Technology with a Purpose


How to Enhance Your Fire Department Training Plan with TargetSolutions and Third-Party Content

When it comes to developing an effective fire department training plan, training isn’t linear. In addition to providing more than 450 hours of fire department training courses, TargetSolutions supports a variety of third-party content so departments can customize users’ training experience.

Incorporating third-party content into your training keeps firefighters’ skills fresh with engaging, dynamic courses. TargetSolutions can deliver video, Articulate and SCORM presentations and scenario-based training. The ability to assign these different training formats from a single platform makes TargetSolutions an all-in-one solution for agencies.

Easily Upload Videos for Custom Activities

Whether it be a training clip found on YouTube or a department’s own recording from a drill-yard training session, administrators can distribute video content on TargetSolutions. Uploading videos and creating related activity questions is straightforward through the File Center and Activities Builder. Simply embed or insert a link from YouTube or Vimeo or post a video file directly into the File Center. TargetSolutions is compatible with most video file types under two gigabytes such as MOV, MP4, and AVI.

Sarnia Fire Rescue Services utilizes this by uploading exercises from SimsUshare’s fire department training plan simulators.

“(With TargetSolutions and SimsUshare) one system doesn’t replace the other. I’ve even recorded SimsUshare sessions and uploaded them to TargetSolutions as customized courses.”

Russ Lloyd, Safety and Training Officer, Sarnia Fire Rescue Services

Recording and posting training allows departments to analyze decisions made during simulations and test for comprehension of procedures. Related questions also reveal gaps in training and give insight on how to improve performance.

Engage Users with Articulate and SCORM Presentations

Articulate and SCORM presentations help trainers get creative and produce dynamic content. Trainers can design interactive exercises with Articulate or keep users engaged with narrated SCORM PowerPoints.

In addition to enhancing the user-experience, delivering Articulate and SCORM presentations with TargetSolutions can save time and resources. Rather than coordinating around a fire department training plan schedule for live instructor-led classes, these presentations can be accessed at the user’s convenience.

Once presentations are created externally, they can be uploaded to the training platform. Articulate presentations can be added to the File Center and assigned to users through the Activities Builder. Once SCORM presentations are uploaded, they can be assigned as a TargetSolutions course and be available in the Course Library.

Include Scenario-Based Training in Your Fire Department Training Plan

When dealing with the uncertainty of an emergency, every decision can make the difference between a success or tragedy. Fire department training simulators give firefighters the opportunity to practice making tough decisions during high-stress situations.

AlphaTRAC’s firefighter-specific scenario training, AlphaACT, can be purchased and delivered directly through TargetSolutions. AlphaACT scenarios react as users attempt to resolve an emergency. This provides a safe setting for firefighters to apply their skills to realistic situations without the resources of hands-on training. These exercises also reinforce concepts learned through TargetSolutions’ continuing education courses.Fire Department Training Plan

While TargetSolutions offers pre-built AlphaACT scenarios, fire departments can also create their own. Custom simulations replicating past calls help firefighters leverage experiences to make better decisions in the future. After completing each session, training officers can access results to understand a student’s strengths and areas for improvement.

Organizing a fire department training plan that sufficiently prepares agencies should utilize a variety of training forms. TargetSolutions’ compatibility with diverse types of third-party content gives administrators control over their fire department training plan. TargetSolutions’ dynamic online firefighter training courses, combined with customized third-party content, helps firefighters retain key information and can respond to any emergency.

For questions about third-party content supported by TargetSolutions, please contact us at (800) 840-8048!

TargetSolutions Sponsors New Webinar Analyzing NFPA® 1403: Live Fire Training Evolutions

NFPA 1403 live fire training

NFPA® 1403 is a standard that covers the importance of safety while conducting live burn training. TargetSolutions recently sponsored a webinar on the topic.

Live fire training: One of the most valuable training methods a firefighter can receive, but also among the most dangerous.

Let’s be realistic, there is no “safe” way to train with live fire. Even in a controlled environment, you’re still working with the same conflagrated element you put it all on the line for to fight every single day. A new webinar sponsored by TargetSolutions and released by entitled NFPA® 1403: The Fire Instructor’s Risk Management Tool provides an in-depth exploration of the NFPA® 1403 live fire training standard and how it can safely help your fire battalion during live burn training.

Presented by Chief Walter Morris of the Jefferson Fire Department (Maine) and Training Program Manager with the Maine Fire Service Institute, this hour-long webinar discussed the history, needs, and benefits of NFPA® 1403 and presented them through a collection of real-world case studies.

For Morris, the NFPA® 1403 live fire training standard is just one of many tools in the fire instructor’s toolbox.NFPA 1403 Live Fire Training

“All of us in fire emergency services are continuously being asked to do more with less,” said Morris. “Department shortfalls, cutbacks, brownouts, reduced staffing and companies and unfortunately as many of us who are in the training business know, training is probably one of the first areas to get cut and see reductions in support while we face tough economic times.

“But we all know as fire service instructors that a good solid comprehensive training program is absolutely essential to successfully complete our mission.”

The history of NFPA® 1403 dates back to an incident in Boulder, Colo. in 1982 where two firefighters died and a third suffered severe burn wounds during a training incident.

Companies were undergoing search-and-rescue evolutions in an engulfed acquired structure when a flashover occurred. Although the companies had been directed to focus on locating the objects of their search rather than extinguishing the fire, the subsequent investigation revealed a number of troubling fallacies, including inadequate hose streams, combustible materials, and a general lack of safety procedures.

As a result of this tragedy, the first edition of NFPA® 1403 was issued in 1986 and is revised every five years (2012 is the current edition).

TargetSolutions offers an NFPA® 1403 online training course that identifies the risks of live-burn training, discusses the importance of pre-burn planning, and emphasizes safety during live burn evolutions.

Click the button above to register for a viewing of the pre-recorded webinar. To learn more about NFPA® 1403 and how TargetSolutions can help, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048.  

TargetSolutions’ New Webinar Explores Fundamentals of Cyber Security Training

Did you know $158 was the average cost incurred for every lost or stolen record containing sensitive and confidential information in 2016? In the case of a breach, where potentially thousands of an organization’s records can be compromised, that $158 can balloon to hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars in aggressively mounting security expenses.

TargetSolutions recently hosted a 13-minute webinar, How to Protect Your Public Entity for Cyber Threats with TargetSolutions, which analyzes cyber threats and dives into solutions to help bolster your organization’s security training.

Please fill out the form to view the webcast.

Delivered by TargetSolutions’ Senior Account Manager Amy Albanese, the webcast’s relatively compact 13-minute run-time is packed with the essentials of corporate IT and security, including: monetary and intangible costs associated with security breaches, the ongoing and impending threat of security breaches, the importance of security and cyber threats training, and most importantly, an overview of the robust training library provided by TargetSolutions.

“The training we provide will help your IT professionals learn something new or close a skills gap,” said Albanese. “This training can be referenced at the point of need – when something unexpected happens or when they are working on a live project.”


When TargetSolutions’ parent company, Vector Solutions, acquired LearnSmart in December 2016, the platform received an infusion of IT and cyber security training courses.

Please fill out this form to learn about TargetSolutions’ cyber security training library, which features more than 650 courses on the topics of corporate IT and security, including operating systems, databases, servers, and much more.

For more information on cyber security training, please contact TargetSolutions today at (800) 840-8048.

RT-130: Wildland Fire Safety Refresher Series Recharged with Annual Updates for 2017

TargetSolutions has released updates for its 2017 RT-130: Annual Wildland Fire Safety Refresher series. The new content is being made available in microlearning format, which provides all of the RT-130 updates for 2017 in quick 10- to 20-minute lessons, or in one combined hour-long refresher course.

As summer draws closer and temperatures continue to rise, the ongoing threat of wildland fires is at its most imminent. To aid in the safety and preparation for battling wildland infernos, TargetSolutions has released annual updates to its RT-130: Annual Wildland Fire Safety Refresher training series.

Recharged and retooled with current statistics and data, this four-module series is loaded with more than eight hours of premium training content, including a large selection of rich video presentations. As a way to streamline course information, TargetSolutions is excited to introduce microlearning modules for the RT-130 training.

Microlearning is the process of transforming broad topics of study into condensed objectives that can be reviewed as needed. What this means for RT-130 is that the updates made to each of the four modules will also be available to students as quick 10-20 minute stand-alone courses or one combined hour-long refresher lesson.

Breakdown of the four-part 2017 wildland fire refresher is as follows:

  • 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 particular to wildland fire operations.

Fire service instructor and subject matter expert Paul Costello, FF/EMT-P, worked carefully with TargetSolutions to bring RT-130 up-to-date.

“Throughout the courses, there is a lot going on with something for everyone,” said Costello. “No two fire seasons are the same. We are already 36 percent ahead of 2016 when it comes to acres burned. It’s safe to say, looking at the NIFC Predictive Services report, that this year will be a busy one.”

“My hope is that these offerings lend themselves to further a culture of safety.”

Paul Costello, FF/EMT-P, Fire Service Instructor and Subject Matter Expert

Topics covered in the 2017 wildland fire refresher include:

  • Dead fuel moisture considerations
  • Next generation fire shelters
  • Fire environment triangle
  • Extreme fire behavior considerations
  • Heat acclimation
  • Chemicals of fire smoke

Check out TargetSolutions’ online training catalog for a complete list of courses for firefighters. For more information on the 2017 wildland fire refresher updates, please contact TargetSolutions at (800) 840-8048.

Comply with California HSA Standards and Improve Student Safety Using Integrated Pest Management Strategies

Children account for 50 percent of pesticide poisoning cases. This is not only due to the misuse of pesticides, but because children’s bodies are more vulnerable to exposure than adults. Therefore, it is crucial that schools in California, especially personnel who apply pesticides, are aware of best-integrated pest management strategies.

California Department of Pesticide Regulation

TargetSolutions’ new activity, DRP 101 – Basic Pest Management in the School and Child Care Settings, which can be found in the Import Example Activities section of the Activities Builder, satisfies the Healthy Schools Act (HSA) training requirement. Previously, TargetSolutions users could satisfy this standard with the DRP 103 course. However, as it’s a more in-depth continuing education activity for professionals, DRP 101 was introduced for a more condensed, school-specific alternative. While insecticides may not be used by teachers in the classroom, the most common school-yard pesticides include:

  • Disinfectants
  • Sanitizers
  • Weed-killers

As many teachers and other school professionals who work with children use these kinds of products, this activity is crucial for student safety.

Integrated Pest Management Strategies

Th integrated pest management strategies activity takes roughly one hour and is divided into three chapters. Users are guided with narration and interactive features about preventative, long-term solutions for pest control. Students earn their certification with a 10-question exam and receive credit by uploading the certificate to their activity in TargetSolutions.

After completing the activity, teachers and other school personnel will understand how to assess different types of pest problems and take appropriate action. These safer and more sustainable approaches include cleaning with microfiber cloths, installing door sweeps to keep out pests, and effectively sealing trash containers.

Maintaining a safe, clean environment for students is a priority for schools. While this may include killing germs and bugs, staff need to be mindful of the chemicals they are exposing children to. Integrated pest management strategies are the best way to ensure safety and simpler HSA compliance across California schools with fewer forms, training, and resources dedicated to using harmful pesticides.

If you have questions about this activity or TargetSolutions’ school district catalog, contact us today (800) 840-8048!

TargetSolutions’ NFPA® 1403 Live Fire Training Evolutions Promotes Safety with Live-Burn Drills

TargetSolutions’ NFPA® 1403 Live Fire Training Evolutions covers the essentials of invaluable live-burn training and emphasizes the importance of safety and compliance.

Although the number of on-duty firefighter fatalities has been declining in recent years, the proportion of deaths related to training has been increasing, according to the National Fire Protection Association. In fact, a recent study organized by the NFPA® compiled with data from the previous decade found that more than 100 firefighters have died during training activities. The big standout: live fire training is the typical leading cause of training-related fatalities. Fortunately, TargetSolutions’ NFPA® 1403 Live Fire Training Evolutions course covers the essential safety protocols and compliance procedures of live-burn training.

This one-hour training lesson features 10 learning modules that review the fundamentals of live-burn evolutions while emphasizing the importance of safety and maintaining compliance with state regulations, NFPA® standards, and other local policies.

“Effective training without compromising safety is so important, especially during live-burn training. TargetSolutions’ NFPA® 1403 training is readily available and is an absolute must for every firefighter.”

Bryan Fitzgerald, Content Manager, TargetSolutions

Objectives of this course include:

  • Identify the risks associated with live-burn training
  • Describe the various components of pre-burn planning
  • Illustrate the need for comprehensive and effective pre-burn planning
  • Discuss the importance of ensuring safety during live-burn evolutions

Check out our online catalog for a complete listing of other NFPA® and firefighter training courses.

For more information on NFPA® 1403 Live Fire Training Evolutions, please contact TargetSolutions today at (800) 840-8048.

A Look Ahead: Performance Support Solutions for Organizations

Performance support solutions are convenient workplace resources that provide operational support at a moment’s notice. The real-time push of relevant, personalized knowledge not only optimizes performance, it closes risk gaps, leading to safer, more capable employees and safer, more capable organizations. 

Imagine being able to address high-risk behavior at the exact moment of need. Performance support solutions are learning resources for individuals in their workflow that can reduce mistakes and improve safety. Performance support solutions can also be data for decision makers that provides valuable insight into training needs.

Performance support is shaping the workforce with convenient, user-friendly, and relevant information that helps organizations optimize productivity.

tslogo_symbol-color-smallAlthough performance support complements training, it serves a different function for organizations and their employees. Training helps employees gain a new skill, such as TargetSolutions’ online continuing education courses, while performance support helps employees effectively apply the skill to a job.

Performance support solutions are more convenient than full-length training lessons. Using a mobile application, more compact objectives simplify information so employees don’t need to switch devices or carry additional materials. Additionally, bite-sized lessons are often more immediate and transferable to the task at hand.

Employees in the field do not have time to sort through an entire online course or strain to read a document designed for a computer screen. Therefore, performance support content needs to be user-friendly; meaning it must be easy to find and be mobile optimized, not just mobile accessible. Users can access relevant material made for their smartphones. This way they can pinpoint an occupational need and resolve it immediately.

Finally, performance support solutions provide incident data that tells a story. Insight into training gaps and trends in searched procedures are revealed through this data. Organizations can utilize this information to create measurable improvements in training and edit the type of content available as performance support.

Meaningful data and useful performance support solutions ultimately help agencies finish work safely, correctly, and efficiently. Employees are more satisfied with their performance and organizations can accomplish more with a competent staff.

For questions about upcoming features for TargetSolutions, contact us at (800) 840-8048.

TargetSolutions Delivers Fresh Bundle of Water Industry Training Courses

TargetSolutions has released a brand new bundle of water industry training courses that focus on the rehabilitation of water distribution systems, lead contamination, wastewater treatment, filtration basics, and much more.

TargetSolutions’ library of water and wastewater training courses has undergone significant enhancements. Six courses, four of which are brand new while two others feature updated content, present a versatile series of industry-related concepts in an engaging and interactive format.

Packed with enticing multimedia, special features of this new collection include an instructor-led video-based format for select courses, audio-driven compositions, study exercises, and more.

Course titles in this bundle include:

  • Lead Contamination of Public Water Systems
  • Rehabilitation of Water Distribution Systems: Current Technologies
  • Rehabilitation of Water Distribution Systems: Selecting Rehab Methods
  • Rehabilitation of Water Distribution Systems: Designing Renewal Projects
  • Water Industry Wastewater Treatment
  • Water Industry Filtration Basics

The series marks a significant milestone of collaboration between TargetSolutions and sister companies RedVector and LearnSmart. Working together, the end result is a compilation of more than six hours of engaging water industry training content.

“This exciting new bundle of courses tackles important water industry concepts with an eye to engage and a mission to inform. TargetSolutions has worked with our sister companies, RedVector and LearnSmart, to develop these courses that cater to a much more interactive format.”

Bryan Fitzgerald, Content Manager, TargetSolutions

California currently has approved accreditation for these courses and TargetSolutions is working to achieve approval in other states. The current state-by-state listing is as follows:

Approved: California (Water & Wastewater), Colorado (Water), Illinois (Water)

Available (Water & Wastewater): Alabama, Arizona, Iowa, South Carolina, Virginia

To learn more, please check out TargetSolutions’ online training catalog for water professionals or contact us today at (800) 840-8048.

TargetSolutions Makes Key Updates to Two NFPA® 1001 Training Courses

TargetSolutions has recently updated the content and multimedia of two NFPA® 1001 training courses that cover various aspects of fire safety.

In an ongoing effort to provide the most engaging online training experience possible, TargetSolutions has completed major revisions to a pair of NFPA® 1001 training courses: Fire Behavior and Firefighter PPE. Now presented in an interactive multimedia format with a complete voice-over narration track, these two courses explore the fundamentals of fire safety training as they relate to fire behavior and personal protective equipment for firefighters.

Objectives of Fire Behavior include:

  • Recognize the methods of heat transfer
  • Define flash point and fire point
  • Identify the physical states of matter in which fuels are found
  • Describe the four stages of fire development

Objectives of Firefighter PPE include:

  • Fit tests and firefighter responsibilities
  • Wildland and HAZMAT gear
  • SCBA and other types of breathing apparatuses
  • Care and maintenance of PPE

The NFPA® 1001 training courses, Fire Behavior and Firefighter PPE, follow a trend of dynamic lesson releases that are written to the NFPA® standard. Recently, TargetSolutions launched a bundle of courses written to the NFPA® 1410 and 1041 standards that explore firefighter evolutions and firefighter instructor training.

Visit our course library to view a complete listing of all of our NFPA® offerings.

To learn more about these courses, please contact TargetSolutions today at (800) 840-8048.

TargetSolutions Releases New Course for School Employees on How to Support LGBT Students

TargetSolutions’ releases Introduction to Understanding the Basics of LGBT Identities, which outlines how to support LGBT students. 

Every day, LGBT individuals face discrimination and are the victims of bullying and other abusive behaviors. Although steps toward tolerance and equality are regularly taken, it is clear there is still progress to be made.

TargetSolutions’ newly released training course, Introduction to Understanding the Basics of LGBT Identities, is crucial for school district employees. A recent study found that six out of 10 LGBT students feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation. Additionally, 80 percent of LGBT youth reported severe social isolation. As loneliness can be a common trait for most LGBT students, it’s important for school districts and their staffs to understand how to support LGBT students.

“While growing up in today’s society is difficult for many students, LGBT youths experience additional stress and anxiety because educators are not aware of the unique challenges they face,” said tslogo_symbol-color-smallTargetSolutions Client Services Manager Jennifer Jones. “Our Introduction to Understanding the Basics of LGBT Identities training course provides educators with a deeper understanding of LGBT struggles to create a safer environment for LGBT students.”

This valuable course provides an overview of the different identities, languages, and struggles within the LGBT community. Once educators empathize with the hardships that the LGBT community endures, they will have a greater understanding of how to support LGBT students.

The course is divided into 10 self-paced learning modules. As users progress through each lesson, they are guided by narration and immersive images to enhance their user experience and learning.

Subjects covered in this introductory course include:

  • The difference between sexual orientation vs. sexual identity
  • The language of the LGBT community
  • The trouble with stereotypes
  • The difficulty of coming out
  • Gender with a “T”
  • How to support LGBT students by becoming an ally

At the end of each module, learners are tested for comprehension with practical study exercises. These brief quizzes improve fluency with real-world applications of lessons, such as the use of proper pronouns. Upon completion of the course, learners are given a 10-question exam to ensure retention of material.

“Understanding what it means to be an LGBT student is more important now than ever before. With improved audio, case studies and study exercises, this course will help the user develop an understanding and appreciation of the LGBT community and the identity-related issues they face.”

Bryan Fitzgerald, Content Manager, TargetSolutions

In October of 2016, TargetSolutions released Introduction to Understanding the Rights of LGBT Students. Like the previously released course, this new course promotes tolerance for other individual’s differences and provides a better understanding on how to support LGBT students.

For questions about course updates or our online training catalog, please contact TargetSolutions today at (800) 840-8048.