Technology with a Purpose

Archive for October, 2017

The Might of Innovation: Meet the ISO Training Tracker

Managing your department’s ISO training requirements is no easy task, but TargetSolutions’ powerful ISO Training Tracker simplifies the entire process to save you time and money. 

Once upon a time it would take hours, days, or even weeks to prepare for a dreaded Insurance Services Office (ISO) audit. Ask any experienced training officer, and they can probably tell you a horror story about their last ISO review.

Fortunately, there is an answer to help with managing your department’s ISO training requirements and reporting nightmares. That answer is TargetSolutions and its revolutionary ISO Training Tracker.

Equipped with a ready-made web-based package of online training courses and digital tracking reports, which are specifically built to meet the ISO’s stringent standards, it’s never been easier to manage ISO training hours.

How Does the ISO Training Tracker Work?

TargetSolutions, the fire service’s leading provider of computer-based training management applications, has built a system that automatically tracks completed assignments and generates detailed reports structured perfectly for the ISO’s reviewing process.

This one-of-a-kind solution blends online courses with instructor-led and drill-yard training activities. It comes packed with powerful features to ensure your training is right on par with the ISO’s requirements. Some of the highlights of the ISO Training Tracker include:

  • Credentials: Ensures recertification requirements are met through online application.
  • Custom Activities: Trackable electronic forms built specifically for an agency’s requirements.
  • Training Assignments: Ready-made training assignments covering ISO Driver Training, ISO Officer Training, ISO Hazmat Training, ISO Company Training and ISO Facilities Training.

The million-dollar question is if the ISO Training Tracker works? The answer is a resounding yes. The Oklahoma City Fire Department (OK), a battalion of nearly 1,000 personnel, not only simplified the management of its ISO training requirements, but also powered itself to a Class 1 ISO rating utilizing TargetSolutions’ ISO Training Tracker.

“Our training records are much improved so we’re better at capturing training at the station level than ever before,” said Chief Keith Bryant. “(TargetSolutions is) one of those pieces of technology that makes us better at what we do. This was something we needed for a long time and we’ve seen immediate improvements. The mass data that you have to collect and give to ISO for their rating, that’s more readily available with TargetSolutions. It’s better, more accurate.”

But what if your department already possesses a Class 1 rating? Is it worth it to change something that isn’t broken? Lieutenant William Riess of the Cherry Hill Fire Department (N.J.) already had a Class 1 rating prior to implementing TargetSolutions. Nonetheless, he praised the platform for streamlining a colossal task into something that can be completed efficiently.

“We were using about a dozen different programs to capture what TargetSolutions does for us in one. All of what we just went through is alleviated by going with TargetSolutions.”

Lieutenant William Riess, Cherry Hill Fire Department (N.J.)

Struggling to piece together spreadsheets, searching for records, and deciphering what training meets which requirements can make your head spin. With TargetSolutions’ innovative technology, achieving compliance has never been easier, or quicker. The platform offers easy-to-use technology that streamlines and simplifies the reporting process.

ISO Training Requirements

The ISO Training Tracker presents a slick interface to manage ISO training requirements.

“The amount of time I put into it was very minimal,” said Assistant Chief Douglas Cline of Horry County Fire Rescue (S.C.). “I created ISO reports, (the ISO field representative) asked for a couple other little things, and that was it. I probably spent less than 45 minutes on it because I could produce everything I had to produce before he got there.”

Battalion Chief Matt Barnes of the Southern Marin Fire Protection District (Calif.) echoed similar sentiments when asked about his latest ISO review with TargetSolutions.

“(The ISO) basically took my information and said, ‘thank you.’ I was anticipating a much more rigorous type of review but based off the categories TargetSolutions has pre-built, I was able to give specific hours for those categories and it helped a tremendous amount,” Barnes said.

Interested in learning more about the ISO Training Tracker? TargetSolutions’ world-class support team is always standing by to help you along the way. Diving into a brave new world of technology can be intimidating, but with TargetSolutions, you’re never alone.

This is the future of firefighter training. This is TargetSolutions.

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 4,000 organizations across the country using TargetSolutions’ innovative technology to solve their training challenges. For more information on TargetSolutions, check online at www.targetsolutions.com.

Learn How Columbia Fire Department Simplified Firefighter Training with TargetSolutions

Simplified firefighter training

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a year and a half since implementing TargetSolutions, Columbia Fire Department has simplified firefighter training, streamlined event planning, and is currently working toward earning the top ISO classification.

Ensuring that its cadre of 118 uniformed men and women were on the same page when it came to training was a challenge for the Columbia Fire Department (MO). How do you maintain consistent standards and ensure that training requirements are being met when there’s no surefire way to police or oversee anything?

Since implementing TargetSolutions, Columbia Fire Department has simplified firefighter training en route to becoming a power user.

That’s when the department switched to TargetSolutions. Implementing the powerful records management system in May of 2016 didn’t just streamline their training; it completely reinvigorated it. Consisting of nine stations that serve a population of over 100,000, the Columbia Fire Department has become one of the most highly utilized sites in the state of Missouri as well as the entire Midwest United States. Always on the hunt for new tips and tricks, the department is a regular representative at regional TargetSolutions user groups where they continue to maximize their usage of the platform.

When asked about what training was like prior to becoming a power user, Deputy Fire Chief Kyle Fansler pointed to the outdated recordkeeping methods and how they lent little credence to accuracy. “The most difficult part was ensuring that we were getting valid data,” recalled Fansler. “Prior to this when we were recording training hours in our RMS, there was no way to measure how accurate those figures were.”

“I didn’t have to do anything else. I was just entering unverified numbers into another system so there was no way to manage the training.”

Today the department takes full advantage of TargetSolutions’ arsenal of features to meet and exceed their training requirements. Planning live firefighter training events with the Events Manager and tracking license renewals (drivers, EMS) and custom task books with the Manage Credentials application consolidates what used to be monumental tasks. Custom Activities has been an especially useful tool when developing training and establishing a clear plan for what is expected from the fire companies. “This is what’s assigned to you each month and this is what needs to be completed,” said Fansler. “It’s really easy for the individuals because you just need to clear your screen in a month’s time.”

Setting their sights sky high, the ultimate goal of the Columbia Fire Department is to achieve the storied Class 1 ISO rating. To accomplish this, the department is using TargetSolutions’ ISO Training Tracker, a complete solution built specifically to meet ISO’s standards.

“We just went through an ISO audit and once I figured out which report the ISO fellow wanted to see, it was simple.” 

Deputy Fire Chief Kyle Fansler, Columbia Fire Department (MO)

“They (ISO) want to know the number of certified officers and instructors so with the credentials built, you give them one report for the whole package. We have that all in one place. In a little bit of time you can have that out and run with it.”

Implementing a learning management system (LMS) can seem like as much of a colossal task as managing training in a brick-and-mortar fashion, but it’s not. Quite the opposite, and TargetSolutions offers world class customer service that is eager to help every step of the way. As Fansler pointed out, “We’ve had really good technical support. We can reach out and get help when we need it. The staff has been good to work with and helpful in every way.”

To learn more about how simplified firefighter training can become a reality for your department, please contact TargetSolutions today at (800) 840-8048.

Enrich Your Organization’s Wellness Program During Healthy Workplace Month

With Healthy Workplace Month amongst us, TargetSolutions is committed to helping organizations establish regular programs to aid in meeting their health goals.

October is Healthy Workplace Month and there’s no better time than now to ensure your employees are in a position to accomplish their health goals. Sitting is the new smoking. Bad carbohydrates are the opening charge of obesity. The million-dollar question for traditional and nontraditional work environments is how do you stave off bad habits and promote healthy wellness choices? It starts with TargetSolutions, a true one-stop-shop for all of your organization’s needs.

When it comes to setting up a system that will actively involve employees, TargetSolutions has a number of pre-built and customizable applications designed to keep your organization in tip-top shape.

  • Online training courses catered to your healthy workplace needs: With lessons specifically tailored to diet and nutrition, health and wellness, and workplace stress, TargetSolutions offers something for everyone. These lessons routinely receive thousands of annual completions and are a perfect starting point for promoting a healthy workplace.
  • Customizable credentials to track and monitor your success: Available upon request from TargetSolutions’ account managers, this program covers various subjects from our Professional Development catalog including nutrition and fitness, tobacco, drug, and alcohol use, sleep deprivation, and stress management.
  • Create custom activities to develop a plan that works for you: Establish a walking plan. Set up a dieting challenge. TargetSolutions’ powerful Manage Credentials application gives you the power to create your own customizable health and wellness program.

“A healthy workplace is a happy workplace. With these tools at your disposal, you can effectively put your organization into a position to make healthier choices.”

Jennifer Jones, Director of Product & User Experience, TargetSolutions

While Healthy Workplace Month is an opportune time to address these issues, the reality is good health should be a lifetime goal. Get your organization’s health and wellness on the right track today.

To learn more about how TargetSolutions can help your organization achieve its health goals, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048.  

TargetSolutions Strengthens Its Infrastructure for Canadian Customers

 

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Enhancements being made at home and abroad to ensure the most scalable, secure platform possible.

SAN DIEGO – Vector Solutions, a leader in eLearning and performance support, announced today its public sector business unit, TargetSolutions, has taken further steps to modernize its computer-based platform and strengthen its infrastructure for customers in Canada.

As the premier provider of online training management applications for public safety agencies in the United States, TargetSolutions has moved Canadian customers to a cloud services platform for the Canadian region to achieve full compliance with the country’s requirements for protecting online users’ data.

“This is great news and an important step for our current and future customers in Canada,” said Public Sector General Manager Marc Scheipe. “All Canadian clients’ data is being hosted in Canada to meet Canadian requirements. We are focused on providing customers everywhere with the most dynamic online system for delivering and tracking training and compliance tasks while improving safety and operational performance.”

TargetSolutions, which delivers its training and performance management system to the Canadian market through its partner Global Risk Innovations, is making significant enhancements this year – both at home and abroad – to boost its back-end infrastructure in a multi-pronged strategy that will ensure the most scalable and secure platform possible.

Canadian customers will continue to be able to access the industry’s most powerful records management system, the highly popular Community Resources file-sharing application, and more than 1,000 online training courses, including more than 450 hours for fire departments, more than 160 hours of EMS continuing education, and more than 240 law enforcement training courses.

“We are investing in the latest technology to accommodate future demands,” Scheipe said. “By making these upgrades for Canadian customers, we are improving our platform’s reliability, enhancing our disaster recovery capabilities, and meeting Canada’s requirements.”

About TargetSolutions

TargetSolutions, a Vector Solutions brand, delivers award-winning, real-time training and record-keeping solutions to the fire services, emergency medical services, risk pools, cities and municipalities, law enforcement and public works industries. The company provides engaging, accredited online training courses, cutting-edge software applications, and dynamic performance management solutions to help make organizations safer, more capable, and more compliant. For more information, visit www.targetsolutions.com. Follow us on Twitter @TargetSolutions and on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/TargetSolutions.

About Vector Solutions

Vector Solutions, a leader in eLearning and performance support, provides award-winning SaaS solutions for the architecture, engineering, construction (AEC), industrial, facilities management, public safety, IT and education industries. Its brands, RedVectorTargetSolutions, and SafeSchools, deliver continuing education (CE), training, technology and performance management solutions using the latest innovations in learning and technology to create safer, more capable, more compliant organizations. Its extensive online and mobile learning library exceeds more than 5,000 courses written by 200 subject matter experts and reaches over 5 million professionals worldwide. The company was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Tampa, Florida. For more information, visit www.vector-solutions.com. Follow us on twitter @VectorPerform and on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/VectorPerformance.

TargetSolutions Unveils New Multiple Day and Duration Activities Feature

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Multiple Day Duration is a new reportable component that allows users to create a breakdown of days and hours that were allocated to a particular completion.

In an effort to capture multiple-day classes more accurately and efficiently, TargetSolutions has implemented the brand new Multiple Day Duration reportable component for activities. The concept is simple: not every activity will be completed in one day, so this component gives you the power to create a “paper trail” that details the time allocated for an activity on any given day.

“The Multiple Day Duration component is a useful tool because it makes the recording of multiple day classes or training more efficient for users. It’s much more convenient for a user to submit a single completion for a multiple-day training than it is to submit separate completions for each day.”

Misty Pratt, Senior Product Manager, TargetSolutions

The release of the Multiple Day Duration component follows a yearlong trend of new platform features that have enhanced the system and boosted efficiency. In no particular order, here are a few of the new enhancements to the TargetSolutions platform to date in 2017:

  • Archiving Activities: Gives platform managers an alternative to deleting activities, allowing them to keep their activities organized without compromising completion reports.
  • Upload New File Versions: Allows platform managers to upload new versions of existing files in the File Center and automatically update any activities to which the file is attached without affecting previous completions of those activities.
  • Add Activity to Credential Topic from Activity Setting: New activity setting allows platform managers to add activities to credential topics when creating or editing activities.
  • Upgraded Events Manager: Design overhaul including enhanced menus, new supervisor rights, and increased user functionality.
  • File Center – Improved Search Functionality: A series of updates including cataloging searches and added search functionality to the Enterprise Tab of the child site.

For more information about Multiple Day Duration or any of the new enhancements introduced to the platform this year, please contact TargetSolutions today at (800) 840-8048.

Naval Veteran Marc Scheipe Named to Lead TargetSolutions

Marc Scheipe brings more than 20 years’ experience strengthening software services for existing customers and expanding into new markets.

Marc Scheipe brings more than 20 years’ experience strengthening software services for existing customers and expanding into new markets.

SAN DIEGO – Vector Solutions, a leader in eLearning and performance support, is excited to announce Marc Scheipe has been selected to lead its public sector business unit and oversee the TargetSolutions brand. Scheipe, who most recently served as president for Sage Software NA, will focus on strengthening and expanding TargetSolutions’ industry-leading training management applications for public entities. With Scheipe at the helm, TargetSolutions is poised to continue its exceptional growth and increase its service offerings to meet the needs of all public-sector agencies.

“As a veteran, I am passionate about the mission to help save lives here at Vector Solutions, and I know the importance of the tools and training we provide to help achieve this. I am excited to share my expertise and passion to help the TargetSolutions tools reach the people who need it most,” said Scheipe, who holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.

In his new role, Scheipe is responsible for building on the strong foundation of TargetSolutions’ core public safety business, as well as expanding into new markets and developing partnerships with government agencies seeking to streamline and maximize training and performance with innovative technology. Scheipe has held senior leadership roles in software, payments and financial services while consistently increasing revenue, implementing new business strategies and executing complex integrations.

Scheipe, an Atlanta resident, is a natural fit at TargetSolutions because of his previous military and business experience. TargetSolutions serves more than 200,000 emergency responders and Scheipe’s background as a TOPGUN graduate, experienced Lieutenant Commander, and FA-18 strike-fighter pilot, means he’s perfect for the job of serving those who work in the public sector.

“I am certain that Scheipe’s insight as a naval officer, along with his professional expertise, will prove to be a powerful combination and asset for strengthening the TargetSolutions brand,” said Jeff Gordon, CEO with Vector Solutions. “He understands our business and our mission – he understands what it means to serve. He sees our vision and knows how to get us there.”

About TargetSolutions

TargetSolutions, a Vector Solutions brand, delivers award-winning, real-time training and record-keeping solutions to the fire services, emergency medical services, risk pools, cities and municipalities, law enforcement and public works industries. The company provides engaging, accredited online training courses, cutting-edge software applications, and dynamic performance management solutions to help make organizations safer, more capable, and more compliant. For more information, visit www.targetsolutions.com. Follow us on Twitter @TargetSolutions and on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/TargetSolutions.

About Vector Solutions

Vector Solutions, a leader in eLearning and performance support, provides award-winning SaaS solutions for the architecture, engineering, construction (AEC), industrial, facilities management, public safety, IT and education industries. Its brands, RedVectorTargetSolutions, and SafeSchools, deliver continuing education (CE), training, technology and performance management solutions using the latest innovations in learning and technology to create safer, more capable, more compliant organizations. Its extensive online and mobile learning library exceeds more than 5,000 courses written by 200 subject matter experts and reaches more than 5 million professionals worldwide. The company was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Tampa, Florida. For more information, visit www.vector-solutions.com. Follow us on twitter @VectorPerform and on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/VectorPerformance.

A Complete Solution for Accredited, Quality EMS Training for Chicago EMS

 

TargetSolutions provides a centralized online platform for all mandatory EMS continuing education courses for Chicago EMS. With more than 100 hours of online accredited CEUs, EMS professionals can conveniently complete required training and earn units for EMS recertification through TargetSolutions.

Log in to get started!

Your two-year subscription to TargetSolutions grants you access to department-specific and state-mandated training. After a simple set-up process, you’ll have access to an easy-to-use, mobile-compatible training system that streamlines certification accredited courses available 24/7.

For answers to frequently asked questions, please click here. If you have any questions on how to log in, please contact us today (800) 840-8048!

Firehouse Culture and Other Firefighter Issues Examined During Recent Webcasts

Two new TargetSolutions-sponsored webinars, each about an hour in length, are now available for viewing and touch on creating a positive firehouse culture as well as best practices for fire-based EMS. Firehouse Culture

The first webinar, Fully Involved: Creating a Culture That Works, highlights the essentials of effective leadership and how to establish a positive firehouse culture within the service.

Delivered by FireEngineering.com and presented by Captain Mark vonAppen of the Palo Alto Fire Department (Calif.), the 50-minute webinar focuses on creating an “us against the world” group mentality through camaraderie, effort and hard work. The son of a professional football coach, vonAppen draws on his upbringing in the sports world and applies those same principles to the fire service. Rebuking the notion that ruling with an iron first will create culture, vonAppen instead focuses on teamwork in its simplest form.

“The thing we came up with as a group in the firehouse I worked in was the Big 4,” said vonAppen. “Do your job like a professional, treat people right, give all-out effort and have an all-in attitude. You see how they all interrelate.”

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


The second webinar, Best Practices in Fire-Based EMS, is presented by Fire Chief Gary Ludwig, MS, EMT-P, of the Champaign Fire Department (Ill.). Delivered by Firehouse.com, the hour-long webinar explores best practices for fire departments while embracing the EMS mission. Examining statistics provided by the U.S. Fire Administration and National Fire Protection Association over a 3Firehouse Culture0-year period from 1985 to 2015, Ludwig points to the tanking rate of fires and the vastly increasing number of EMS calls.

In 2015, EMS calls were up 230 percent from 1985 and during that same period, fires dropped 45 percent. In fact, only 4 percent of all fire department responses in 2015 were for fires.

“If you think about your own departments, if you do any form of EMS, whether it’s transport and first response, probably the vast majority, about 60 percent of your calls, are EMS-related calls,” said Ludwig. “Most fire departments pump more oxygen than water. A majority of what we do is EMS.”

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

Is your department looking for training in EMS or leadership? To learn what TargetSolutions can do for your agency, please contact us today at (800) 840-8046.

How DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department Improved ISO Rating with TargetSolutions

DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department, located in Northern Georgia, has utilized TargetSolutions’ online system since 2011 and as a result, has improved its ISO rating and simplified training. 

Improved ISO Rating

During the 2017 Vector Solutions Client Summit, TargetSolutions sat down with Battalion Chief Bill Voorhies of the DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department to discuss how he uses the platform for his department’s training. Chief Voorhies and his cadre have been using TargetSolutions’ online records management system since 2011 and he credits the platform’s Credential Management and ISO Training Tracker for revolutionizing how his department manages training.

The DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department’s 26 stations respond to more than 80,000 annual calls throughout the region. Using TargetSolutions’ record tracking functionalities, DeKalb County Fire Rescue is able to ensure its personnel are up-to-date on training and can respond effectively to incidents involving hazardous materials, rescue, fire suppression and emergency medical services.

“We use Target (Solutions) for tracking training as well as credential management – keeping our firefighters and EMTs all certified with CPR or with their state certifications…the credential management part of the program really has streamlined our ability to keep up with that.”

Bill Voorhies, Battalion Chief, DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department

TargetSolutions’ ready-made courses and customizable credentials give DeKalb County the freedom to train according to their specific needs while satisfying state standards. Thanks to TargetSolutions’ Credential Manager, DeKalb County was able to easily generate paperless records of their department’s training for their ISO audit and saw an improved ISO rating.

When reflecting on their ISO review, Chief Voorhies recalled: “when the state came back around to look at our training records, they were very, very happy with the courses that are there (in the platform) that already meet state standards.”

Is your department looking for an improved ISO rating? For questions about TargetSolutions’ ISO Training Tracker, please contact us today (800) 840-8046!

TargetSolutions Helps Schools Take a Stand Against Bullying

As October is National Bullying Prevention Month 2017, TargetSolutions is shining the spotlight on our important School Bullying training course to aid school districts with taking a stand against bullying. 

National Bullying Prevention Month 2017 addresses the growing crisis of bullying for youth across the United States. Each year, approximately 47 percent of students are estimated to be involved in some form of bullying, whether it’s being the bully or the target. What’s more is that this figure has nearly doubled from the mere 28 percent that was reported in 2001. The ultimate goal of the movement is to permanently “Stomp Out” bullying by improving awareness of the issue and its impact on children.

TargetSolutions helps school districts be proactive against bullying with the important School Bullying training course from the online course catalog for school districts. This interactive course educates school staff on the various forms of bullying and how to maintain a safe learning environment.

The structure of the course guides the learner from understanding bullying to becoming an advocate for school bullying prevention. The learning modules are organized accordingly:

  • What Is School Bullying?
  • Types of Bullying
  • Cyber Bullying
  • Bullying Myths and Facts
  • Identifying Bullies and Victims
  • Consequences of Bullying
  • Bullying in the Classroom
  • Confronting a Bully
  • School Intervention Programs
  • Promoting an Anti-Bullying School

School Bullying features audio narration and interactive exercises to accommodate different learning styles and highlights key points with related text and images. As learners complete lessons, they are tested with brief quizzes and once they complete the course, learners show their comprehension with an end-of-course exam.

“TargetSolutions’ School Bullying course helps staff identify different types of bullying, as well as confrontation methods. By administering this course to your staff, you can help promote an anti-bullying environment.”

Ashlee Marinello, Account Manager I – Education Specialist, TargetSolutions

Students who are bullied in school, particularly from targeted groups such as the LGBTQ community, are at risk for poor classroom performance, long-term damage to self-esteem and even suicide. National Bullying Prevention Month 2017 is about promoting growth, creating a safe school atmosphere, and taking a stand against bullying.

For questions about TargetSolutions’ School Bullying training course or our school district course catalog, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048!