Technology with a Purpose

Archive for September, 2016

TargetSolutions Releases Two New Dynamic Training Courses for First Responders

TSLogo_BadgeSAN DIEGO – TargetSolutions, the leading provider of computer-based training management applications for public safety agencies, has launched two new online courses for first responders. The new titles, “EMS Incident Command System” and “Fire Service: Health and Safety,” join TargetSolutions’ catalog of more than 250 hours of Fire and EMS recertification training.

“These courses are key additions to our course library because they address two extremely vital areas for emergency responders,” said TargetSolutions’ Director of Content Lauren Crosby. “We are always looking to add valuable content to our library and these two courses do exactly that for fire and EMS agencies.”

EMS Incident Command System” delivers an essential overview of best practices for any public safety organization that might be involved in responding to a mass-casualty or multiple-agency response incident. The Incident Command System (ICS) is mandated by the U.S. Federal Government through the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

“Established by emergency management professionals as a way to create leadership during emergencies, this course brings the essentials of ICS straight to your fingertips,” said Crosby. “This is an exciting course for EMS professionals because it’s such an important area of focus. We’re thrilled to make it available for those seeking EMS continuing education.”

The visually impressive course, featuring in-depth learning modules and a robust test bank with scenario-based questions, was created by TargetSolutions’ subject matter expert John Peruggia, who currently serves as an adjunct professor at Metropolitan College of New York where he teaches courses in the Emergency Management Program.

“The Incident Command System is a critically important tool in order to effectively and efficiently manage incidents of all sizes and scopes,” said Peruggia, who served more than 25 years with the Fire Department of New York where he became the Chief of Emergency Medical Services.

“In today’s often uncertain environment, Emergency Medical Personnel must clearly understand it’s application and utilize it regularly in order to best provide to those who may require their assistance at planned or unplanned events. This course provides the student with a fundamental understanding of how to apply the foundational concepts of ICS to the Mass Casualty Incident environment.”

John Peruggia, Subject Matter Expert for TargetSolutions

The second all-new course in TargetSolutions’ robust catalog of online training for emergency responders, “Fire Service: Health and Safety,” presents the concepts, science, and economics of fire service-related health and safety. This course outlines why firefighter wellness is critical to the fire service and the various risks associated with the profession.

“After completing this course, users will know the common types of line-of-duty-deaths among firefighters, common diseases suffered by firefighters, and why these diseases are so prevalent,” said Crosby. “Members of the fire service know their professional world is different than the rest of us. This course discusses issues that impact firefighters’ well-being and how firefighters can reduce their risks.”

This 60-minute training course, featuring interactive lessons and engaging content, delivers 10 learning modules with a 10-question exam.

If you would like more information about TargetSolutions’ online training catalog for first responders, please contact us today at (800) 840-8046.

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 more than 4,000 organizations use this innovative technology to solve their training challenges.

Community Resources Features Videos on Stress Management for Emergency Responders

“Stress Management for Emergency Responders” is a video series created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention available inside Community Resources. The videos examine the ramifications of stress for emergency responders and various coping strategies.

“Stress Management for Emergency Responders” is a video series created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention available inside Community Resources. The videos examine the ramifications of stress for emergency responders and various coping strategies.

Stress is an inevitable part of working in emergency response. With exposure to unthinkable atrocities, even the most seasoned first responders will feel varying levels of anxiety. While this is a normal response to physical or emotional hardships, managing it presents new challenges.

This month’s featured item inside Community Resources tackles that exact issue.

Geared toward individuals and agencies working in various crisis settings, “Stress Management for Emergency Responders” from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a series of videos that highlight the sources of stress and what individuals, team leaders, and agency management can do to manage it. Practical guidance is given on how to reduce stress and lessen its negative impact.

“This is one of the many valuable resources inside Community Resources,” said Product Manager Misty Pratt. “This particular video series discusses stress management for emergency responders, which is an important topic in the fire service.”

The series of videos have combined to receive more than 400 views. If your organization has access to TargetSolutions and you would like to view these videos, and other related topics, please search for “Stress Management for Emergency Responders” under the Community Resources tab.

If you have any questions about the Community Resources application, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048.

Master the Components of ICS with TargetSolutions’ All-New EMS Training Course

TargetSolutions recently launched a brand new EMS training course for continuing education. Incident Command System features dynamic lessons throughout its in-depth 60-minute overview.

TargetSolutions is excited to announce the release of Incident Command System, an all-new online training course for EMS continuing education. The visually impressive course features in-depth information and an audio narration track to engage users.

The new training comes equipped with 12 learning modules and a 10-question exam.

“Established by emergency management professionals as a way to create leadership during emergencies, this course brings the essentials of ICS straight to your fingertips,” said TargetSolutions Director of Content Lauren Crosby. “This is an exciting course for EMS professionals because it’s such an important area of focus. We’re thrilled to make it available for those seeking EMS continuing education.”

ICS is utilized nationally and internationally and mandated by the U.S. Federal Government through the National Incident Management System (NIMS) at all levels of government, including public, private, and non-governmental organizations. Any department that could be involved in responding to a mass-casualty and/or multiple-agency response would benefit from this course.

Objectives of this course include:

  • Exploring the components of the incident management system
  • Identifying the responsibilities and functions of various staff positions
  • Recognizing the importance of establishing a medical branch/group at a mass casualty event
  • Describing strike team, task force, and unit

Please note, TargetSolutions’ new Incident Command System training course is not yet accepted for continuing education in Alabama. And the version created to comply with the Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education is not yet approved in Virginia and for EMTs in the state of New Jersey.

For more information on this course or other courses in TargetSolutions’ online training catalog, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.

Sudden Cardiac Events in the Fire Service

sudden cardiac arrest in fire service

With a staggering 51 percent of all firefighting line of duty deaths caused by sudden cardiac events, the epidemic presents itself as the No. 1 firefighting fatality.

The dangers of the firefighting profession are never in short supply. Smoke inhalation, burn injuries, car accidents, collapses – just a few of the perils that routinely handcuff themselves to the day-to-day operations of the job.

But there’s another hazard that’s quietly lurking below the radar causing more damage but receiving substantially less attention: sudden cardiac events. With a staggering 51 percent of all firefighting line of duty deaths caused by sudden cardiac events, the epidemic presents itself as the No. 1 firefighting fatality, more than any other fire-related danger combined.

Denise Smith, professor for health and exercise science at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., is leading the crusade against fire service-related cardiovascular diseases. Citing studies that suggest the cardiovascular disease risk factors in firefighting are similar to those of the general population, Smith poses the question: If a firefighter’s basic cardiovascular disease risk isn’t greater than the rest of the population, why are they so much more likely to die at work?

The answer may lie in the magnitude of the cardiovascular strain they experience during their jobs.

For example, a person not involved with the fire service may harness a similar cardiovascular risk but is unlikely to do work that is as strenuous as a firefighter. More importantly, Smith asks, “are we doing enough to prevent sudden cardiac events in firefighters?”

Smith believes there is an abundance of cases where firefighters are being cleared for duty following a medical evaluation that includes findings of cardiovascular risk. This is due in large part because of the physician’s lack of understanding of the physiological and psychological strain of the job.

“In my mind, every firefighter should have a medical evaluation by a physician who understands the stressful nature of the job. Sometimes firefighters go to physicians who say ‘you are kind of in normal shape’ and clears them for duty, but doesn’t understand how stressful the job is.”

Denise Smith, Professor for Health and Exercise at Skidmore College (N.Y.)

Therein lies the problem: Firefighters are being cleared for duty despite the detection of early signs of cardiovascular diseases.

“The firefighter hears ‘I’m cleared for duty, therefore everything is OK,’ but very often those medical evaluations are doing exactly what they should be by detecting early signs of cardiovascular disease or risk factors but the firefighter is failing to follow up because he’s cleared,” said Smith.

Further complicating the issue of medical evaluations are departments that operate in a very black and white manner when it comes to firefighters being cleared for duty. Because of this, physicians are reluctant to take a firefighter off the job because of something like high blood pressure. This results in leaving treatment in the hands of the firefighter and puts them at greater risk if something is not done.

Simply put: Firefighters should receive appropriate medical evaluations and aggressively address risk factors – and departments should provide a comprehensive wellness and fitness program to help them do so, Smith believes.

In some cases, firefighters should be placed on light duty until health issues can be properly addressed. But what constitutes justifiable risk to remove a firefighter from active duty?

Smith suggests that a proper annual medical evaluation is a great place to start, but emphasizes that findings of hypertension, obesity, or diabetes/prediabetes must be taken seriously with accompanied steps to reduce the risk of further progression. Sudden cardiac events account for half of duty-related deaths and close to 1,000 non-fatal events every year.

Ignoring the risk makes no sense, she said.

“I think the possibility of a guy coming off active duty in order to rehabilitate to get those risk factors down to do the job more effectively and safely is a very reasonable approach,” said Smith.

As for what initial health risk factors should take priority, Smith suggests that elevated or borderline cardiovascular levels, especially prehypertension and prediabetes, should be taken more seriously. Too often are these issues seen as minor when, in fact, they’re constituting an exuberant medical risk.

While some may be intimidated by mandated health programs that place greater emphasis on managing a wide array of cardiovascular issues, Smith says the goal should be to turn these programs into a positive message as a way to avoid devastating health incidents.

“Prevention is the most powerful thing that’s largely within a firefighter’s own control,” Smith said. “A firefighter who has good overall health and is exercising, maintaining a normal body weight and eating healthy is the one who’s most protected from cardiovascular disease and cancer.”

“These are largely solvable issues and can be addressed and mitigated by the actions of firefighters to keep themselves healthier.”

  • This article was written by Greg Baldwin of TargetSolutions after an in-depth interview with featured contributor Denise L. Smith.

About the Contributor

Denise L. Smith, Ph.D.

Denise L. Smith, Ph.D., is a Professor of Health and Exercise Sciences at Skidmore College where she directs the First Responder Health and Safety Laboratory, and a Research Scientist at the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute. Dr. Smith has co-authored an Exercise Physiology and an Advanced Cardiovascular Exercise Physiology textbook. Dr. Smith has published more than 50 scientific papers and has received funding from FEMA-AFG, DHS S&T, NIOSH and DOD to pursue her research agenda. She is a member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Fire Service Occupational Safety and Health committee, and she regularly conducts fatality investigations for the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Prevent Liability at Your School with TargetSolutions’ ‘Food Safety’ Training Course

TargetSolutions’ Food Safety, Foodborne Illness and Kitchen Sanitation training covers topics designed to reduce your school district’s liability. To promote a more engaging experience, a brand new voiceover narration track has been added to the course.

More than 50 million students eat in schools across the country every day. That’s more than 50 million opportunities for a foodborne illness to mobilize.

Infection can come due to poor preparation, contamination, and a lack of hygiene. These incidents can trigger symptoms ranging from mild discomfort, chronic illness, and even death.

TargetSolutions’ Food Safety, Foodborne Illness and Kitchen Sanitation is an important online training course for school district’s looking to reduce liability. The recently enhanced 60-minute overview explores the importance of proper food preparation and handling, as well as the legal responsibilities harbored to every school and employee.

The reality is these sanctions are designed to not just protect students across the country, but the employees as well. Objectives of this course include:

  • Listing common foodborne illnesses
  • The importance and required components of a food safety program
  • Food labeling information
  • Ensuring safe delivery of food items
  • Proper cleaning and sanitizing

This training course has 13 learning modules and a 10-question exam. If you have any questions about TargetSolutions’ online training catalog, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048.

Meet the Team: Client Services Representative Robin Scott

cb-robin-meet-teamSan Diego native Robin Scott is one of TargetSolutions’ newest members in the Client Services department. Robin began working here as a client services representative in April of 2016 and has been a great fit since Day 1.

Since joining the team, Robin has focused on providing customers with support via phone, e-mail and live chat. Clients contact TargetSolutions on various issues, including help logging in, assistance with the platform’s applications, and much more. When they call, Robin is here to help.

“It’s a great feeling when you know you’ve helped someone and they get it. I love to hear the happiness in their voice. It’s priceless!”

Robin Scott, TargetSolutions’ Client Services Representative

When Robin isn’t working, she likes to shop, decorate, and think about where she would like to travel next. Check out this rapid-fire style Q-and-A to learn more about Robin Scott:

Favorite season?

Toss up between Spring and Fall

Favorite food?

Cake, does that count? : )

Favorite musical artist?

Luther Vandross and Barbra Streisand

Best concert you’ve ever been to?

Ashford and Simpson … front row they sang to me!

Biggest adventure you’ve ever been on?

Life … still on it

Favorite sport?

Boxing … I know, right? But boxing back in the days of Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns, and Mike Tyson

Favorite sports team?

Venice and Serena when playing doubles

If you had to have one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pizza

Fruit or veggies?

Equally

Where would you go on a dream vacation?

Any place a yacht could take me: Alaska, Greece, Hawaii, Africa

Dogs or cats?

Dogs, German Shepherds, especially

Favorite movie?

Imitation of Life from 1959 starring Lana Turner

Movies or museum?

Both!

Favorite state in the country?

California, of course!

Other than German Shepherds, what is your favorite animal?

Lions … They are majestic, powerful, beautiful

TargetSolutions’ NFPA 1001 Ground Ladders Training Breaks Down Best Practices for Fire Operations

TargetSolutions’ Ground Ladders training course, which is part of the NFPA 1001 series, has undergone interactive updates to promote an engaging learning experience.

Serving as a vital component during rescue operations, the ladder is one of the defining symbols of the fire service. That’s why TargetSolutions’ Ground Ladders from the NFPA 1001 series of online firefighter training courses, is such a valuable lesson.

Equipped with new upgrades, including revitalized content and interactions, this course delivers key components of ground ladders and the purposes they serve during various fire operations. After all, it is critical for fire department personnel to be knowledgeable in the design, characteristics, and proper use of fire department ladders.

This course highlights the types of ladders used in fire operations, how to maintain those ladders, and how to safely carry and place ladders. The course discusses fireground safety best practices, as well as the rationale behind ladder failure due to metal fatigue and heat exposure.

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify the relevant terminology associated with fire department ladders
  • List the types of ladders used in fire and rescue operations
  • Recognize all the important safety considerations when using ladders
  • Recall how to inspect and maintain fire department ladders
  • Select the appropriate ladder for a job

This training course has 10 learning modules and a 10-question exam. If you have any questions about this course, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048.

Maintain a Safe Working Environment with TargetSolutions’ Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

TargetSolutions’ sexual harassment awareness training courses provide agencies with the tools to help prevent incidents and create a positive work environment.

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says more than 11,000 charges of sexual harassment were filed as recently as 2011. According to the United States Department of Justice, claims amount to more than one billion dollars in annual losses.

Sexual harassment creates an environment of hostility and anxiety, where victims suffer from depression, anger and fear.

While achieving compliance for mandatory sexual harassment training is a positive step in the right direction, further ensuring the prevention of harassment helps create a healthy work environment.

TargetSolutions’ online training library features sexual harassment awareness courses with lessons for supervisors and employees alike.

“I think when we look solely at the compliance piece we lose a little bit of the human factor. We can help organizations provide this training and focus on educating their folks around what a safe work environment is. We take the compliance piece and humanize it, making it something that shows that an organization cares about their individuals.”

Jennifer Jones, Client Services Manager with TargetSolutions

One of the most powerful components of the platform’s training management system is the Manage Credentials application, which allows platform managers to package and deliver online courses with custom content, including sexual harassment policies and information.

For more information on how TargetSolutions can help your organization reduce liability, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048.

TargetSolutions’ Top 10 NFPA 1500 Firefighter Training Courses

TargetSolutions’ NFPA 1500 series is based on the NFPA’s codes and standards and is built to meet a fire department’s training requirements for occupational safety and health.

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 educate firefighters on fire suppression duties with an emphasis on safety and awareness, including the NFPA 1500 Series.

The NFPA 1500 series is focused on meeting an agency’s requirements for occupational safety and health. The series was designed specifically for the fire industry and meets the NFPA’s code requirements. Content experts from the NFPA participated in the development of these course titles, which address firefighter safety in various areas, including hazardous materials, medical and physical safety, protective clothing, etc.

Here are TargetSolutions’ top 10 NFPA 1500 training courses (based on the total number of completed courses):

  • Bloodborne Pathogens Safety
  • Hazard Communication
  • Advanced HAZWOPER Awareness (Modules 1-4)
  • Confined Space entry
  • Respiratory Protection
  • Combustible & Flammable Liquids
  • Driving Safety
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Compressed Gas Safety
  • HAZMAT Spill Prevention & Control

In addition to the NFPA 1500 Series, TargetSolutions offers NFPA 1001, NFPA 1021 and other firefighter training courses. If you have any questions about TargetSolutions’ online course catalog, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.

TargetSolutions’ EMS Continuing Education Course Examines Emergency Care for Allergies and Anaphylaxis

TargetSolutions’ EMS Allergies and Anaphylaxis Basic training course covers the topics of allergy-related incidents and the appropriate care needed in such situations.

Allergic reactions can develop as simple irritations, but quickly mobilize into life-threatening emergencies. EMS responders are tasked with determining the severity of the condition as emergency medical care and rapid transport are vital to a positive outcome for the patient.

TargetSolutions’ EMS Allergies and Anaphylaxis Basic online training course explores the identifying signs and symptoms of mild, moderate, and severe cases of allergies and anaphylaxis. It further analyzes the physiology of allergies and anaphylaxis on the body, as well as the proper procedures when emergency medical treatment is needed.

The following topics are discussed in the one-hour, eight-lesson training course:

  • The human immune system
  • Epinephrine
  • Emergency care
  • Allergens
  • Treatments

The course recently received updates in the form of optimized and revised content, enhanced interactions, and a brand new audio voiceover narration track. Additionally, the course serves as a precursor for our EMS Allergies and Anaphylaxis Advanced lesson.

Please visit TargetSolutions’ online training catalog to explore the complete library of EMS continuing education courses. And if you have any questions, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048.