, at first shunned and criticized by the entire industry, has now become a standard part of diving practice.