Technology with a Purpose

Archive for November, 2012

TargetSolutions Is Updating Health and Safety Courses to Meet New GHS Standard

The Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals is a worldwide initiative to promote standard criteria for classifying chemicals according to their health, physical and environmental hazards.

It was developed by the United Nations because systems already in place worldwide create multiple classifications and inconsistent protection for those potentially exposed to the chemicals, as well as creating extensive regulatory burdens on companies producing chemicals.

The GHS itself is not a regulation or a standard. It is simply a document that establishes agreed hazard classification and communication provisions with information on how to apply the system.

The GHS uses pictograms, hazard statements, and the signal words “Danger” and “Warning” to communicate hazard information on product labels and safety data sheets in a logical and comprehensive way. The primary goal of GHS is better protection of human health and the environment by providing chemical users and handlers with enhanced and consistent information on chemical hazards.

While updating the TargetSolutions library to the new hazard classification system will be a large task, it will affect 26 of our courses, we understand the importance and are in the process of making the changes. The updates to our health and safety training courses, including Right to Know (Hazard Communication), Advanced HAZWOPER Awareness, HAZMAT Spill and Prevention and Control, and HAZMAT Transporation, are scheduled to be completed in 2013.

For more information on the GHS, please visit its website.

Please Join TargetSolutions and Donate to Victims of Hurricane Sandy

It has been more than a week since tragedy struck our country. As Hurricane Sandy ripped through our coastline, it stopped at nothing, flooding the streets of businesses, neighborhoods, and communities.

Despite preparations, no one and nothing was left untouched by this vicious storm. With those affected spanning from Vermont to Virginia, many were left in ruins – especially those hit hardest in New Jersey and New York. With homes and businesses completely leveled, many were left exhausted and hungry.

The aftermath of this disaster has tested our country’s brave first responders and everyone from coast-to-coast owes them a debt of gratitude for stepping up during these challenging times.

Here at TargetSolutions, our hearts go out to all who were and continue to be affected by this unimaginable disaster. Please help us in supporting the victims of this disaster by providing aid to those in grave need.

Workplace

‘Phenomenal’ Recordkeeping Tools Make Training Management Easier for Haines City Fire & Rescue

Like all fire departments, Haines City Fire & Rescue is looking to achieve total excellence in its daily operations. The department is continuously striving to improve so it can better serve the growing community of more than 38,000 citizens (during winter) in Haines City, Fla. With two stations and 30 personnel members – doing more with less is a philosophy the department has learned to accept.

But in order for the department to reach its optimum efficiency, Capt. Kim Miller must ensure each individual is properly trained and that all of the departments records are up to date and well organized.

Maintaining an accurate training file for each individual without a powerful system like TargetSolutions hinders the efficiency of any department. Miller knows as well as anybody how difficult and time-consuming it is to manually track training records.

“In the past, I had to check with each individual daily to get their training information and manually enter it into a spreadsheet. The process was extremely time-consuming,” Miller said. “That method of tracking individual training also makes it difficult to ensure that the reports are completely accurate.”

The department needed a solution that would put an end to yesteryears time-consuming and outdated system of manual recordkeeping. With the implementation of TargetSolutions in 2010, Haines City Fire & Rescue found its answer – transforming a once inefficient process into one of the department’s greatest strengths.

“The recordkeeping is absolutely phenomenal,” said Miller. “The accuracy and simplicity of TargetSolutions is outstanding.”

Managing records has never been easier for Capt. Miller, who feels confident the utilization of TargetSolutions will enhance the departments ISO rating whenever its next audit is conducted. Miller has already seen the benefits TargetSolutions offers with an easy-to-use application for tracking training specifically created for ISO purposes.

“It will definitely improve our ISO rating,” Miller said. “It only takes 10 minutes to generate reports for every shift captain to let them know exactly what they need to do for ISO by the end of the year. The speed is amazing.”

Haines City Fire & Rescue is not only benefiting from TargetSolutions by efficiently managing records – it also extensively uses the platform and more than 250 hours of Fire and EMS recertification courses to provide online training for personnel.

“We get so much training,” said Miller. “We assign at least six TargetSolutions courses every month. I call it ‘free training’ because the records management aspect of the platform alone is worth the price. All of the training that comes with it is a bonus.”

About TargetSolutions
Founded in 1999, TargetSolutions is the leader in online training and records management for public entities. More than 2,000 organizations across the country use our technology to solve their training needs. We work hard every day to understand our clients’ challenges and deliver powerful tools that save time and money.

TargetSolutions Delivers Tools to Meet ARFF Requirements

Did you know with TargetSolutions you can track ARFF training data and hour accumulation, plus deliver the FAAs Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Training DVD? TargetSolutions powerful training management system makes it possible by providing access to customizable activities on topics that have been recommended by the FAA.

In addition, previously complicated reports have been simplified so you can easily check the progression of hours for all ARFF personnel.

We really impressed the FAA with our training records, said Marc Sanangelo of Naples Fire Department in Florida. Someone with the FAA actually told one of our neighboring departments they may want to look at what Naples is doing to create quality records. That was a great compliment us and to TargetSolutions.

You can track training hour accumulation through TargetSolutions Manage Credentials application. The credential will track training hours on all ARFF subjects. Then run reports to check the progression of hours for all ARFF personnel.

Controlling the Door During Fire Suppression Should Not Be Overlooked

Blog by Jason Hoevelmann
Deputy Chief/Fire Marshal with Sullivan Fire Protection District

We were the second truck on the scene for a fire in a neighboring jurisdiction. The first truck was training on the other side of the district, so it was only a few seconds ahead of us. It was a single family home with a basement. The first company reported heavy fire and smoke. They were pulling a pre-connect hose.

As we moved past the first engine we were directed to catch the plug. While grabbing a tool and moving toward the front door where the first company had already made entry, I noticed their attack line was flat and the front screen door was closed on top of it. They had no water.

This scenario is not uncommon. One quick remedy is to secure the front door open, which is what happened. There was no delay in getting the attack crew water. But attack teams need to ensure before making entry to control the doors that could impede our progress and egress.

Controlling the door has many applications in firefighting operations and can complicate our tactics and progress. It’s imperative that we maintain control of the doors at all times and understand how to do so. It’s not just during forcible entry that we must control these means of access; it’s during all firefighting operations. This task is paramount for our safety and victims who may be trapped.

Whether we are in a single family home or a high-rise apartment building, it’s important to use doors to our advantage. In many cases, it’s as easy as just closing the door for protection. In other instances, we need to prop doors open for the advancement of hose lines and paths of egress. It’s up to us to be familiar with the when and how.

During search operations, especially during VES, we must use the door as protection from heat, smoke and fire. While searching a room from the hallway or common area without a hose line, it’s appropriate to have one firefighter search the bedroom while one stays at the door. If the hallway becomes untenable, the firefighter can enter the room and shut the door.

For VES operations, the control of the door is a must. After sounding the floor and making entry from the outside, firefighters should close the door. This protects the firefighter and any victims who may be in the room. Rapidly changing conditions may cause the room to become untenable.

With the threat of wind-driven fires in buildings, especially high rises, controlling the door is critical. This can literally determine if you survive. Control of the door from the stairwell must be made to insure that superheated gases and windblown fire does not compromise the position in the stairwell. Failure to control the stairwell can result in the spread of smoke to upper floors, making fire suppression and search efforts difficult.

In addition, the fire room door should be controlled. Not controlling the door can compromise search efforts on the floor and can cause suppression crews to retreat from the blow torch like flames and heat. Severe conditions can cause serious injury or death in some of these fires. It should be noted that when conditions deteriorate in a wind driven fire, firefighters should never seek refuge in the unit across from the fire room. Instead, get into a unit adjacent to the fire unit on the same side of the building and control the door to that unit.

As important as it is to control the door by closing it, it is just as important to keep doors open to allow suppression crews a clear opening to quickly find and extinguish the fire. Back up crews need a clear path behind the attack team. Closing doors can cut off water and reduce pressure to attack lines, leaving the attack team vulnerable.

Control of the door may seem basic, but it’s a skill that is often overlooked. Even on the routine, single-family house fire, we need to control doors during suppression and search operations. All doors should be controlled on all fires, not only for advancing crews to get in, but for them to get out as well. That one door you open in the back of the house might be the one that saves a life.

As with all firefighting tactics, follow your local jurisdictions guidelines and operating procedures and train accordingly. The more you train on these skills, the more second nature they will become.

>> Blog was originally posted with TargetSolutions in February of 2011.

About the Author
Jason Hoevelmann is a Deputy Chief/Fire Marshal with the Sullivan Fire Protection District, a combination department. Hoevelmann is also a career firefighter/paramedic with the Florissant Valley Fire Protection District in North St. Louis County. His experience spans more than 20 years and he has been an instructor for more than 15 years.

Help Section Inside TargetSolutions Features Live Chat Functionality

Did you know TargetSolutions provides three levels of support? If you ever have questions about operating the platform or need additional help or training, we are here for you through our online Help System, which is accessible through the platform; our toll-free (800) line; and our Live Chat functionality.

You can find answers to most questions through the Help System, including videos and step-by-step instructions, but you can also access our support team through the Live Chat feature.

Upon accessing the Help tab within the platform, you will be brought to the Help System’s home page. If you are interested in communicating with a representative at TargetSolutions via Live Chat, click on the Ask an Operator item on the bottom right of the screen (pictured below). Live Chat is available Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 8 a.m. to noon on Fridays.

To access our knowledgeable support staff via phone or e-mail, you can reach us at (800) 840-8048 or support@targetsolutions.com. We are here to serve you and assist in any way possible!

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