Technology with a Purpose

Archive for October, 2016

Meet the Team: Get to Know Account Manager Amy Akczinski

cb-amy-akczinski-photoOriginally serving as an account manager for CentreLearn, Amy Akczinski has been with the organization for more than five years. The Pennsylvania native is now focused on the Mid-Atlantic region, where she works to help agencies maximize their online training systems.

Amy previously served in the banking and insurance industry and is always looking to provide her clients with the best experience possible.

“Hearing the happiness and relief from an administrator when they realize how our system will make their lives easier is probably my favorite part of the job,” Amy said. “I have respect for the customers we support and know they are using our systems to help save lives.”

Amy explains her hobbies outside of work as “wherever the wind blows me that day.” Check out this Q-and-A to learn more about Amy Akczinski:

 What is your favorite food?

Spaghetti

What is your favorite sport?

Horse racing

What is your favorite type of weather?

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs

Would you rather dine in or take out?

Take out

What is your favorite restaurant?

Mother’s house

If you could travel to any country tomorrow, where would you go?

Nowhere, I love it here

Who is your favorite musical artist/band?

Adele

Do you know any languages aside from English?

Sarcasm

What is your favorite book?

The Da Vinci Code

What was the best concert or play you’ve ever been to?

Monty Python’s Spamalot on Broadway

New Functionality Provides Platform Managers with Greater Control Over Events

Would you like to require members of your organization to obtain approval before officially enrolling for an upcoming event? That’s what TargetSolutions’ latest round of enhancements make possible.

tslogo_symbol-colorNew functionality provides platform managers with the ability to create events requiring approval for enrollment. Administrators and supervisors can choose to receive a notification e-mail informing them after a user has requested enrollment for an upcoming event. They can then accept or deny permission.

“For many organizations, managing event attendance is challenging,” said Product Manager Misty Pratt. “Sometimes a manager can’t just allow everyone to attend, whether that’s because of necessary qualifications for the event, seating limitations, or any other potential reason why attendance may be limited.

“This new enhancement gives administrators and supervisors the ability to have greater control over their users’ event attendance. It helps administrators and supervisors ensure the right people are attending the right events.”

Misty Pratt, TargetSolutions

Here are some of the new features to the upgraded Events application:

  • An event creator can now see who has requested enrollment to an event. They can also approve or deny their users’ requests.
  • An event creator can provide other administrators and supervisors with the ability to accept or deny a users’ attendance.
  • An event creator can turn on e-mail notifications for when a user requests enrollment in an event, so all stakeholders are informed of the pending enrollment.

If you would like more information on the Events application, please click here. If you have any questions, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.

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Recent updates to TargetSolutions’ Events application provide platform managers with more control over who attends upcoming events.

Reduce Your Liability with TargetSolutions’ Dangers of Speeding Training Course

TargetSolutions’ Dangers of Speeding training course explores the dangerous repercussions of speeding when behind the wheel.

Speeding contributes to nearly one-third of all fatal crashes. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 13,000 lives are lost each year due to speeding and more than $40 billion is lost each year due to accidents where excessive speed is a factor.

tslogo_symbol-colorThese types of incidents are extremely costly to all types of organizations and highlight the need for TargetSolutions’ driver safety training.

The versatile Dangers of Speeding online training course explores the ramifications of speeding, identifies legal considerations, and explores appropriate speeds on a case-by-case basis.

Featuring eight learning modules and a 10-question exam, this course is an important addition to every organization’s training program, including emergency vehicle operators and large vehicle drivers.

Objectives of this course include:

  • Describe the pervasiveness of the problem and understand why drivers speed
  • Discuss the legal consequences of speeding
  • Analyze the dangers and costs of speeding
  • Identify stopping distances
  • Explain how to avoid speeders
  • Discuss how to determine the appropriate speed for each circumstance

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

TargetSolutions Is Organizationally Accredited by CAPCE

ems-half-capceTargetSolutions is proud of its EMS course catalog, which features more than 160 hours of accredited training hours for EMS continuing education. Possibly even more important, however, is the fact TargetSolutions has received “organizational accreditation” from the Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE).

TargetSolutions originally became a CAPCE-accredited organization in March of 2014. In the past, only a portion of TargetSolutions’ computer-based EMS catalog was approved for CAPCE credit. Now, nearly every EMS training course meets CAPCE requirements, giving providers more access to TargetSolutions’ course content nationwide.

“The fact we are organizationally accredited is significant because it means that CAPCE hasn’t just approved individual course titles, but it has also approved our entire course creation process,” said Director of Content Lauren Crosby. “Our content development team works extremely hard to create and maintain an outstanding library of EMS continuing education. Having CAPCE approve our process across our entire catalog reflects that hard work.”

TargetSolutions’ CAPCE training catalog features 161 hours of approved continuing education for all levels of EMS personnel and can be taken for CEUs in all CAPCE-regulated states. CAPCE approved courses have been added to TargetSolutions’ certified credentials inside the Manage Credentials application, which enable agencies to package required training to efficiently deliver, document and report EMS continuing education.

Please note, in July of 2016, the Continuing Education Coordinating Board for EMS (CECBEMS) changed its name to the Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE). If you have any questions about TargetSolutions’ online training catalog for EMS recertification, please contact us today at (800) 840-8046.

How One EMS Agency in Pennsylvania Has Taken Its Training Program to a New Level

By Utilizing TargetSolutions, Holy Spirit EMS Is Able to Save Money, Streamline Training Efficiencies

cb-holy-spirit-ems-logoEmergency responders and the organizations they work for in the state of Pennsylvania are facing new challenges in how to meet EMS continuing education requirements. The previously utilized PA Prepared Online Learning System is no longer available. The state is now using a different computer-based system for free public health training.

One particular agency decided long ago, however, that just achieving compliance with the minimum training standards wasn’t enough. Holy Spirit EMS, located in five counties and formerly known as West Shore EMS, has been using TargetSolutions since 2002 for a reason.

“Some might ask why pay for something if you don’t have to? The reason is that TargetSolutions, for us, was actually much more economical to use,” said the agency’s Director of Staff Development Steve Poffenberger. “A huge thing for us is the availability of hazmat courses. There was no other online opportunity that could provide that refresher training. To have to provide that training in a classroom format would be very difficult and costly with the overtime and all of the things that are associated with that.”

“If we call something mandatory, then it’s on our time, not their time. If it wasn’t mandatory it would be on them, but we require hazmat training. Doing it through the TargetSolutions platform via an online solution was actually economical for us.”

Steve Poffenberger, Holy Spirit EMS

In addition to the industry’s most robust catalog featuring more than 450 hours of training for fire departments, which includes the Advanced HAZWOPER training series that Poffenberger cited as a huge reason for choosing TargetSolutions, the platform also offers valuable OSHA safety training, EVO driver training, and HR harassment training. And that’s just the beginning. TargetSolutions’ powerful records management system for tracking and reporting training and compliance tasks, has been huge for Holy Spirit EMS, Poffenberger said.

“The reporting piece was also a differentiator; the ability to see who did the training,” Poffenberger said. “The fact that it was all online and in combination with those other economic reasons, it makes sense for us.”

Some emergency response organizations have relied on the PA Prepared Online Learning System in the past and are just now considering the benefits of implementing and managing their own online solution. That strategic decision can feel daunting for an agency that is accustomed to completing training the old-fashioned way.

cb-hazardous-materials-cta“Some agencies are still old school in regards to education: four walls and a desk, period! But some things can be accomplished online more efficiently,” said Poffenberger, whose agency employs nearly 200 emergency responders and runs approximately 30,000 calls each year.

“Like in the case with hazmat training; the state doesn’t specify which hazmat level is required for EMS, but we make that a priority and by doing it online we can stay in tune with what’s needed.

“A couple agencies have asked me how we track all of our certifications and I’ve shared the information about TargetSolutions. There are plenty of agencies still tracking with an excel spreadsheet. But we’re bigger than a lot of other agencies. If you have 20 employees on a spreadsheet, then sure. Having to track that many people is not all that time consuming, but with a much larger set of employees it is much more challenging to keep track.”

At the end of the day, moving to a cutting-edge, comprehensive training management tool like TargetSolutions is about doing more than just completing the mandatory training requirements. It’s about efficiently delivering continuing education and pre-training prior to hands-on assignments. It’s about tracking all types of compliance, from policies to licenses and certifications. It’s about making sure every single hour of training is documented and reported.

“It is becoming extremely important to be able to track and report your agency’s compliance and regulatory standards,” Poffenberger said. “To be able to provide reporting on provider certifications upon request from a reimbursement entity is a must-have for any agency. An agency’s failure to comply with these standards could result in penalties or fines.”

Fortunately, TargetSolutions is here to help make training compliance more efficient and effective. If you would like more information on how your agency can benefit from TargetSolutions, please contact us today at (800) 840-8046.

Meet the Team: Get to Know Account Manager Rachel Bark

rachel-bark-imageOriginally a member of CentreLearn’s customer support team, Rachel Bark is now serving as an account manager with TargetSolutions.

Having first joined the organization in August of 2013, Rachel has learned all about public safety agencies and how to help them achieve their training goals. Now, with a few years’ experience, she is focused on helping customers in the Northeast maximize TargetSolutions’ training platforms.

“I get to help people every day and I’m part of a fantastic team,” said Rachel, who is originally from Perry, N.Y.

Before joining the organization, Rachel delivered technical support for accounting software and was a teacher for children with disabilities. Rachel is a graduate of SUNY Plattsburgh with a B.S. in Childhood and Special Education.

Check out this Q-and-A to learn more about Rachel Bark:

Favorite movie?
Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Favorite band?
Black Veil Brides

Best vacation spot?
The Adirondacks

Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate

Favorite sports team?
Football = Bills
Baseball = Mets
Hockey = Sabres

Do you have a nickname?
“Rach,” I guess …

Newspaper or Internet?
Internet

You just won the lottery – what do you do?
Pay off my school loans; then buy a house in New York (either in western New York or up near Lake Champlain)

Three fun facts about Rachel?
1) I’ve lived in three states the last four years (Nebraska, New York, and Pennsylvania)
2) I’m left-handed
3) And I can play the piano, trombone, and clarinet

TargetSolutions Launches LGBT Student Rights Course for Educators

This brand new course analyzes how an educator can serve as an ally while protecting the needs and rights of LGBT students.

A student’s education isn’t just obtained from books and lectures in a classroom environment. Shared experiences and mentorship provided by teachers can play a key role in a student’s growth. That’s why educators can serve as important support figures for LGBT students.

With that in mind, TargetSolutions is proud to announce the release of its new training course for School Districts, “Introduction to Understanding the Rights of LGBT Students.”

This 30-minute course delivers a brief history of the LGBT movement in the United States, the struggles routinely undertaken by LGBT students, and what a school district’s personnel can do to help.

“Introduction to Understanding the Rights of LGBT Students is an integral course for educators,” said TargetSolutions’ Client Services Manager Jennifer Jones. “LGBT students may be undergoing daily bouts of anxiety, depression, and bullying. This course will help educators better understand these struggles and create a safe and supportive environment.”

The all-new course features in-depth lessons focused on teaching educators how to create a safer environment for LGBT students. Objectives of this course include:

  • Identifying and analyzing your own belief system
  • Familiarizing yourself with a glossary of LGBT-related terms
  • Describing what an ally is and how to become one
  • Explaining common struggles LGBT students face

For more information on TargetSolutions’ online training catalog for School Districts, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048.

TargetSolutions Makes Enhancements to My Credentials’ User Interface

TargetSolutions has made it easier for users to gauge their own progress inside of a Credential. Improvements to the interface provide users with a more comprehensive overview of their training progress.

The Manage Credentials application inside TargetSolutions’ online training management system is known for helping platform managers track training. Recent upgrades make it even better for users, as well.

The View Credentials page inside My Credentials has always been where users go to determine what training items are still available and required inside a Credential’s various categories. That user-experience just became even better.tslogo_symbol-color

TargetSolutions has taken steps to make it easier for users to gauge their own progress inside of a Credential. Major improvements to the Credential Detail page’s interface provide users with a better scorecard and graphical representation of what training remains incomplete.

“It’s easier now for users to see how many hours are applying and to which topics,” said Product Manager Misty Pratt. “All it takes is a quick glance for a user to determine their own status and what percentage is completed. The page is more organized, easier to understand, and best of all, requires less math to determine remaining hours needed in a certain training topic. That’s something everyone will appreciate.”

Platform managers can now trust that users are being given clear information as to what training courses inside a Credential can be taken for credit in any training topic.

The application features a search bar to instantly find specific areas of training inside a Credential. It also makes it possible to filter “All” assignments, “Completed” assignments, and “Training That Applies.”

“Manage Credentials is an incredibly powerful application that helps agencies bundle training and compliance tasks together in a comprehensive way. Now, users will have a better experience navigating their way through the Credential Detail Page.”

Misty Pratt, Product Manager

In addition to upgrading the Credential Detail Page interface, Administrators and some Supervisors may notice the new Record Completions menu selection at the bottom of the left navigation bar on the home page. This is a quick link to the Record Completions application. It has been made available to Administrators and to any Supervisor with access to the Record Completions application.

To learn more about enhancements to the Credentials application, please visit our Help Section.

South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy Accepts TargetSolutions’ Law Enforcement Training

TargetSolutions’ online training for law enforcement received approval from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. Law enforcement personnel inside the state can now complete 22 of the 40 required hours every three years with TargetSolutions’ computer-based system.

TSLogo_Wordmark-ColorTargetSolutions is now accepted for continuing education in 32 states, including Texas, New York, and now South Carolina. For a full list of states that accept TargetSolutions, please click here.

In total, 100 training courses from TargetSolutions were accepted by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. Courses cover the following topics: investigation, officer survival, patrol, emerging issues, and personnel and training in law enforcement. Each mobile-ready course runs one hour long, features engaging scenario-based lessons, and tests users’ comprehension with a post-course quiz.

“We’re excited to add another state to the list,” said Director of Content Lauren Crosby. “We’re constantly looking to provide public safety agencies with valuable training that can help them efficiently meet continuing education requirements. The course catalog for law enforcement agencies covers some extremely important areas for law enforcement personnel. We’re excited to make this training available for credit in South Carolina.”

Officers who possess a current Class 1-LE Certification are required to obtain 40 hours every three-year period. TargetSolutions can be taken for 22 of these hours as officers in the state are required to take in-person training to meet other requirements, including legal update training and domestic violence.

For more information on TargetSolutions’ entire catalog of online training for law enforcement, please contact us today at (800) 840-8046.

Recent Webcasts Provide Public Safety Leaders with Valuable Lessons on Key Training Areas

cb-webinar-promo-fe-1TargetSolutions is always looking for new ways to provide the fire service with engaging training material. Over the last couple months, TargetSolutions had the opportunity to do exactly that by sponsoring three different webcasts for public safety leaders.

The first presentation, hosted on Aug. 25 by FireEngineering.com, was titled “Firefighter Training Programs: A New Approach.” This webcast conducted by Lt. Robert Finger Jr. of the Manlius Fire Department (N.Y.) and Fire Engineering’s editor Peter Prochillo, dived into how fire departments are approaching their training in these hectic times.

Finger outlined how fire department members struggle to find enough time to complete all of the various training activities and offered tips for maximizing performance.

To download a recorded version of this webcast from FireEngineering.com, please click here.


cb-webinar-promo-fh-2The second webcast, hosted by Firehouse.com on Sept. 21, was titled “Turning Your Fire Data into Knowledge.” This webcast, built to help fire departments identify and locate their target hazard areas and increase fire and life safety education outreach, was presented by Fire Chief Robert Isbell of the City of Midland in Texas.

Isbell, who has been in the fire service for 33 years and has a master’s degree in executive leadership, discussed how once departments determine what neighborhoods and communities need extra assistance, they can use that information to develop a strategy to decrease fire and injury losses.

To download a recorded version of this webcast from Firehouse.com, please click here.


cb-webinar-promo-cp-3The third webcast, titled “De-Escalation for Public Safety,” was conducted on Sept. 29 by CalibrePress.com. Jim Glennon, a former Lieutenant in law enforcement, covered the importance of officers, EMTs, firefighters – everyone in public safety – to learn how to develop rapport and initiate calmative tactics with potentially illogical, irrational individuals.

The webcast explained how no two situations are training for a “cookie cutter” response for every incident is not always feasible. Understanding human beings in crisis, what they want and the commonalities of stress is where success begins. The webcast addressed realistic, simple and immediately applicable skill sets designed to work on the street.

To watch a recorded version of this webcast from Calibre Press, please click here.