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Archive for December, 2017

TargetSolutions’ Top Enhancements of 2017

TargetSolutions’ top enhancements of 2017 have helped public agencies streamline training management and simplify compliance.

As 2017 comes to an end, TargetSolutions is highlighting our top 8 enhancements that helped streamline delivering training and ensuring compliance for agencies across the country. TargetSolutions spent this year prioritizing your feedback through surveys, user groups and other methods to develop valuable platform and content upgrades to simplify every aspect of training management.

TargetSolutions’ top enhancements and new features of 2017 include:

  1. NFPA 1410 Evolutions Series
  2. Accident Tracking System
  3. SDS Management System
  4. Event Management Upgrades
  5. Activities Builder Improvements
  6. Activity Upload to Credentials
  7. More Mobile-Friendly Updates
  8. Multiple Day Duration for Activities

NFPA 1410 Fireground Evolutions Series

The award-winning NFPA 1410 evolutions series was created through the collaboration of subject matter expert Paul Costello, Training Officer at Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, the St. Charles Fire Department and Pasco County Fire Rescue, and Vector Solutions representatives. Delivered in HD-quality videos, this series features detailed, step-by-step demonstrations of 14 fireground evolutions. In September, TargetSolutions was recognized by the Brand Hall Group Excellence in Learning Award and received silver honors in the “Best Use of Video for Learning” category.

Accident Tracking System

TargetSolutions’ new Accident Tracking system delivers an online tool for public entities to manage work-related accidents and injuries. The Accident Tracking system features simplified reporting, faster filing of accidents and intuitive data to help organizations respond sooner and prevent future risk through additional training.

SDS Management System

TargetSolutions’ new online SDS Management system helps agencies manage chemical and safety data sheets across their entire organizations. Virtual SDS collections improves compliance with important OSHA and GHS requirements by simplifying the maintenance and access to crucial chemical safety data information. Easily sort SDSs by location, print secondary labels and upload custom SDSs for a safer workforce.

Event Management Upgrades

Based on client feedback, TargetSolutions completely updated the Event Management application for seamless creation, scheduling and management of organizations’ events. New functionalities such as the addition of the Manage Events tab in the Administration section, greater search and sorting abilities, control of supervisory rights and easy event enrolment saves organizations time. Additionally, improved attendance reports allow platform managers to use an event’s attendee list to give credit for activities and generate more intuitive reports.

Activities Builder Improvements

TargetSolutions’ Activities Builder application was fully updated with mass management functionalities to edit, organize or archive multiple activities in just a few clicks. Activity pass through and file versioning streamline delivering an activity by allowing platform managers to assign it to users as it is created and automatically updating files in current activities as new versions are uploaded in the File Center.

Activity Upload to Credentials

Adding activities to credentials is now a painless process. Platform managers can add an activity to a credential as the activity is created – bypassing the Manage Credentials function. It’s simple to add as many activities as needed to develop custom credentials that cover all necessary topics for the subject.

Mobile-Friendly Updates

TargetSolutions’ online training catalog features thousands of mobile-compatible courses for public agencies. New platform upgrades make tracking compliance more mobile-friendly with easy uploading of pictures of licenses or certifications directly from a mobile device. This enhancement saves users time showing proof of completions by bypassing the desktop computer and File Center.

Multiple Day Duration for Activities

As some activities cannot be fully completed in a single day, activities can now be tracked over the course of multiple days. Users can leave a “paper trail” within an activity to allocate time spent completing it. Then, when all parts of the activity are done, a user can submit just one completion.

If you have questions about any of TargetSolutions’ top enhancements of 2017, please contact us today (800) 840-8048!

TargetSolutions Offers Complimentary Online Wildland Fire Training

After Recent Wildfires in California, TargetSolutions Delivers Valuable RT-130: Annual Refresher Training Series

SAN DIEGO, CA (December 21, 2017) – TargetSolutions, the leading provider of e-Learning applications for the fire service, is offering fire department personnel free access to its RT-130: Annual Wildland Fire Safety Refresher training series.

targetsolutions platform enhancementsThis year, wildfires have ravaged the state of California. In October, Northern California’s Napa, Lake, Sonoma, Mendocino and Butte counties faced extreme damage from wildfires that forced more than 20,000 people to evacuate and burned more than 245,000 acres, according to a CAL FIRE summary report.

Then, two months later in December in Southern California, strong Santa Ana winds caused devastating blazes from Ventura County, north of Los Angeles, to San Diego. Crews are still battling these fires, including the Thomas Fire, which is on pace to become the largest wildland fire in California history, according to CNN.

A recent projection by AccuWeather stated that damage from California’s 2017 wildfire season could reach more than $180 billion. In addition, there have been 45 fatalities reported and more than 200 non-fatal injuries due to these incidents.

Considering recent events, TargetSolutions is offering complimentary access to its special eight-hour online wildland fire training series. This engaging coursework, built for pre-training prior to hands-on training, is written to meet 2017’s annual updates. Recharged and retooled with the latest statistics and data, the RT-130: Annual Wildland Fire Safety Refresher is loaded with dynamic training content, including a large selection of video presentations.

“These fires in California have been devastating. An unthinkable amount of damage has been done across the state this year, and as we look toward 2018, we’re focused on helping increase awareness and prepare firefighters for the challenges they face when called into action. TargetSolutions’ RT-130: Annual Wildland Fire Safety Refresher training provides a tremendous overview of the fundamentals for wildland firefighting as well as critical hazards and safety strategies in wildland operations.”

Marc Scheipe, Executive Vice President, TargetSolutions

TargetSolutions’ online course catalog for fire departments features more than 450 hours of training, including the RT-130: Annual Wildland Fire Safety Refresher. Here is a breakdown of each module in the four-part series:

Module No. 1: An overview of recent issues and incidents in wildland firefighting as well as a review of the fundamentals of safety in wildland firefighting operations.

Module No. 2: An analysis of wildland fire behavior and strategies for predicting changes in behavior that could lead to hazardous conditions.

Module No. 3: Explores situational awareness and injury prevention in wildland fire operations.

Module No. 4: Discusses safety strategies to wildland fire operations.

If you would like more information about this limited time offer for TargetSolutions’ complimentary wildland fire training, please check online at http://info.targetsolutions.com/acton/media/29198/wildland-fire-training-2018 or call (800) 840-8046.

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, RedVector, TargetSolutions, 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.

Get to Know TargetSolutions’ Account Manager: JD Medford

Coming from Dallas to San Diego, JD Medford recently joined the TargetSolutions team as an Account Manager. JD previously worked for Nixon, Inc. in the accounts receivable/credit management department. When he discovered the opportunity for account management at TargetSolutions, he knew he was the right person for the job.

Account Manager JD Medford

TargetSolutions’ New Account Manager JD Medford

After working at TargetSolutions for a couple months, JD came to admire the diversity of solutions he and his team can provide for clients. He is interested by TargetSolutions’ flexibility to customize users’ training experience and went on to explain, “we have a great platform that really helps make a difference.”

When asked what the best part of his new job was, JD expressed: “Everyone has been incredibly helpful and accommodating. I’m glad to come to work every morning, and it feels great to be part of a strong team.”

To learn more about JD check out this recent Q-and-A:

What is your favorite movie?

City of God directed by Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund

What are your top 2 favorite foods?

I love all Mexican food and my grandmother’s fried chicken

What was the last book you read?

Capital Without Borders

Describe your dream vacation?

I’d love to go hiking in the Appalachians.

Where is the last place you traveled?

We took a family vacation last August to Portland.

 

TargetSolutions Unveils New Bundle of OSHA Safety Training Courses

TargetSolutions has released 40 brand new OSHA safety training courses that collectively offer more than 35 hours of content designed to keep your organization safe and in compliance.

In response to an increased demand for general Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training courses, TargetSolutions is announcing the release of 40 brand new additions to TargetSolutions’ OSHA catalog. This exciting new bundle, which is written to the federal standard, collectively amasses more than 35 hours of premium training content that features exclusive instructor-led video presentations, complete audio voiceover narration tracks, and engaging multimedia to provide an immersive learning experience.

Some of the titles in this bundle include:

  • General Industry Safety – Hearing Conservation
  • Walking and Working Surfaces
  • Legionella Prevention and Control
  • Incident Reporting and Investigation
  • Electrical and Arc Flash Hazards
  • OSHA Safety: Introduction to Powered Industrial Trucks
  • Occupational Safety Training: Introduction to Industrial Hygiene
  • And many, many more

“Over the past year we’ve received a number of customer requests for additional general OSHA safety training courses, so our Product and Content teams have worked diligently to make that a reality. Covering a range of safety and compliance topics, we believe this new bundle will satisfy the need for additional OSHA content.”

Jennifer Jones, Director of Product & User Experience, TargetSolutions

TargetSolutions’ OSHA safety training catalog now features more than 90 hours of interactive content that is designed to comply with federal and state regulatory agency training mandates. Complete all of your required OSHA compliance training courses online, eliminating the logistic issues inherent in traditional training methods.

Online OSHA safety training courses are available 24/7 and provide flexible learning that can save your organization time and money. In fact, TargetSolutions’ 10 most popular OSHA training courses for 2017 have amassed more than 160,000 total completions.

For more information on this new bundle of OSHA safety training, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048.

New Enhancements for Managing Training Attendance, Customizing Activities, Mass Managing Credentials

The latest round of updates to TargetSolutions’ online training management system include enhancements designed to improve highly-utilized features in Manage Events, Manage Credentials and Activities Builder. 

TargetSolutions is the industry leader in online training and records management not solely due to its comprehensive catalog and training tools, but also because of the continuous effort to fulfill your organization’s training needs. TargetSolutions prioritizes your feedback to develop impactful change with each platform enhancement. This latest round of updates improves highly-utilized features in Manage Events, Manage Credentials, and Activities Builder, focusing primarily on these new capabilities:

  • Managing event attendance records
  • Allowing multiple resources to be added to an activity
  • Mass manage user credential status changes

Managing Event Attendance Records

Managing events is streamlined with TargetSolutions' latest enhancements.

Managing events is streamlined with TargetSolutions’ latest enhancements.

Optimized functionalities in the Events application simplify managing training attendance and produce more intuitive records. In addition to new components that allow you to take attendance in your created event, these updates also offer the ability to directly access an attendance list.

From there, you have the options to use your generated attendance list to create an attendance record or record completions for an activity. Publishing such a record allows you to share attendance data for an event across the entire platform. The option to use the attendee list to record completions allows you to give users credit for an activity directly from the associated event.

New search functionalities also provide platform managers with greater flexibility when managing training attendance for specific events. Easily find the right event according to its creator, date or location.

Adding Multiple Resources

Enhancements in Activities Builder further customize activities with external files that aim to improve the learning experience. Multiple resources can now be added to activities in a single convenient Resource component. Additionally, instead of first uploading files to the File Center, you can add files to an activity directly from your computer (and select the option to add them to the File Center simultaneously).

Once multiple resources are added, you can edit the instructions and choose an e-signature option for each file.

Mass Managing User Credential Statuses

Mass activation or inactivation is another update in TargetSolutions’ push for mass management capabilities in just a few clicks.

Platform managers can easily update users’ statuses as active or inactive for renewed or completed credentials. The ability to change users’ statuses as a group saves time and improves organization when coordinating new or expired credentials. Once a user is marked inactive, it is easily reversible in the Inactive Users tab – and vice versa.

If you have any questions regarding TargetSolutions’ latest platform enhancements, please check out our help center or contact us today at (800) 840-8048!

The Next Evolution of Firefighter Training

Here’s an updated look into some of TargetSolutions’ firefighter training offerings including new and enhanced courses, testimonials, and health & wellness solutions for the fire service.

TargetSolutions isn’t just a solution for fire department training, it’s the solution. Gone are the days of scavenging through boundless piles of papers and arrived in their place is a simplified best-in-class training solution.

TargetSolutions’ online course catalog is packed with 450 hours of interactive training lessons highlighted by 2017 updates to Wildland Firefighting, a complete ARFF training package, and our award-winning NFPA 1410 Evolutions series. Our content team is constantly patrolling each course in order to apply modernizing updates that integrate video-driven lessons and audio narration along with engaging multimedia and user-friendly interfaces.

Departments across the nation are enjoying the rousing benefits of TargetSolutions’ ISO Training Tracker with success stories richly abound. Oklahoma City Fire Department (OK) powered itself to a Class 1 ISO rating, consolidating all of its original tracking methods into one centralized hub with TargetSolutions’ cutting-edge learning management system. On the flip side, Cherry Hill Fire Department (NJ) implemented TargetSolutions’ powerful online training management system to keep their top ISO classification. What used to take countless amounts of man hours and money in order to organize all of the required documentation was alleviated altogether. “We were using about a dozen different programs to capture what TargetSolutions does for us in one,” said Lieutenant William Riess.fire fighter training

A rising concern in the fire service is the continued emergence of issues relating to poor health and wellness. In the past year, TargetSolutions has proudly developed a pair of new training courses to help combat poor health habits and promote positive wellness strategies. Fire Service Health & Safety Parts I & II explore the interconnected concepts of health and safety and how they relate to the fire service, including specific mention of PTSD as it affects firefighters.

Keep an eye open in 2018 for new content and platform updates.

The innovation never stops at TargetSolutions. To learn more about how our online management system can revitalize your department’s training, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048.   

Firefighter Health & Wellness: Sizing Up the Best Fire Rescue Workout Programs

fire rescue workout programs

Although fire departments across the nation are implementing fire rescue workout programs to keep their companies fit and prepared for duty, some are more effective than others. Aaron Zamzow of Fire Rescue Fitness breaks down the key points that every firefighter should keep in mind, including how to succeed when embarking on one of these fire rescue workout programs.

A 26.2-mile marathon awaits you in the morning. You’ve trained six days a week for this excursion, bulking up your pecs, chiseling your biceps, and perfecting your abs. You show up to the marathon with a toned upper body straight out of ancient Roman mythology that would make even the contestants on American Gladiators burn with envy.

One mile into the race you feel your legs tighten as a swarm of lesser-toned runners pass you by. You quizzically wonder where you went wrong; you’re in the best shape of your life but not even a tenth of the way into this thing and the buzzards are already circling. So what went wrong? Although you were in tip-top shape, the reality is you simply didn’t train properly for the physical demands of the challenge at hand.

fire rescue workout programs

Fire Rescue Fitness, owned and operated by Aaron Zamzow, has created a vast collection of fire rescue workout programs designed to keep firefighters “fit for duty.”

Just ask Aaron Zamzow, fitness expert and firefighter for the City of Madison Fire Department and founder of Fire Rescue Fitness, a company that specializes in products, services, and informational blogs with the goal to keep firefighters fit for duty.

When Zamzow first joined the service, he found himself out-muscled, outmaneuvered, and generally out-everything’d despite being the definition of fit. That’s because, as Zamzow recalls, he hadn’t trained for anything that firefighters regularly do. “I’m the Rudy of the fire service. I wasn’t trained for the firefighter work. I was getting beat by out-of-shape firefighters who smoke three packs a day.”

The hard reality is that if firefighters are not prepared for the rigorous physical demands that they’ll encounter on a daily basis, then they’ll soon find themselves just as out of breath and deflated as Zamzow was. For all intents and purposes, firefighters are occupational athletes. Lifting, crawling, pulling, hoisting, carrying; it’s an overtly physical job and there’s a lot to train for. But how firefighters train and prepare for those tasks is what’s so crucial. Tom Brady, for example, will train differently for his job than Serena Williams. Usain Bolt likely won’t be found doing Zumba and LeBron James probably doesn’t have much use for Crossfit. That’s not to say one training regimen is superior to the other, but your workout program should incorporate the movements that will set you up for career success.

Zamzow cites astonishingly hollow fitness programs that market themselves specifically for firefighters as a reason for his rude awakening. Such programs are wrapped in a pretty bow but fail to address the necessary physical trials that firefighters will have to go through. “I bought one of those programs and found it was nonsense,” recalls Zamzow. “There are a lot of false programs out there but you have to ask what makes it a firefighter program? Why is it geared toward firefighters?”

That’s where Zamzow decided to take matters into his own hands and developed a list of five key points that firefighters should take into consideration when evaluating their own fire rescue workout programs:

1) Developmental progression: Approach your program with the intent to gradually increase the intensity of exercise, which in turn will increase your strength and muscular development.

2) Make core strength a priority: 50% of firefighters will hurt their backs while on duty during their careers and lower back pain is the number one reason they retire early. Dedicate more time to core strength as you develop your program.

3) Focus on cardiovascular conditioning and recovery: Running and biking will get you from point A to point B, but interval training can bolster your cardiovascular conditioning. Because firefighters operate at 115-150% the normal heartrate, conditioning your body to respond to an increasing amount of stress is critical. Intervals call for a short burst of high intensity exercise (30 seconds, for example) followed by ample time to rest and recover (60-120 seconds).

4) Full-body functional strength exercises: Functional exercises are an approach to core training that increase balance around joints and help prevent injury by stimulating and stabilizing muscles.

5) Engage in active warm ups and flexibility training: Such activities prepare the body for movements, boost heartrate, and increase blood flow to the muscles.

The problem with implementing these types of fire rescue workout programs, Zamzow states, is that health, wellness and fitness in the fire service are relatively new concepts. As recently as ten years ago these types of fundamentals simply didn’t exist, but with the epidemics of cancer and poor health infiltrating the service, there’s been no better time than now to create a plan.

As with all grand plans, it’s important to start simple. Zamzow recommends foam rollers as the biggest bang for your buck as they allow you to use your own body weight to massage through adhesions that may occur in the muscles. This allows blood to flow more freely and encourages efficient healing and repairing.

“Now is the time to make a positive change in our industry,” said Zamzow. “Eat right, exercise, hydrate and set up an example for the community. Stay safe and train like a life depends on it.”

ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

fire rescue workout programsAaron Zamzow is a firefighter and EMT for the City of Madison Fire Department in Wisconsin. He is also a degreed personal fitness trainer and author as well as the owner of Fire Rescue Fitness, a company dedicated to creating products and blogs focused on keeping firefighters, EMTs, and paramedics in top physical condition and “fit for duty.” He has 12 years of experience as a firefighter/EMT and another 20 as a fitness expert, training with elite athletes and studying with some of the top trainers in the world.