Technology with a Purpose

Archive for December, 2016

Year in Review: Platform Enhancements, Dynamic Training Courses, and a New Partnership and Acquisition Highlight 2016

TargetSolutions’ powerful Enterprise functionality provides city managers with the ability to oversee compliance, government agencies with the ability to manage their own individual training, and fire departments with the ability to share training resources inside regional training groups.

Above all else, TargetSolutions is focused on platform innovation and outstanding customer support. Looking back at 2016, those goals were met with new course releases, platform enhancements, and numerous success stories from organizations nationwide. As the year comes to a close, here are some of the most memorable accomplishments during the last 12 months.

tslogo_symbol-color-smallPERFECTING THE PLATFORM

A top priority at TargetSolutions is to ensure the platform meets your training needs by providing you with a centralized hub that simplifies management and streamlines recordkeeping. In 2016, TargetSolutions introduced a treasure trove of optimized platform enhancements and new features. Early in the year, TargetSolutions introduced increased dashboard visibility for supervisors, as well as search bar functionality in Manage Credentials. Shortly thereafter, the course wrapper received a complete makeover and is now presented in a sleek, mobile-friendly interface.

By mid-year, TargetSolutions implemented significant enhancements to its Enterprise solution. These enhancements were instituted to enable governments to consolidate their agencies on one system – while still providing those same agencies with the autonomy they require. The application also helps agencies share training resources inside regional training groups. Check out this blog to learn how TargetSolutions enables regional firefighter training groups and mutual aid partners to work together more effectively.

In the closing months of the year, settings were introduced that provide administrators with greater control over events and added more optimization to the Manage Credentials application.

ASCENDING ACCREDITATION

ems-half-capceReceiving organizational accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE) is an added notch to a belt that TargetSolutions is proud to wear as nearly all EMS training course in our catalog meets CAPCE requirements.

Building on this great achievement, 2016 brought new Public Works accreditations to Oregon, Colorado and Wyoming; new accreditation for Law Enforcement in South Carolina; and concluded with news that TargetSolutions is now able to provide fire and EMS departments in New York with 100 percent of their recertification training. Featuring more than 160 hours of online EMS training, this is important for the state, as agencies can now complete the New York Department of Health’s requirements to request permission for 100 percent completion of their Three-Year EMS Continuing Medical Education Recertification Program through TargetSolutions.

DYNAMIC TRAINING COURSES

Engaging online training courses are at the heart of TargetSolutions’ platform. In 2016, TargetSolutions elevated its interactive courses to the next level. In total, 22 brand new training courses were released and updates were made to countless others in order to meet current compliance requirements, as well as changes in local and federal training and recertification laws.

Of the many course optimizations in 2016, highlights include annual updates for RT-130 Annual Wildland Fire Safety Refresher course, audio enhancements for a large bundle of EDU courses, including the release of the all-new Introduction to Understanding the Rights of LGBT Students training course, and additions to the Law Enforcement and Water & Wastewater course catalogs.

Total completions for TargetSolutions nearly eclipsed 1.9 million, up significantly from the 1.7 million completions from just one year ago. Among the most popular titles was Child Abuse: Mandated Reporter Training, Sexual Harassment Awareness, and Bloodborne Pathogens Safety.

A NEW PARTNERSHIP & ACQUISITION

alphaact-fire-logoIn April, TargetSolutions announced a partnership with AlphaTRAC Products, a leader in simulation-based training courses for fire departments. The cutting-edge courses, branded as AlphaACT Fire, have been seamlessly integrated into TargetSolutions’ web-based management system. These revolutionary courses aim to provide firefighters with a unique training experience, improve decision-making skills, and elevate situational awareness.

Finishing the year with an exclamation point was the acquisition of LearnSmart by TargetSolutions’ parent company, Vector Solutions. LearnSmart, with offices in Seattle and Salt Lake City, is a forerunning provider in professional skills, project management and IT and security training. Operating on a bedrock of 20 years of experience, the acquisition of LearnSmart gives Vector Solutions access to more than 1,000 additional video-based courses on a variety of topics.

MEMORABLE EVENTS

Although TargetSolutions operates as a SaaS company, attending conferences, events, seminars, and delivering demos and user groups are top priorities. During February’s Firehouse World in downtown San Diego, TargetSolutions held its annual Networking & Training Workshop, a user group to thank clients for their service and contributions.

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Members of the North Zone Training Group visited TargetSolutions in November.

Three awards were handed out during the festivities. The Vanguard Award, which honors dedication to outstanding firefighter training, was bestowed to West Metro Fire Protection District of Colorado. For distinction in ingenuity in implementing the TargetSolutions platform, The Technology Achievement Award went to Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue of Oregon. Last but certainly not least, the Helping Hand Award went to Oceanside, California’s Stuart Sprung for always being a point of contact when it comes to renovating and improving the system.

Regional Sales Manager Kegan Konrady said it best: “This is really all about you, the customers. We really want you to know we wouldn’t be here without you.”

In November, TargetSolutions hosted the North Zone Training Officer’s monthly meeting at the local TargetSolutions office in Rancho Bernardo. The North Zone Training Group is comprised of 15 agencies in North San Diego County that band together – utilizing the powerful Enterprise application – to maximize the benefits of the system. Representatives from the North Zone huddled together in our main conference room to collaborate on future training initiatives.

Needless to say, it’s been a busy, productive year and we look forward to serving you in 2017 and beyond. If you have any questions about TargetSolutions, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.

 

Fire Department Training Records and Other Vital Firefighter Issues Covered During Recent Webcasts

TargetSolutions’ dedication to delivering valuable firefighter training doesn’t stop with the industry’s leading online training catalog for fire departments.

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This month, TargetSolutions sponsored two informative webcasts on a variety of important topics aimed at improving your department’s training reports, leadership and wellness.

The first of the webcasts titled “A Guide to Fire Department Training Records Compliances,” was delivered on Dec. 14 by Albert W. Schlick III, a Deputy Chief of Administration for the Huntley Fire District in Illinois.

The webinar provided a wealth of information regarding NFPA 1401, a nationally recognized standard and the industry’s best practices for fire department training records.

Schlick dissects the NFPA 1401’s intricate details and recommends appropriate strategies for departments looking to implement the standard as a guideline for their own training management. Perhaps the webcast’s most pivotal underlying conflict that it aims to alleviate: no records equals no training, as perceived during an ISO audit.

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


cb-webcast-promo-2The second webcast, titled “Volunteer/Combination Fire Service Hot Topics from Symposium in the Sun,” was presented on Dec. 15 by Chief Norvin Collins of the Sauvie Island Fire District (Ore.) and Chief Charles Flynn of the Suffield Fire Department (Conn.).

Symposium in the Sun is an annual event that provides leadership training and networking opportunities for combination fire departments. The event was held in November in Clearwater Beach, Fla. This webcast was a great opportunity to cover key areas of discussion from the recent event. Collins and Flynn touched on various topics, including behavioral health, leadership, recruitment, and cancer initiatives.

These issues and their accommodating solutions are explored at length, as well as the Volunteer & Combination Officers Section’s role in supporting departments along the way. As mentioned to lead off the hour-long webinar, “we’ve all been focused on helping our members tackle the issues that keep us up at night.”

To view a recorded version of this webcast from the IAFC’s website, please click here.

EMS Continuing Education Course Provides Deeper Understanding of Capnography

TargetSolutions’ EMS Capnography online training course has recently undergone updates to content and multimedia for an enhanced learning experience.

tslogo_symbol-color-smallDue to the increased use of capnography in the EMS community over the past decade, having an understanding of this tool has become even more important. Capnography is the measurement of carbon dioxide concentrations in exhaled air and is meant to provide valuable information that can help EMS professionals save lives.

TargetSolutions’ “EMS Capnography” training course for EMS continuing education is comprised of 11 learning modules and a 10-question exam. The 60-minute course, which discusses capnography, the use of capnograms in the EMS industry, and a variety of conditions that benefit from a capnographic reading, has recently undergone enhancements for updated content and multimedia.

Objectives of this course include:

  • Recognizing the relevance of end-tidal CO2 as a prognostic tool
  • Explaining how to use capnography as a means for determining end-tidal CO2 detection and how to interpret the different levels
  • Analyzing the reasons for using capnography
  • Discussing the basics of carbon dioxide, how it functions in the body, and the causes for increased and decreased end-tidal CO2 levels

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

Meet the Team: Account Manager Brandy Krantz

cb-brandy-krantz-meet-the-teamBefore becoming an account manager at TargetSolutions, Brandy Krantz worked in the same role for CentreLearn. Formerly a dental receptionist, Brandy initially decided to pursue a new career path in customer service and work with those who serve in public safety. She is now in her sixth year with the organization and is based remotely out of Pennsylvania.

“I love how TargetSolutions is very family-oriented; it’s a really cool team to work on and we have a great mission working with fire departments and other public safety agencies,” said Brandy. “I love my job! Who wouldn’t love working with every day heroes?”

Learn more about Brandy, a mother of twins, in this recent Q-and-A:

What is your favorite past time?

My oldest son (11) is the quarterback on his football team. I love being a football mom and cheering on his team at their games. On the off season, I enjoy getting together with my family around a camp fire.

What is your favorite food?

Is wine a food? (ha ha). Pasta or dill pickles

What is the last book you read?

Jenny McCarthy’s “Belly Laughs” (I was pregnant with my twin boys)

What was the last movie you saw that you enjoyed?

Bad Moms

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Ireland

What is your favorite sports team?

Eagles!

Dogs or cats?

Dogs all the way! I have a gorgeous golden retriever (Maximus).

What board game are you best at?

Definitely not Chutes and Ladders! I would say Trouble!

Favorite Quote?

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ― Oscar Wilde

Most fun place you’ve traveled?

I am not a big traveler, but I did go to Las Vegas to get married so I would say Vegas!

If you were stuck on an island, what three items would you bring?

Wine, a grill, and my husband.

Name one of your passions.

Trying new restaurants.

What is something that not a lot of people know about you?

I secretly enjoy watching cartoons with my son. 😉

Favorite holiday?

Halloween for sure!

 

What You Allow, You Ultimately Teach: A Lesson for Leaders

Blog by Peter Dove

Shared Values Associates

Stylish businessman choosing profile pictureI was in a Bank of America branch some time ago standing in line for the teller. There were about four of us in the queue when in walks this young man in his early 20s with purple hair, a gallery of tattoos on his arms, a pierced nose wearing a ball cap that read F*#@ YOU.

As it happens, this is the USA and we enjoy freedom of speech, so if an individual wants to be boorish there is a certain latitude allowed, a latitude that seems to be expanding, which is lamentable but that is for another article.

Of course, many in the bank saw exactly what I saw, but did anyone walk up to this nice young man and diplomatically explain that others might apprehend this slogan, as popular as it may be, is insulting? No, not even me and I’m an executive coach and have been in the training business for decades. So, what did I and the rest in the branch allow? It’s okay to tell strangers, including children, in the most vulgar and insulting way possible, exactly what to do. That’s what was taught, though none of us realized it and perhaps might not admit that fact.

Rather than ask, “What are we allowing in our society?” – though a good question to be sure – let’s ask what are we allowing in our company, department or team because that is what we are teaching whether good or ill.

Here are some examples of what we might be allowing that we may wish to reconsider.

  • Getting to work late or going home early.
  • Nervous laughter. They seem to punctuate every sentence with a giggle. Nothing’s that funny.
  • Foul language.
  • Taking God’s name in vain.
  • Questionable clothing.
  • Bad hygiene.
  • Failure to meet deadlines way too often and asking for more time.
  • More work piled upon more work creating work/life imbalance.
  • Untrustworthy boss or co-worker.

You get the idea.  All of us have seen this behavior at some point and the question is, do we tolerate it? Why? What can be done? Answer: the uncompromising truth.

The solution is to create a social contract now, beforehand. How about we all get together and make it okay for us to be straight with each other? The boss should promote this idea on an ongoing basis for it to succeed as well as it might.

Both his or her position power and referent power (earned respect) must be used to make this rule sustainable. The conversation might go something like this, “From time to time I think all of us are guilty of behaving in a way that is bothersome to someone else on the team. I’d like to create an understanding that should something like that happen, go ahead and take the accountability to have a respectful conversation with that person and get the issue out on the table.”

This is a simple thing, but perhaps a difficult conversation for most. But, what is allowed is ultimately taught.

What kind of behavior is allowed at home? Consider establishing a social contract within our families. What are the ground rules? What is OK behavior, what is not and what are the consequences? I think the adage, “you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” has broad application and is as true now as it was 2000 years ago.

About the Author

Peter Dove, is president of Shared Values Associates, a firm dedicated to corporate culture design. Learn more about Peter Dove at www.peterdove.com.

AlphaACT FIRE Releases New Online Training Scenario for Firefighters

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A new course exploring the topics of situational awareness, flashover, and unusual fire behavior has been added to AlphaACT FIRE’s online training library. Check out the new course during the weekly AlphaACT FIRE webinar, scheduled every Wednesday at 9 a.m.

AlphaACT® FIRE’s dynamic online courses are built to engage firefighters with real-life experiences. With a complete library of scenario-based training scenarios, AlphaACT FIRE is excited to announce a new course is now available inside TargetSolutions’ online training management system.

The West Hill Road Fire scenario features a structure fire burning into the night, fueled by accompanying severe weather conditions.

With a plethora of resources available and heavy fire involvement, situational awareness is a critical area of importance for this course. Additional focus is attributed to structural collapses along with wind-driven and exposure fires. This scenario is based upon an actual event from 2014.

AlphaACT FIRE’s course library features 24 scenarios, featuring more than 90 learning stages, including the recently featured course of the month based on the Cornerstone Fire scenario.

This course is centered on a suburban home surrounded by a spacious cluster of houses. This event will inspire you to retool your attack strategy with special focus given to grow operations, new construction, and strange fire behavior. This scenario is based upon an actual event from 2012.

Learning objectives of these two courses include:

  • Gaining situational awareness of an event
  • Compare and contrast with similar events to enhance your understanding of a scenario
  • Develop good strategy and tactics as well as what to avoid
  • Explore heavy and quickly spreading fire and flashover

For more information on these unique training courses, please contact TargetSolutions today at (800) 840-8046.

Vector Solutions Expands Online Training Offerings and Certification Solutions with the Acquisition of LearnSmart

By combining forces, LearnSmart and Vector Solutions’ brands (RedVector and TargetSolutions) will offer customers greater performance support and an expanded online training library with thousands of new courses

vector-solutionsTAMPA, FLA – Vector Solutions, the leader in eLearning, workforce training and performance management solutions for architecture, engineering, construction (AEC), industrial and public safety organizations, announced today that it has acquired LearnSmart, a leading provider of high-quality professional skills, project management and IT and security training.

LearnSmart has nearly 20 years of experience helping thousands earn career-related certifications from respected vendors, such as Project Management Institute (PMI), Cisco, Microsoft and CompTIA. LearnSmart serves clients from a broad range of Fortune 500 companies, as well as universities, government institutions, and the armed forces.

The acquisition will provide customers of LearnSmart access to more than 4,000 additional courses, new learning management system functionality, and continued first-class support from a team of eLearning and industry experts. Customers of Vector Solutions brands, RedVector and TargetSolutions, will gain additional access to 1,000+ quality, video-based courses covering a wealth of new topics.

“The Vector Solutions mission is to change the world through revolutionary technology solutions that save lives, inspire professionals and elevate performance,” said Vector Solutions CEO Jeff Gordon. “With that comes a commitment to growing our business so that we can provide the very best in eLearning and performance support to our customers. I am proud to announce our acquisition of LearnSmart, a company that shares our core values, strives for excellence and brings deep experience in video course design, microlearning, and technology certification solutions.”

LearnSmart’s 1,000+ courses covering IT and security, project management, HR and administrative, workplace safety and business are mobile-optimized and composed of thousands of smaller “lessons.” This format aligns with the Vector Solutions mobile-first strategy, as well as its goal of providing learning access to customers at the exact moment of need, in short bites, to improve operational performance.

“Vector Solutions shares our same level of commitment to education, mobility and performance support,” said LearnSmart President Jay Gandee. “That’s why we are thrilled to add our experiences and expertise and begin our next chapter together. Collectively, we will be able to offer so much more value to clients.”

About Vector Solutions
Vector Solutions sets the standard for excellence in delivering online continuing education, training and performance management solutions to the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industries, as well as industrial, public safety and IT fields. Through its brands RedVector, TargetSolutions and LearnSmart, Vector Solutions offers individual courses as well as and large-scale corporate training solutions via a state-of-the-art Learning Management System. With an online library exceeding 5,000 courses authored by more than 200 subject matter experts, Vector Solutions serves professionals and firms across the globe. The recipient of numerous community honors and industry awards, Vector Solutions was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Tampa, Florida. For more information, call 1 (866) 546-1212 or visit www.Vector-Solutions.com.

New Functionality Allows Platform Managers to Record Multiple Users’ Training from an Assigned Activity

Platform managers with access to Record Completions will now have the ability to submit completions of assigned activities for not only themselves but other members of their crew. This new enhancement enables platform managers to document training for larger groups from an activity already assigned to them, rather than having to find the training assignment inside Record Completions.

tslogo_symbol-color-small“It’s huge for a Company Officer to be able to go into his schedule and add users and record training as complete,” said TargetSolutions Product Specialist Tim Riley. “As we all know, the fewer clicks a Company Officer has to make, the happier he will be. Just like when we put the Record Completions link on the home page, this will eliminate unnecessary clicks and save Company Officers time.”

Activities that have been set to allow for record completions will have an “Add Users” function available when accessed from My Assignments or the Schedule. Only administrators and supervisors with access to Record Completions will see this option.

Once an activity has been submitted as complete, it becomes a record for the platform manager submitting the activity, as well as the users that have been added.

Another key benefit is that platform managers will be able to utilize TargetSolutions’ Save & Assign functionality to ensure consistent documentation of the training has been recorded.

“Quite honestly, where this is most important is in the Facility Training documentation,” Riley said. “A Training Officer can now fill in the objectives and the additional information using Save and Assign for this month’s facility training, and it will be the same entry for everyone.”

To learn more about TargetSolutions’ latest enhancement, please click here or contact us at (800) 840-8048.

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Platform managers with access to Record Completions will now have the ability to submit completions of assigned activities for not only themselves but other members of their crew.

TargetSolutions Meets New York Department of Health’s Requirements for Online CME Program

SAN DIEGO – TargetSolutions, the leading provider of computer-based training management applications for public safety agencies, is now able to provide fire and EMS departments in the state of New York with nearly 100 percent of their recertification training.

fire-ny-100-percent-cme-learn-moreAgencies can now complete the New York Department of Health’s required paperwork to request permission for completing nearly 100 percent of their Three-Year EMS Continuing Medical Education (CME) Recertification Program through TargetSolutions.

When an agency submits to allow their EMS providers to utilize 100 percent self-study thru an online training provider, the agency selects a vendor. The New York State Bureau of EMS then approves the agency’s program based on the outline of that program. Any vendor used must meet specific security and disability access regulations. They must also meet rules regarding the distribution and function of the online content.

The City of Olean Fire Department (N.Y.) was the first agency to submit the required paperwork, outlined in the New York Department of Health’s Administration Manual. The process included answering six mandatory questions with detailed responses made available by TargetSolutions. The department’s Line Supervisor Tim Richardson was thrilled to learn the department’s application had been accepted.

“It’s hard to complete continuing education requirements without something like TargetSolutions. An online system keeps you coordinated and puts all of the training at our fingertips. Having 100 percent online was important for us. It gives us the ability to instantaneously determine where everyone is at from a training perspective.”

Tim Richardson, City of Olean Fire Department (N.Y.)

TargetSolutions features more than 160 hours of accredited online EMS training that is accepted in the state of New York after the training is approved in writing by an EMS Agency’s certified instructor-coordinator. In addition, TargetSolutions is organizationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation Pre-Hospital Continuing Education.

Emergency responders in the state of New York are required to complete 72 hours of training every three years. Please note, each agency’s approval is left solely to the discretion of the New York Department of Health. Also, TargetSolutions needs one additional hour of ALS training to fulfill the category of Gynecology and Obstetrics for 100 percent recertification for paramedics. All personnel currently completing BLS training can fulfill 100 percent of their requirement with TargetSolutions. For more information, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048.

If you would like more information on TargetSolutions’ ability to provide fire and EMS departments in New York with 100 percent of their EMS recertification training, please click here to enter your information and a TargetSolutions representative will be in touch.

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. For more information on TargetSolutions, check online at www.targetsolutions.com.

TargetSolutions’ Online Help System Empowers Platform Managers and Users Alike

TargetSolutions’ online help system provides administrators, supervisors, and users with the information they need to maximize the online training management system.

You are never alone when you use TargetSolutions.

tslogo_symbol-color-smallWhether you are a seasoned platform manager of the system or a new user, TargetSolutions’ Client Services team is ready to assist at a moment’s notice. In addition to 24/7 toll-free support and live chat for customers, TargetSolutions offers a robust online help system featuring tips and tricks for utilizing the online training management system.

The web-based portal offers detailed instructions and video tutorials on how to operate the platform. Whether you are an administrator, supervisor, or user, you can bet you will find the answers you need online at http://help.targetsolutions.com.

If a user ever has trouble logging in – or has any other platform-related questions – they can access the interactive live chat feature through the help system and receive the information they need instantaneously. Platform managers can also take advantage of this efficient way to communicate with a TargetSolutions representative, or they can reach out to their dedicated account manager.

At the end of the day, however, the searchable online help portal provides detailed answers to most questions. And it’s just one click away.

“Our help system is packed with frequently asked questions, videos, webinars, and tutorials,” said Client Services Manager Jennifer Jones. “Our representatives are readily available via live chat and by phone to answer user questions.

“Troubleshooting is inevitably going to happen and it’s important that our users feel confident contacting us with any issues that arise during their experience.”

If you have any questions about TargetSolutions’ online help system, please contact us at (800) 840-8048 or via e-mail.