Technology with a Purpose

Archive for July, 2015

Simplify Training Management with Innovative Tracking Applications for School Districts

If your school district is looking to track training and compliance tasks more efficiently, you are going to be impressed with TargetSolutions’ online training management system.

The web-based system provides government agencies with more than just online training courses. In addition to more than 50 hours of online safety training for schools – including OSHA, Human Resources, and Driver Safety, among other topics – TargetSolutions has created ready-to-go recordkeeping tools that simplify educational management.

These tools, called Platform Solutions, enable schools to schedule, deliver, track, and report critical operational activities.

Please click here to download the platform solutions overview document for school districts.

The Top 20 NFPA Firefighter Training Courses

TargetSolutions’ NFPA training courses are based on the NFPA’s codes and standards, including NFPA 1001, NFPA 1021 and the NFPA 1500 Series. Many courses were developed in conjunction with the NFPA and content experts at the NFPA participated in their creation.

TargetSolutions maintains a library of more than 60 hours of NFPA-approved firefighter training courses. The catalog covers an array of topics and scenarios designed to effectively attack fires with an emphasis on safety and awareness.

Here are TargetSolutions’ top 20 NFPA training courses for firefighters based on the total number of completions over the last year.

  • Bloodborne Pathogens Safety
  • Building Construction
  • Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus
  • Fire Behavior
  • Hazard Communication
  • Respiratory Protection
  • Confined Space Entry
  • Ground Ladders
  • Advanced HAZWOPER Awareness (Module 1)
  • Driving Safety
  • Fire Control
  • Fire Hose
  • Advanced HAZWOPER Awareness (Module 2)
  • Firefighter Personal Protective Equipment
  • Firefighting Foams
  • Fire Detection, Alarm & Suppression Systems
  • Forcible Entry into a Structure
  • Ventilation
  • Water Supply
  • Fire Streams

If you have any questions about TargetSolutions’ online NFPA firefighter training courses, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.

 

Get to Know Kegan Konrady, TargetSolutions’ Account Manager for the West

Account manager at TargetSolutions: Kegan Konrady
Kegan Konrady is a Missouri native and is pictured here on the Missouri River. When not in his home state, Konrady is perfectly comfortable in San Diego where he serves as an account manager with  TargetSolutions.

As an account manager serving California, Nevada and Hawaii, Kegan Konrady is one of the busiest employees here at TargetSolutions. This June, he will reach his three-year anniversary since joining the team and leaving his previous position as an operations manager.

A Missouri native, Konrady went to school at Pittsburg State in Kansas, but is now very much at home in San Diego’s coastal suburb Pacific Beach.

Living in P.B. encourages me to take advantage of the great outdoors,” Konrady said. “There are bay-side and ocean-side beaches in my neighborhood and both are great for different types of water sports. Also, it is a great walking neighborhood with lots of restaurants, shopping, and nightlife close by.”

Here is more about Kegan from a recent Q-and-A:

Do you have any children?

None currently. Hope to someday!

What are your favorite hobbies?

I’m a huge sports fan … Go Chiefs, Royals and Jayhawks! My hobbies include anything active, especially if it is outdoors. I love to go to the gym, swim in the ocean, paddle board, snowboard, play volleyball, and hike the beautiful mountains of San Diego. There are several great ones to hike near our office.

Who do you admire most and why?

My father. He was a self-made man in every sense of the word. He put his family first and was a great role model.

What is your favorite movie and why?

The Departed. I love a gangster movie with a good and different plot.

What was the first concert you ever attended?

Tone Loc.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The ability to have a meaningful impact on the operations of the fire departments we serve. Amazing what a help we can provide, in not only helping them get organized and hit certain compliance check boxes for their training program, but how we can completely change the way they do business, for the better!

 

 

Fire Officer 101: How to Establish the Right Expectations with Your Firefighters

company officer 101
Being a company officer is a tremendous responsibility. It is critical one understands the rank and what it entails.

Blog by Steve Prziborowski

Santa Clara County Fire Department (Los Gatos, Calif.)

The rank of company officer is undoubtedly one of the most challenging and important ranks within the fire service. If you read my previous post, “What Makes a Great Company Officer,” you know where I stand.

One of the most important things a company officer or any supervisor for that matter can do is establish the right expectations for personnel. While there is no one-size-fits-all method, or template for establishing expectations, I encourage you to reach out to other fire officers to understand what they are doing, as well as conduct online research to learn more.

When I was a firefighter, I didn’t enjoy having supervisors share their expectations. I interpreted that as micromanaging, which I now believe is an overused and misinterpreted word. Granted, the majority of supervisors I have had – in and out of the fire service – never bothered sharing expectations, so I at least give credit to those that did take time.

Check out other fire blogs by TargetSolutionsWhen I say I interpreted a supervisor sharing expectations as micromanaging, I felt the captain was telling me how to do my job. For example, I remember one captain stating something like this:

“If we get a car fire, I expect you to grab the front-bumper 1 and three-fourths hose line if the fire is toward the front of the vehicle. If the fire happens to be toward the rear of the vehicle, I expect you to pull the rear 1 and three-fourths hose line, as opposed to the pre-connected hose lines above the pump that are pulled to either side of the apparatus. Pulling the front or rear hose lines will keep us safe in most situations because we won’t have to pull hose out into other traffic lanes or over the side of the road.”

After serving as a captain and now a chief officer, I look back and realize the following:

  • It was the captain’s job to tell me how to do my job.
  • He was trying to set me up for success.
  • He was doing his best to ensure that communication and expectations were shared in advance so there was minimal chance for confusion on the fire ground.

Had he not shared those expectations, what would I have done on an actual vehicle fire? Any of the above options, some of which he might have liked, some of which he might not have liked. Would the fire go out with any line? Of course it would have. However, could I have put myself in danger had I done something he felt was unsafe given his experience? Of course! I could have injured myself or someone else!

Ultimately your job as a supervisor is not to handhold your personnel, but to provide clear direction as to what your expectations are in the majority of situations they face. Nobody said the job of company officer was going to be easy. If it were, everyone would be doing it.

About the Author

Steve Prziborowski has more than 21 years of fire service experience, currently serving as the Deputy Chief of Administrative Services for the Santa Clara County Fire Department (Los Gatos, Calif.), where he has served since 1995. Steve is also an instructor for the Chabot College Fire Technology Program (Hayward, Calif.), where he has been instructing fire technology and EMS classes since 1993.

About the author Steve PrziborowskiHe is a current Board Member for the California Fire Chiefs Association, serving as the Area 5 North Director, a Former President of the Northern California Training Officers Association, and he received the 2008 California Fire Instructor of the year award. He is a state-certified Chief Officer and Master Instructor, and has received Chief Fire Officer Designation and Chief Training Officer Designation through the Commission on Professional Credentialing.

He has a master’s degree in emergency services administration, and has completed the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy. He is a member of the IAFC FRI Program Planning Committee, is a regular presenter at fire service events across the country, and has authored numerous articles in all of the major fire service publications. He is also the author of three books, which were published in the fall of 2013: “How to Excel At Fire Department Promotional Exams,” “The Future Firefighter’s Preparation Guide,” and “Reach For The Badge – How To Master The Fire Department Entry-Level Testing Process.”

NFPA Gas Compression Safety Training Course Undergoes Updates

TargetSolutions’ NFPA Compressed Gas Safety training course has been enhanced with a new user interface and audio track.

An abundance of hazards exist with the handling, storage, and usage of compressed gases. To avoid a dangerous situation, it’s imperative that employees receive the necessary training to fully understand the safety protocols when working with these substances.

TargetSolutions’ NFPA Gas Compression Safety course, with a newly updated user interface and audio track, hones in on the safety protocols and characteristics of different gases, as well as the accompanying handling requirements as determined by the Department of Transportation.

Due to the tremendous amounts of stored potential energy, the probability of injuries and risk increases when working with compressed gases. TargetSolutions’ NFPA Compressed Gas Safety training courses features nine-lessons providing information for safe handling and transportation of these potentially volatile storage containers.

If you have any questions about TargetSolutions’ online training courses for firefighters, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.

St. Charles Fire Department Increases Reportable Training Hours with TargetSolutions

St. Charles Fire Department in Missouri employs 77 firefighters to protect the community of 70,000 citizens. The department responds to around 8,500 emergencies each year.

DEPARTMENT SPOTLIGHT OVERVIEW

  • St. Charles Fire Department was struggling to log all of its training hours
  • After implementing TargetSolutions, the department has seen a ‘25 to 30 percent increase in reportable training hours’
  • Department benefits from ability to efficiently deliver consistent training across department

 

After taking over as captain of the training division for St. Charles Fire Department in Missouri, Jamie Young quickly realized there was a significant issue with the department’s training program.

That issue had nothing to do with the actual training being conducted and everything to do with the way it was recorded.

“When I started running the numbers, I could see personnel were lacking in a number of areas,” said Young. “But I didn’t feel it was because we weren’t doing anything. I knew the problem was in the difficulty we were having consistently logging what was being done.”

With a clear need to improve how the department tracked its firefighter training and EMS continuing education hours, Young turned to TargetSolutions in December of 2012. From that point on things changed for the department.

“TargetSolutions has given us the ability to consistently log training that would go uncounted in the past,” said Young. “We have seen a 25 to 30 percent increase in reportable training hours, mostly just because of the ease of reporting within the system.”

The ability to effectively track firefighter training hours has Young optimistic for the department’s upcoming ISO review.

“We’re going to rely on TargetSolutions to help us nail down our report for ISO training hours,” Young said. “Last year we had a number of people up around 90 percent for the year. I think we’re going to maximize our reportable hours for training.”

The reporting component inside TargetSolutions’ fire department training management system is huge for the 77-man department on the outskirts of St. Louis. But St. Charles has experienced additional operational benefits since contracting TargetSolutions.


“TargetSolutions has given us the ability to consistently log training that would go uncounted in the past. We have seen a 25 to 30 percent increase in reportable training hours.”

Jamie Young, Captain, St. Charles Fire Department (Mo.)

“TargetSolutions helps us get things out over the Internet, making training more efficient and cost-effective,” Young said. “The online courses help. It’s a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips and we have the ability to get content out. We’re able to standardize training and meet our department goals.”

What pleased Young most is how quickly his department adapted to the new system. Before signing up with TargetSolutions, he expected some of the department’s personnel to disapprove of “training on the cloud.” In reality, the department’s personnel embraced the technology.

“Usually, when you bring in a computer-based program, you might think you would get some push back from some of the older guys,” Young said. “Actually some guys came up to me and said, ‘Jamie, this is awesome.’ I told him it wasn’t me, it was the program. I’ve been pleased with the buy-in we have seen.”

About TargetSolutions

TargetSolutions delivers cutting-edge software applications, engaging online training courses, and world-class customer service. The company was founded in 1999 and today thousands of organizations across the country use TargetSolutions’ innovative technology to solve their training challenges. For more information, please call 1 (800) 840-8048.

 

 

IAFC’s VCOS and TargetSolutions Announce Winner of 2015 Training Officer Recognition Award

Brad Pinsky knows the exact date things changed for Manlius Fire Department. It was March 7, 2002 when two firefighters died battling a fierce blaze.

From that day forward, the combination department in the village of Manlius of Onondaga County, N.Y. never was the same.

“Training was always important to the department, but in 2002 we lost two of our own in a structure fire,” said Pinsky, who was recently named the recipient of the 2015 Training Officer Recognition Award, which is presented jointly by the International Association of Fire Chief’s Volunteer & Combination Officers Section and TargetSolutions. Pinsky will receive his honor during a special ceremony in August during Fire-Rescue International in Atlanta.

Brad Pinsky

“One of the ways we handled it was by improving the training of both our volunteer and career staff. Our department looked at itself to see how to prevent future incidents from that day forward. We still talk about March 7 with new recruits. It’s part of the history of our department and we try to reflect on the incident and make sure it never happens again.”

Now serving as the department’s assistant fire chief, as well as the municipal training officer, Pinsky has worked to prevent these types of incidents by taking Manlius’ training to a new level. Changes have been made to the volunteer staff’s training requirements. In the past, 35 hours were needed to stay current. Now, the department’s 70 volunteer firefighters not only need 50 hours – a 43 percent increase – but to complete mandatory proficiency tests on numerous skills.

In addition to the higher standards and greater focus on training, Pinsky has brought innovation to the exercises, according to the city’s Mayor Paul Whorrall.

“Since 2010, Chief Pinsky has written hundreds of lesson plans and has taught and led at least 50 drills each year,” said Whorrall. “He organizes two live fire events each year for the full department. Approximately 25 firefighters attend each Tuesday night drill and his lesson plans are used throughout the week to instruct the remainder of the volunteer and career staff.

“His hands-on drills are always active for everyone attending. For example, during the six-week rotation of vehicle extrication, Chief Pinsky ensures that there are four vehicles ready to be cut during the Tuesday night drills, and several other vehicles available during the week for the career staff.”

The Training Officer Recognition Award is designed to acknowledge exemplary conduct befitting of a training officer, which Pinsky has consistently displayed. The award recognizes Pinsky’s creativity and commitment to best practices and operational effectiveness at Manlius Fire Department.

“In today’s fire service, training time competes with every other time commitment; therefore it is necessary to conduct high-quality, engaging training in a variety of formats. The more engaging the training, the more likely the member, be they career or volunteer, is to complete it. The training of today’s fire service is extremely important since that is what keeps the citizens and fellow firefighters safe while responding to and performing emergency operations. The Training Officer Recognition Award is one opportunity to recognize those individuals who have striven to provide their membership and the fire service as a whole the training necessary for members to perform at the top of their game. Assistant Chief Pinsky demonstrates those values both internal to his organization and the greater fire service alike.”

Norvin Collins

Fire Chief with Sauvie Island Fire District (Portland, Ore.) & VCOS Board Member

It’s clear Pinsky’s does it all out of love for the fire service. As a volunteer, he spends more than 15 hours a week working for free while also managing his main job as an attorney with the Pinsky Law Group in Syracuse, N.Y. He is also the co-owner of IamResponding.com, an online mobile service that provides firefighters with dispatches on their cell phones and permits departments and dispatchers to know who is responding to each emergency.

“I start early every day and go late,” said Pinsky, whose commitment to the profession is like many other dedicated volunteers who sacrifice to serve and protect.

“Volunteers do give up free time and family time and they do it for their community and without any expectations of a thank you. They do it because they love it.”

Pinsky is well-known throughout the fire service. He has published numerous articles, including the “Fire Department Law and Management Resource Manual.” He also serves as a speaker and hosts a monthly radio show, “Fire Service Court Radio” for Fire Engineering.

The opportunity to work with the VCOS and honor Pinsky is a great honor for TargetSolutions, according to Executive Vice President Thom Woodward.

“We look forward to FRI when Assistant Chief Pinsky will be recognized for his outstanding contributions to the fire service,” said Woodward. “This award is meant to honor someone who shares the same commitment to firefighter training that we do here at TargetSolutions.”

In addition to the Training Officer Recognition Award, TargetSolutions offers VCOS members a discount on the industry’s most powerful online training management system. Departments will receive $500 off TargetSolutions’ set-up fee, plus an additional 10 percent off user fees. If interested in this discount, please click here.

 

About TargetSolutions
TargetSolutions delivers cutting-edge software applications, engaging online training courses, and world-class customer service. The company was founded in 1999 and today there are more than 2,000 organizations across the country using TargetSolutions’ innovative technology to solve their training challenges. TargetSolutions is headquartered in San Diego, Calif. For more information, please call 1-800-840-8048 or check online at www.targetsolutions.com.

About IAFC’s Volunteer & Combination Officers Section
VCOS provides chiefs and chief officers who manage volunteers within a volunteer or combination fire, rescue or EMS delivery system with information, education, services and representation to enhance their professionalism. For more information, check online at www.vcos.org.

 

New Professional Development Training Now Available

Online Professional Development Catalog
Professional development training courses are now available through TargetSolutions’ online training management system.

If your organization is looking to educate employees on how to perform more effectively in the workplace, you are going to be thrilled with TargetSolutions’ newest set of online training courses.

TargetSolutions is pleased to offer more than 100 video-based, fully-narrated SmartTeam training courses covering the following categories: Communication, Computer Skills, Customer Service, Finance, Health & Wellness, Leadership, Management and Sales.

Courses are one-hour overviews covering professional development topics. Here is an overview of each category:

Communication: Training that educates employees on best practices for communication in a professional setting.

Online Professional Development Training

Computer Skills: Training on how to operate Microsoft Office programs (i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook), as well as lessons on how to implement new skills.

Training for Business Skills

Customer Service: Training designed to help employees learn how to provide exceptional customer service.

Finance: Training built to teach employees necessary skills for establishing and maintaining a budget that is financially stable.

Health & Wellness: Training on how to improve safety, health, and mental well-being through a healthier lifestyle.

Leadership: Training that educate leaders on how to sharpen leadership ability.

Business Skills Training Online

Management: Training that provides knowledge of various techniques for interacting with co-workers, supervisors, managers, clients, and vendors. These interactive courses cover important management topics.

Sales: Training that delivers in-depth information on the preparation, strategy and process of the sales cycle and how to close a deal.

 

SmartTeam courses are now available and ready to view. Please click here to download the course catalog and contact us for more information at (858) 376-1633.

Business Skills Training Catalog

 

The Top 10 Online Training Courses for Law Enforcement

TargetSolutions showcases more than 240 law enforcement training courses covering a vast array of topics and scenarios designed to enhance field knowledge, reduce risk, and maintain safety.

Here are TargetSolutions’ top 10 courses for law enforcement based on the total number of completions over the last few years:

  • Patrol – Mentally Ill Crisis Intervention
  • Domestic Violence
  • Use of Force
  • Patrol – Verbal Judo
  • Corrections – Booking and Intake
  • Corrections – Juvenile Inmates
  • Arrest and Control Techniques
  • Excessive Force
  • Command – Core Competencies of Leadership
  • Corrections – Inmate Supervision

If you have any questions about TargetSolutions, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.

Get to Know Your Account Manager: Meet Ashlee Marinello

Ashlee married her new hubby Chad on May 30 on the beach in Del Mar, Calif.

The last few months have been a whirlwind for TargetSolutions’ new Account Manager Ashlee Marinello. After starting here in March, she was married in May, and is now enjoying the honeymoon period with each, she said.

“My wonderful husband’s name is Chad, and we are newlyweds,” Ashlee said. “May 30 was the big day! So I still think he’s pretty wonderful.” wink A graduate of San Marcos High and Coleman College in San Diego, Ashlee is a “local gal,” who spent some time in Colorado playing soccer at Fort Lewis in Durango. “No one told me they play soccer in the snow – no thanks!” she said.

Chad and Ashlee have two children, a 14-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. No pets, but they are looking to rescue a Chiweenie and name it “Cha Cha.”

Here is a Q&A from a recent conversation with Ashlee:

What do you enjoy most about your job?
I really enjoy the interaction with customers and having the feeling that I’m helping them reach and record their training goals. I will add that my co-workers are really something special, too. A really intelligent and friendly group!

What are your favorite hobbies?
Spending time with my family outdoors (beach or the park). Taking spur of the moment trips and camping.

You can only use three words – how would you describe yourself?
Devoted, Determined, and Helpful.

Who do you admire most and why?
My Grandparents … they just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary! Their hard work in their marriage and in their careers put them in a beautiful position, enjoying every minute of being retired.

What is your favorite movie and why?
Everything is Illuminated. There are so many reasons why it’s a must see. It’s a beautiful movie set in the Ukrainian countryside that begins as a weird, hilarious comedy and ends with reflection and memories. It is really unforgettable, and a movie I can watch over and over.

What was your first concert you ever attended?
Fine Young Cannibals at age 5. I totally remember standing on my chair and rocking out to “She Drives Me Crazy.” They were my favorite!