Technology with a Purpose


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 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.”


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.

Learn How West Metro Fire Protection District Optimizes Drill-Yard Exercises with TargetSolutions

West Metro Fire Protection District (Colorado), winner of the 2016 Vanguard Award, maximizes its use of TargetSolutions to manage and track training, optimize drill-yard exercises, deliver valuable pre-course work and much more. 

Over the course of three days, Vector Solutions clients from across the country came together for the 2017 Client Summit to discuss the future of training and eLearning. During the Summit, longtime TargetSolutions user, Division Chief of Training Dan Pfannenstiel, reflected on how the West Metro Fire Protection District (Colorado) utilizes the training platform.

West Metro has relied on TargetSolutions’ online training management system since May 2012. In 2016, TargetSolutions recognized the department’s dedication to innovative tdrill-yard exercisesraining with the prestigious Vanguard Award. West Metro’s progressive approach to maximizing their training resources earned them this well-deserved recognition.

Pfannenstiel attributes his department’s training success to TargetSolutions’ robust course library, customizable content and flexible training hours. As a result of using TargetSolutions for pre-training, West Metro is able to make the most of its hands-on training time. The benefits are clear: online pre-training effectively prepares West Metro’s firefighters for what’s to come during drill-yard exercises and communicates what is expected of them. “An area we use strongly is the concept of loading the learner with pre-knowledge prior to them coming down,” said Pfannenstiel. “They get the opportunity to learn for the first-time and gain that knowledge or refresh their knowledge base through that online delivery system.”

Pfannenstiel praises TargetSolutions’ pre-training activities as an “opportunity for us to help prime people for when they come down so that training is more valid and useful, and they get a chance, through customized content, to see it done right in our own environment.”

For any questions about how TargetSolutions’ powerful online training management system can help your department, please contact us today (800) 840-4048!

Five Ways TargetSolutions Improves Fire Department Training Management

Various firefighter training requirements can be costly, complex and time-consuming, but TargetSolutions’ revolutionary records management technology makes all of those drawbacks a thing of the past.

When it comes to firefighter training technology, TargetSolutions is at the forefront. What used to take a battalion of officers several days (or even weeks) to accomplish can now be completed before lunch with a few simple clicks.

TargetSolutions, established in 1999, is the undisputed leader in matching up technology with the ever-growing list of firefighter training requirements. With its sleek interface, innovative features, and a massive library of engaging training courses, it’s no mystery why more than 2,000 fire departments nationwide call the powerful TargetSolutions online training management system their own.

Here are five ways you can benefit from TargetSolutions’ online training management system:

  • Track every hour of online, instructor-led, or hands-on training
  • Deliver more than 450 hours of fire department training, including 160 hours of EMS recertification
  • Ensure compliance with mandatory SOPs and other policies with e-signatures
  • Simplify ISO training audits with powerful record keeping system
  • Streamline training for personnel with 24/7 and mobile compatibility

To learn more about TargetSolutions, please contact us today at (800) 840-8046.

Meet Washington’s OTEP Recertification Requirements with TargetSolutions

TargetSolutions’ computer-based training system provides an efficient, effective way for agencies to meet EMS continuing education requirements.

TargetSolutions’ EMS continuing education training courses can be applied toward Washington’s ongoing training and evaluation program (OTEP) requirements. TargetSolutions offers a vast library of EMS training for first responders of all levels to complete EMS recertification. Dynamic online courses are delivered in an engaging format featuring scenario-based learning exercises. The industry’s leading Credentials management application makes it easy to track progress.

In addition to the ability to meet OTEP requirements, TargetSolutions features the following benefits:

  • More than 160 hours of EMS courses for all provider levels
  • Organizationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE)
  • Powerful tools for tracking ISO training hours and EMS recertification
  • Trusted by more than 2,000 fire departments nationwide

If you would like more information about TargetSolutions, please fill out the form and a TargetSolutions representative will be in touch. If you would like to reach your regional sales manager, please contact us at (800) 840-8046.

The Top 5 Questions Asked During the Purchasing Process for Cities and Municipalities

TargetSolutions is built to streamline training for public entities. Here is a list of the top 5 questions asked during the purchasing process. 

Thousands of public entities across the country rely on TargetSolutions to ensure employees are prepared to perform safely and efficiently in their work environment.

If you are considering TargetSolutions for your agency, we’ve got answers to your organization’s most frequently asked questions:

How Will TargetSolutions Fit into Our Budget?

TargetSolutions does not believe one size fits all when it comes to training and understands the challenge to deliver cost-effective training for thousands of employees. Using TargetSolutions, you can develop a plan that accommodates your agency’s size and budget without sacrificing quality of training. TargetSolutions offers more than 1,000 online courses for public entities and saves organizations time and money with training available 24/7. Compare how much you can save with TargetSolutions vs. traditional training methods with the ROI Calculator.

Can TargetSolutions Be Used as an LMS?

TargetSolutions is a complete Learning Management System (LMS). TargetSolutions’ online training and records management system allows agencies to deliver, track and report all types of training from a single platform. This all-in-one solution features an extensive course library to ensure the right people fulfill standards for OSHA, HR, driver safety and more. In addition to delivering content, TargetSolutions streamlines communication and centralizes employee training data with a revolutionary recordkeeping application. We are in an era where eLearning for local governments has never been more efficient.

Can TargetSolutions Track License and Certification Expiration Dates?elearning for local governments

With TargetSolutions, you’ll never have to second-guess employees’ qualifications to perform essential tasks. TargetSolutions has the capabilities to track all forms of training to help you manage compliance in just a few clicks. In the TargetSolutions platform, you can build credential packages with custom and standardized content that satisfies state and federal requirements. Managing expirations is also simple with automated reminders for individuals to complete credential training before their licenses expire. It also allows you to oversee all of your employees’ progress by generating specific, intuitive reports.

Does TargetSolutions Support Third-Party Content?

In addition to TargetSolutions’ course catalog of safety and compliance training, you can use TargetSolutions to deliver your own policies, create custom content and access employee data from HRIS. To improve communication across the agency, you can attach policies and additional documents to courses and activities for users to read. Compatible file types include doc, ppt, pdf, mov, mp4, SCORM and more! Platform managers have the options to assign custom-built activities or upload SCORM files for employees to access as a TargetSolutions course.

What Is TargetSolutions’ Implementation Process?

TargetSolutions operates as a Software as a Service (SaaS). From day one, you will have a TargetSolutions account manager to help with anything your agency needs to train effectively – whether it be your platform setup, the implementation of courses and custom activities, or support for any questions you may have. Once your agency’s site is ready, all employees need to start training is a web-enabled device that meets TargetSolutions’ system requirements. There is no software installation required!

For more questions about eLearning for local governments or TargetSolutions’ online training catalog for cities & municipalities, contact us today (800) 840-8048!


Protect Your Network and Private Data with TargetSolutions’ Computer Security Awareness Training Course

TargetSolutions’ Computer Security Awareness training course is an hour-long lesson that focuses on the fundamentals of cyber security.

A recent study found that every individual record that is compromised or stolen as part of a data breach costs an organization an average of $158. In the event of a breach of more than 10,000 records, the total costs can swell to hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars. Even with strict protocols in place, computer security awareness is something that all employees need to be aware of. With an endless supply of viruses, worms, malware, and hackers looking to illegally gain access to sensitive information, it should always be a top priority to ensure that your data is safe and secure.

TargetSolutions’ Computer Security Awareness online training course covers the essentials of cyber security and offers tips to avoid intrusive data breaches and damaging phishing attacks. Consisting of 10 learning modules followed by a 10-question exam, this course offers a solid overview of cyber security to users of all skill levels.

“Computer security should be everyone’s responsibility. One bad move can potentially cripple an entire network, so it’s important that your entire organization is on the same page when it comes to keeping your data and personal information secure.”

Bryan Fitzgerald, Content Manager, TargetSolutions

Topics of this course include:

  • Defining computer security
  • Explaining why it is essential to have knowledge of and practice computer security both at home and in the workplace
  • List and define the different types of security threats computer usage presents
  • Define and differentiate between the various types of malware
  • Identify and implement basic protective strategies one uses to practice computer security

TargetSolutions also offers a premium selection of IT & Security training courses designed to help IT personnel operate their organization’s front- and back-end technology at an optimum level. This dynamic, video-based training provides results-driven courses as well as skills prescribed by certification authorities, including Microsoft, Cisco, CompTIA and others.

For more information on Computer Security Awareness or of our premium line of training courses, please contact TargetSolutions today at (800) 840-8048.

PTSD in the Fire Service: Escaping a Personal War Zone

fire service ptsd

For generations, fire service PTSD has been an unspoken and largely undiagnosed condition. However, understanding the circumstances that trigger fire service PTSD can lead to treatment, improved morale, and even save lives.

You don’t always get to choose your battles; sometimes they choose you. When that first call comes in, you don’t know what will be waiting on the other end; a burning building, a natural disaster, or an act of violence that requires prompt emergency medical services. But when the fires go out and the healing begins, the battles don’t always end. Compassion fatigue, burnout, and eventually post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can manifest themselves out of the mental and physical trials of the everyday first responder.

Understanding the symptoms that compound into PTSD and learning how to manage them won’t only improve morale, but can also save lives, according to Paul Costello, FF/EMT-P, a 25-year veteran of the fire service.


Defined as “an extreme state of tension and preoccupation with the suffering of those being helped to the degree that it can create a secondary traumatic stress for the helper,” compassion fatigue serves as a common precursor to PTSD.

While largescale emergencies and rescue operations do contribute to compassion fatigue, oftentimes it’s the mundane tasks that have the strongest impact on first responders. Fires are at an all-time low, meaning primary care and mental health calls will take up a majority of first responders’ time. Think of each company member’s psyche as a personal barometer; with each passing call, those barometers will gradually inch closer and closer to the end of the dial, signifying an escalating growth of compassion fatigue. While every individual’s barometer is different, the lurking danger of burnout will inevitably set in.


Occupational burnout is defined as “a state of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion combined with doubts about your competence and the value of your work.”

Developing a negative worldview as a result of burnout doesn’t only run the risk of adversely affecting your personal life, but it is dangerously contagious to your family and colleagues as well. Think about the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed rookie arriving for his or her first day on the job and immediately assimilates to the burnout of a 20-year veteran. Influenced by how the veteran reacts negatively to day-by-day nuances, pretty soon the rookie exhibits his or her own gradual tilt into compassion fatigue and a faster descent into burnout.

Being the dull tool in the toolbox doesn’t just affect you, but it also affects outcomes.

“It’s almost cancerous in a manner of speaking with how it can impact your employees,” said Costello. “One of the things I firmly believe is it affects outcomes but you have to override it. Realize that you’re there as an advocate whether or not a call is exactly as dispatch has described it. It’s still that person’s emergency. You have to accept it as a reality in our profession.”


Like a wildland blaze at the height of fire season, PTSD will overwhelm first responders in the form of anxiety, depression, substance abuse, sleep deprivation, panic attacks, and violent or suicidal thoughts. While many cases compound through a linear ascension of compassion fatigue and burnout, single traumatic events, such as the recent shootings in Las Vegas, can profoundly accelerate the symptoms of PTSD.

Despite glaring warning signs, the fire service maintains a troubling track record of refusing to seek help. The idea that an individual will be seen as weak or passed over for promotion if they seek counseling are common concerns for the everyday firefighter, but this type of self-deprivation creates a vicious cycle of compassion fatigue which leads to burnout and eventually develops into the bottomless pit of fire service PTSD.


Just as you rely on your crew when entering a burning building, you certainly don’t have to fight PTSD on your own. Some insurance plans in the fire service feature an employee assistance program that provides a certain number of free visits to a licensed clinical social worker or behavioral therapist. These sessions provide you an outlet to unload your feelings and emotions while receiving guidance on how to deal with them in the future.

Are you a chief? Sometimes the most powerful form of leadership is to lead by example. Dental visits are recommended twice per year; why doesn’t mental health carry the same weight? Normalizing annual “tune-up” visits to a cognitive therapist is a healthy way to stay on top of PTSD. When an effective leader can sympathize with what a company member is going through, crews will want to emulate that behavior.

“This is a tough business that’s a slog at times with daily wear and tear,” said Costello. “You’re dealing with other people’s problems and emergencies and trying not to let the process as a whole grind you down. Whether your career is 20, 25, 30 years, if you’re going to be successful you’re going to have to have these tactics to defend yourself.”

Fire Service Health and Safety Part I, the first installment of a two-part online training series from TargetSolutions, explores numerous topics pertaining to firefighter health and wellness, including a section dedicated to anxiety and fire service PTSD.  The course outlines the
concepts, science, and economics of fire service-related health and safety as modern firefighters need to understand these interconnected concepts.

Understand your limits, seek treatment, and then pass on that knowledge to future generations. You’re not in this alone.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.


Paul Costello is a veteran paramedic, firefighter, fire service instructor, and TargetSolutions subject matter expert who has assisted in the development of numerous fire-related training courses. He played a pivotal part in the direction and production of TargetSolutions’ award-winning 1410 Evolutions training bundle, a 14-course video-driven series that was shot on location with the St. Charles Fire Department in St. Charles, Missouri and Pasco County Fire Rescue in Land O’ Lakes, Florida.

TargetSolutions’ Advanced HAZWOPER Awareness Training Series Undergoes Enhancements

TargetSolutions’ Advanced HAZWOPER Awareness series, recently enhanced with new content, multimedia, and video, provides eight hours of online hazardous materials training that covers the essentials of preventing and managing hazardous events.

Even with the best prevention methods in place, incidents involving hazardous materials are bound to happen. Understanding the nature of hazardous materials – and how to respond to various types of incidents – will help you quickly manage a dangerous situation and minimize damage.

TargetSolutions’ Advanced HAZWOPER Awareness is a four-module series of online training courses designed to educate personnel on hazardous materials, effective communication strategies, personal protective equipment (PPE), preventative measures, and much more.

Packed with eight hours of hazardous materials training, this four-part series has been reinvented with updated content, enhanced multimedia, and is now presented in a video-driven, instructor-led format.

Here is a breakdown of each module in the series:

Module 1: The series begins with a summary of the different environmental regulations surrounding the issue of hazardous materials and hazardous waste. The module presents the identification of different types of hazardous wastes and their classifications in order to prevent hazardous waste incidents.

Module 2: The second installment discusses various methods used to identify hazardous materials and substances, both in transport and industry.

Module 3: This course explores the potential risks of working with hazardous chemicals and their effects on the body, including routes of entry and basic toxicology.

Module 4: The final lesson in the series focuses on employee awareness when working around hazardous materials, steps for proper handling of hazardous materials, preventative measures to curtail hazardous incidents, and mitigation methods.

“These types of incidents are bound to happen, regardless of how much caution is taken. That’s why it’s important for first responders to equip themselves with hazardous materials training and to be ready for when they do occur. These courses have been updated, they have been enhanced, and they’re incredibly important for anyone who will be exposed to hazardous incidents.”

Bryan Fitzgerald, Content Manager, TargetSolutions


TargetSolutions’ course catalog also features other courses that discuss hazardous materials, including First Responders Operations Level Refresher (four modules), Introduction to Hazardous Materials (EMS), Hazard Communication (OSHA), Hazmat Spill Prevention & Control (OSHA), and Hazmat Transportation (OSHA), among others.

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