Technology with a Purpose


Canadian Agency Delivers SimsUshare’s Fire Simulator App Training with TargetSolutions

sarnia fire rescueSarnia Fire Rescue Services answers more than 3,000 calls each year for the city of Sarnia in Ontario, Canada. This career department, which also serves Port Huron, Mich. due to a mutual aid agreement, consists of five stations that provide emergency services to urban, rural, and heavy industrial areas.

For the past three years, Sarnia has utilized TargetSolutions to train personnel on its core services, which include industrial firefighting, hazardous materials, shore/marine rescue, and heavy vehicle extraction.

While Sarnia has been using TargetSolutions since 2014, the department recently incorporated SimsUshare’s 3D fire simulator app technology to its training program. SimsUshare enhances firefighter training with realistic computer-based scenarios for response in high-risk situations. Sarnia delivers and tracks SimsUshare’s courses for house fires, commercial structure fires, and Big Box cases with TargetSolutions.

“SimsUshare is a great program for creating a plan of action,” said Sarnia Fire Rescue Services Safety and Training Officer Russ Lloyd. “Firefighters can interact with the simulation, and the situation changes as they make decisions.”

Delivering Custom and Third-Party Content with TargetSolutions

The ability to deliver custom content, as well as some third-party content like SimsUshare, is one of the strengths of TargetSolutions’ flexible training management system. When it comes to effective training, “one system doesn’t replace the other,” Lloyd said. “I’ve even recorded SimsUshare sessions and uploaded them to TargetSolutions as customized courses.”

While TargetSolutions’ compatibility with SimsUshare makes dynamic training morsimsusharee
convenient, the online platform is revolutionizing how Sarnia logs training hours. Paperless recordkeeping has improved the agency’s organization, Lloyd said. Firefighters can now track their credentials by uploading certificates directly into the system.

“If anyone needs to check a firefighter’s training hours, I can just look it up right away,” Lloyd says.

Powerful Applications for Documenting Training Hours

Before incorporating eLearning, Sarnia solely relied on instructor-led training to meet requirements. This meant binders of training documents and long paper trails. Going digital simplified recordkeeping and gave firefighters more flexibility with their training.

“TargetSolutions is firefighter-friendly,” Lloyd said. “The platform’s simple navigation and design are easy for everyone to use – even firefighters who aren’t as tech-savvy.”

TargetSolutions and SimsUshare have modernized Sarnia’s training program, Lloyd said. The simplicity and functionality of these systems help prepare the department to answer the various types of calls within the agency’s 165 square-kilometer region.

 “Sarnia utilizes all aspects of the TargetSolutions platform. The system optimizes their training, record tracking, and tasks such as vehicle inspections.”

Judy Smith, Account Manager, Global Risk Innovations

Fire Up Your Training: TargetSolutions Releases All-New NFPA 1410 Training Series on Fireground Evolutions 

TargetSolutions is excited to announce the release of 14 new training courses illustrating the most commonly practiced fireground evolutions. These video-based courses are written to the NFPA firefighter training standard.

The National Fire Protection Agency estimates that of the 33 million calls answered by emergency responders in 2015, only 4 percent were for working fires.

This statistic follows a noticeable trend over the last four decades: Fires are declining across the country. That doesn’t mean firefighters are any safer, however. Many believe the current landscape is just as dangerous due to a lack of real-life experiences.

nfpa firefighter training standardsThis accentuates the need for quality pre-training and hands-on training that educates firefighters and makes time on the drill-yard even more productive. That’s where TargetSolutions and its new 14-course bundle written to the NFPA 1410 firefighter training standard can make a difference.

Fireground evolutions are complex mechanisms. Although considered basic skill sets, maintaining an expert level of competence with these drills is a challenge when they’re not practiced with regularity.

TargetSolutions’ new training courses, each an hour in length, beautifully highlight the process of each evolution, including a thorough explanation on the required timing and positional expectations. Hosted by subject matter expert Paul Costello, who serves as a training officer at Hillsborough County Fire Rescue in Tampa, Fla., each HD-quality course features a fully-narrated, step-by-step demonstration.

“Having everyday access to a course library of these company evolutions is going to greatly broaden the horizons for the daily company and multi-company training that we do in the fire service,” said Costello, who supervised the production of the evolutions at St. Charles Fire Department’s training facility in Missouri.

“These are drills that fire companies should practice on and master because they’re the bread and butter of what we do on the fireground…From what I have seen over the years, I’ve never seen courses of such high quality. That by itself makes these completely unique. It’s a very well thought out production from start to finish.”

Paul Costello, Training Officer, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue

Please note, these courses are still going through the accreditation process in states that accept online training for firefighter recertification. For more information on TargetSolutions’ online training for fire departments, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.

North Bay Schools Insurance Authority Stays Ahead of California’s Legislative Changes with TargetSolutions

North Bay Schools Insurance Authority initially envisioned TargetSolutions as a backup safety training resource. It’s turned into something far more critical to the risk pool’s overall compliance.

At first, NBSIA’s Member Services Manager Suzanne Dillman thought TargetSolutions would be a luxury for the 15 school districts under its membership in Northern California. Call it an added value that would provide training convenience.What’s happened since the pool first signed on in 2010, has surprised Dillman, she said. By helping NBSIA stay abreast of critical legislative changes, TargetSolutions’ dedicated account management team has gone above and beyond to earn Dillman’s respect.

North Bay Schools Insurance Authority “As new legislation develops, we need to be able to react and address the change in requirements and TargetSolutions has helped us do that,” Dillman said. “Originally we entered into an agreement with TargetSolutions to provide compliance safety training. The need we were looking to meet was mostly the mandatory sexual harassment training for supervisors. But when new laws are introduced, like mandatory pesticides training, we can work directly with TargetSolutions to make sure the new training is easily accessible and accomplished. This is more convenient than if we did it through the state and it provides members with online tracking.”

When legislation goes out, TargetSolutions is on top of the news and is quick to communicate with its pools. This is critical in California, where new laws are introduced and training updates are required.

“We’ve worked with TargetSolutions on the mandated reporter training,” Dillman said. “There is a new law in California that requires teachers to take it. Now all school employees are required to take that training. Also, Assembly Bill 2246 on Pupil Suicide Prevention, which is a new law and something TargetSolutions brought to our attention. That service has really been valuable for us.”

This isn’t to say TargetSolutions hasn’t delivered on its initial promises to NBSIA. The pool’s members have found value in the ability to schedule, deliver and track safety training. TargetSolutions offers an easy-to-use learning management system and more than 50 hours of engaging web-based training for school districts.

“Reducing claims, keeping our school districts in compliance, and reducing their exposure was the goal and TargetSolutions helps us achieve that goal.”

Suzanne Dillman, NBSIA Member Services Manager

“We have benefited from the ability to have new employees and substitute teachers in the school districts get the training they wouldn’t always be able to receive”, Dillman said.
“Some of our districts are tracking live training through TargetSolutions for things that are required by law under Cal OSHA,” Dillman said. “They require you to train employees on certain subjects at certain times and keep track of training. This is a good tool for managing all of that.”

At the end of the day, the ability to ensure safety training is available provides peace of mind to NBSIA’s pool and convenience to its districts. Ensuring all mandatory training is documented is the bow on top for the pool, she said.

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

PBS Documentary Features Miami-Dade Fire Rescue While Providing Behind the Scenes Look at Vector Solutions

In this video, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department’s Fire Chief Dave Downey explains the value of eLearning and TargetSolutions. This behind-the-scenes look by PBS shows how Vector Solutions works to change the world through revolutionary training solutions that save lives, inspire professionals, and elevate performance.

Vector Solutions, the parent company of RedVector, LearnSmart, Scenario Learning and TargetSolutions, is featured in a short-form documentary called “Behind the Scenes” hosted by James Earl Jones and airing on PBS stations across the country.

vector-solutionsThe education segment of the series features ground-breaking institutions of learning and significant organizations of merit. The piece on Vector Solutions looks at how technology is changing the way workplace professionals in public safety and other industries receive training.

The behind-the-scenes look shows how Vector Solutions is working to change the world through revolutionary training solutions that save lives, inspire professionals, and elevate performance.

“We have the privilege of serving heroes of society every day,” Chief Executive Officer Jeff Gordon says during the seven-minute, 30-second video. “It’s not just a job, it’s a passion for us.”

Vector Solutions now offers more than 5,000 courses, many of which can be used for continuing education and regulatory requirements. The video highlights how the web-based training management software company sets the standard for excellence in training for a broad range of industries, including architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) sectors, as well as industrial, facilities management, public safety, and information technology fields.

During the video, Fire Chief Dave Downey of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department describes how his agency utilizes TargetSolutions, the industry’s leading provider of online fire department training, to streamline fire and EMS training compliance.

“The training is quality. It’s a much more efficient way of delivering the training to our personnel,” Downey said. He goes on to say that eLearning “allows us to implement it [training] in a more timely fashion where we can deliver it to all our members virtually at the same time…To implement anything took 6 to 8 months to be able to deliver instructor-led training.”

Today’s increasingly young and mobile workforce is demanding more innovative and engaging eLearning content. Vector Solutions is working to address these concerns by consistently innovating new features that provide dynamic training experiences. Vector Solutions has a laser focus on the future of computer-based training.

“Training won’t just be a box you check. It will be triggered by metrics that identify a need.”

Vicki Zambito, Senior VP of Product, Content and Communications for Vector Solutions

Fleet Courses Receive Updates, Including 3D Simulations

TargetSolutions has made updates to a bundle of Motor Vehicle Safety training courses, including beautiful 3D simulations and new interactions.

Over the last five years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that more than 6 million crashes were the result of distracted driving.

That number translates to an annual price tag of more than $160 billion in total damages, according to a federal study that attributed $40 billion in economic costs and another $120 billion in societal harm.

As staggering as those numbers are, they don’t even include changes in weather or large vehicle considerations. Given all these variables, there’s a tremendous amount to look out for on the roadways at any given time. That’s why TargetSolutions has made important updates to a bundle of courses in the Motor Vehicle Safety training catalog. These updates aim to educate drivers, help personnel employ safer driving practices, and reduce overall liability.

Several courses in the fleet series have received their own custom enhancements, including a selection of stunning 3D simulations, updated interactions and content, voiceover narration, and a restyled look. Here are the four courses that have been updated:

  • Distracted Driving for Emergency Vehicle Operators
  • Safe Backing for Large Vehicle Drivers (3D simulation)
  • Distracted Driving
  • Adjusting to Changing Conditions (3D simulation)

For more information about TargetSolutions’ online training catalog, please contact TargetSolutions today at (800) 840-8048.


TargetSolutions’ New IT & Security Training Helps IT Personnel Mitigate Cyber Threats, Prepare for Certifications

TargetSolutions’ new IT & Security training catalog from LearnSmart features more than 650 courses built to provide IT professionals with the skills prescribed by certification authorities, including Microsoft, Cisco, CompTIA and others. This premium content is available to customers at an additional cost. Contact us for pricing at (800) 840-8048.

TargetSolutions’ new IT & Security training from LearnSmart builds the practical skills IT professionals need to perform in their field and mitigate cyber threats. More than 650 premium courses will soon be available on TargetSolutions at an additional cost. These courses are built to help IT personnel familiarize themselves with different technologies and prepare for their next certification exam.

cb-it-security-course-catalog-download-ctaThe British insurance company, Lloyd’s, estimates in Forbes magazine that cyber-attacks cost organizations $400 billion annually. These new courses, made available to TargetSolutions by LearnSmart, a leader in IT certification training, help prepare IT personnel to protect an organization’s data integrity and reputation by staying ahead of attacks.

With threats lurking everywhere in today’s online world, TargetSolutions is excited to offer these HD-quality, video-based courses, which are authored by subject matter experts.

This training provides IT professionals with the knowledge they need for certifications, including the following:

  • Microsoft MCSE
  • Cisco CCNA / CCNP
  • CompTIA A+
  • CompTIA Security+
  • CompTIA Network+
  • EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEHv9)

TargetSolutions’ parent company, Vector Solutions, acquired LearnSmart in December of 2016. With the acquisition came more than 1,000 mobile-compatible courses. Today, more than 20 hours of instructor-led training videos are produced weekly by industry experts at LearnSmart and TargetSolutions.

“IT Security is a top priority for TargetSolutions. Additions to security courses are made as the digital environment changes.”

Ammon Wiese, Director of Content, LearnSmart & TargetSolutions

Throughout each course, users are engaged with quizzes to check comprehension and increase retention of material. Instructors also perform live demonstrations for users to feel more immersed in subject matter.

“The videos are a fresh break from reading all the time. … I like that I can use the training on the iPad2 so I can study on business trips,” said Tony Otis, who is an IT Engineer Integrator.

For pricing on this premium training for IT professionals, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048. If you are interested in a one-on-one demonstration, please register today.

Special Reimbursement Program Covers Up to 100 Percent of TargetSolutions’ Costs in Minnesota

Minnesota Board of Firefighter Training and Education Makes Funding Available Now Through June 30

SAN DIEGO — TargetSolutions, the industry’s leading online firefighter training management system, has never been more affordable for departments in the state of Minnesota. And by affordable, we mean up to 100 percent off user fees.

tslogo_symbol-color-smallFor a limited time, fire departments in the state of Minnesota can sign up for TargetSolutions and potentially incur no costs for the first 12 months. This is the result of the Minnesota Board of Firefighter Training and Education’s (MBFTE) reimbursement program, which is available now through June 30, 2017.

The MBFTE’s mission is to promote “excellence in the fire service by funding standardized training” and this year’s top strategic initiative is to move toward having 100 percent of the state’s firefighters trained on NFPA 1001. With that goal in mind, the MBFTE will maintain its training reimbursement funding level of $200 per firefighter in the state, which can be used on TargetSolutions’ computer-based system.

To take advantage of this opportunity, agencies in Minnesota need to contact TargetSolutions or the MBFTE to start the reimbursement process, said Executive Director Steve Flaherty.

“We’ve changed the process from a grant to a reimbursement,” Flaherty said. “We’ve streamlined it to make it easier for the departments. The training needs to be affiliated with the national standard, NFPA 1001 and done by a qualified instructor. This goes for EMS training as well.”

That’s where TargetSolutions comes in. The industry’s most innovative technology for managing training compliance offers more than 450 hours of fire department training, including more than 250 hours of Fire and EMS recertification.

The course catalog for firefighters covers NFPA 1001, NFPA 1021 and NFPA 1500. In addition, TargetSolutions is organizationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE) and features robust recordkeeping applications for tracking and reporting EMS recertification and ISO training hours. Departments can also track their 11 core elements with TargetSolutions. The 11 core elements are recommendations from OSHA standards, which provide Minnesota’s agencies with multiple options for designing an annual training program that meets requirements.

“TargetSolutions’ online training platform fits well with today’s firefighters and their schedules,” Flaherty said. “We’re seeing a move from traditional standup classes to online training in addition to hands-on training. Our goal is to get training to firefighters and TargetSolutions offers a way to get that training in the hands of learners.

“This funding provides us the ability to reimburse fire departments and municipalities and offset these costs. TargetSolutions qualifies for this reimbursement and is a great way for firefighters to get the training they need. There is a shift in learning and in how students get information. It’s no longer every Tuesday night in the station.”

If you would like more information on this program, please visit the MBFTE’s website at or call TargetSolutions at (800) 840-8046.

About TargetSolutions
TargetSolutions delivers cutting-edge software applications, engaging online training courses, and world-class customer service. The company was founded in 1999 and today there are more than 4,000 organizations across the country using TargetSolutions to manage training. TargetSolutions is headquartered in San Diego, Calif. For more information, find us online at

Updates to TargetSolutions’ Water System and Water Treatment Courses

Two updated courses in TargetSolutions’ water industry catalog explore water system safety for water and wastewater professionals.

Two courses in TargetSolutions’ online course catalog for water and wastewater, Water Industry Coagulation, Flocculation and Sedimentation and Backflow Prevention Overview, were recently updated with new content and engaging multimedia.

These courses help water professionals follow procedures more effectively and ensure water system safety.

The Coagulation, Flocculation and Sedimentation course reviews common chemicals and techniques used during the water treatment process. In addition to explaining coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, and filtration, content also covers the Jar Test, Tertiary Treatment, and Short Circuits.

The Backflow Prevention Overview course helps create and implement a backflow prevention program by illustrating different causes of backflow in water systems and how to mitigate risks of contamination.

If you have any questions about these courses or others inside TargetSolutions’ online training catalog for water and wastewater, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048.

Training Is Now Painless for Canaveral’s Volunteer Fire Department

cb-canaveral-logo-updatedThe Cape Canaveral Volunteer Fire Department (CCVFD) in Florida has been serving the City of Canaveral and the Canaveral Port Authority since 1962. In the early years, the combination department only responded to fire and motor vehicle crashes, but today it answers more than 2,500 calls a year with 80 percent being EMS related.

With volunteer firefighters, budget and time constraints pose the biggest challenges to training. Since 2009, TargetSolutions has modernized the way the CCVFD trains its volunteers with user-friendly accredited training for a more convenient and cost-effective solution.

“TargetSolutions makes training painless,” said Tracy Braley, who serves as Cape Canaveral’s assistant chief. “It enables me to provide more training for our firefighters with less staff and less money without sacrificing quality.”

TargetSolutions’ training system allows the CCVFD’s 15 volunteers to finish EMS recertification and firefighter courses on their own time.

“It gets difficult to work around our volunteer’s limited schedules so training and renewing certifications are easier now that they can be completed whenever and wherever,” Braley said. “Classes used to be rigid and retention was definitely an issue. A lot of training objectives weren’t being met the way we would’ve liked and getting enough training hours was a struggle. But TargetSolutions made required topics like Hazard Communication and Sexual Harassment simple and consistent.”

In addition to making training easier to assign, adopting TargetSolutions has made meeting ISO requirements straightforward.

“I can check our records at any time and make sure we are on track in terms of ISO,” said Braley. “As firefighters, we wait until the last minute. So, I’m able to set deadlines for training and see who is missing courses. This way I know everything is good to go by the time we’re due for a review.”

The effectiveness of TargetSolutions makes it the only training program trusted by the CCVFD. Volunteers appreciate the convenience of flexible training hours and the community benefits from prepared firefighters that ensure safety.

“Cape Canaveral has been with us for several years now for both their career and volunteer users. Being able to deliver training for things like policy changes can be challenging, but the ability to log into TargetSolutions from anywhere has revolutionized training efficiency.”

Julie Blosch, Account Manager at TargetSolutions

A Look Ahead: What Is Microlearning?

Microlearning enhances comprehension of lengthy training courses with one- to three-minute objectives that can be reviewed as needed.

The Network of Corporate Academies (NOCA) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) report 40 percent of employees who receive poor training leave the job within a year. Considering how expensive employee turnover is to any organization, offering sufficient training is a must. To help address this issue, microlearning courses are gaining momentum and changing the way employees are trained.

What Is Microlearning?

Microlearning enhances comprehension of lengthy training courses with one- to three-minute objectives that can be reviewed as needed. Each objective is a key point from a course, which employees can use for a refresher on their training. This puts learners in control of the information they review to better complete tasks.

“Microlearning is support for the skill set developed through a course,” said TargetSolutions Director of Content Ammon Wiese. “They help a training become muscle memory by increasing one’s ability to pull learned concepts from the mind.”tslogo_symbol-color-small

Before heading out on a call, firefighters can go over procedures or refresh their memories on specific equipment for the environment they’re going into. Potentially, a firefighter is attaching a hose on a type of fire hydrant they haven’t used before but remembers it from a training course. With the use of microlearning, rather than sorting through a bunch of slides inside an hour-long course, the firefighter can look up the proper procedure in a brief video or diagram.

What Are the Benefits of Microlearning?

The benefits of microlearning are how it helps learners consume information. Recalling an individual skill while out in the field often means the difference between a job incident and performing effectively. In this case, time is of the essence. Available through an app, learners have the microlearning performance support they need at their fingertips. This delivery of information means lessons are easier to access at a moment’s notice.

Microlearning’s accessible and bite-sized lessons lead to higher retention, fewer mistakes on the job, and lower long-term costs of training. Rather than relying solely on memory, professionals can refer to their training and will be more likely to recall information.

The microlearning courses are useful across a variety of industries that benefit from having information on demand. Micro courses for trades such as Fire, OSHA, water, and education can serve as performance support for new employees or a review for those looking to brush up on procedures.

When working with complex information or tools, retention of instructions can be difficult, no matter how extensive the training. Microlearning courses are not intended to replace accredited courses, they are performance support to reduce incidents on the job and ensure standards are being communicated.

TargetSolutions and Microlearning: What Is the Future?

TargetSolutions envisions a future in which learners can complete coursework and then when performing a task in the field, type in a keyword to their mobile device and pull up the critical information they recall from the training course. These are exciting times and we are looking forward to future enhancements.