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Cherry Hill Fire Department Earned Class 1 ISO Rating; TargetSolutions Will Help the Agency Keep It

Fire department iso rating

Cherry Hill Fire Department earned the highly coveted Class 1 fire department ISO rating on its own but has since turned to TargetSolutions’ online training system to help keep it.

When the Cherry Hill Fire Department in the Cherry Hill Township of New Jersey received a Class 1 fire department ISO rating – the highest possible classification achievement for such an entity – it knew keeping it would be easier said than done. Simply reaching that elusive mark was a monumental task that took countless amounts of man hours and money to organize all of the documentation that was required.

That’s why the department turned to TargetSolutions. When all was said and done, one of the momentous benefits of implementing such a platform is simplifying otherworldly challenges, such as ISO audits, into straightforward everyday tasks.

Just talk to Lieutenant William Riess, who regularly champions modern methods to track and manage fire department records and found TargetSolutions and its ISO Training Tracker to be the answer.

“That was the selling point. We know what we went through,” said Riess when recalling all the work that went into earning the Class 1. “All of what we just went through is alleviated by going with TargetSolutions.”

Manned by a force of 200 firefighters, EMTs, and civilian support staff, Cherry Hill Fire Department provides round-the-clock service to more than 70,000 residents and 4,000 businesses. Beginning with a trial of the platform last September, the department made TargetSolutions its official training management software this past January and hasn’t looked back.

“We were using about a dozen different programs to capture what TargetSolutions dofire department iso ratinges for us in one,” said Riess. “The feedback across the department is that they love the program. It’s taken less time out of their day.”

“It’s empowering to a degree where it gives back to the workers that it’s their training. It doesn’t come from the department. It doesn’t have to. It allows them more opportunities to be creative.”

Since implementing the platform, Cherry Hill hasn’t been shy about maximizing the numerous abilities of the system. Customizing content, tracking various training and instructor documentation, and employing a barrage of credentials are just a few of the features that Cherry Hill routinely capitalizes on. “When I sold this program to our chiefs, I said this program right now is a 10. What I think we’ll be able to accomplish in the first year or two is a three. That alone is where we already were as an ISO 1 department.” said Riess. “We can not only maintain that, but we can surpass the level of being a Class 1 department and improve our tracking documentation.”

Riess is currently serving as an administrator for the Burlington County Regional Training Alliance (BCRTA), an enterprise group focused on bringing regional departments together in an effort to simplify training and embrace camaraderie. As has been his experience with TargetSolutions thus far, Riess wants to promote the notion of maximizing the platform for every member of the Alliance as a way to best serve their communities. As Riess has powered through the various platform features since last year, he is confident in what the Alliance will provide to the region.

“I know this is going to work,” he said.

See what else customers are saying about TargetSolutions and what more the platform can do for you. To learn more about how you can improve your fire department ISO rating, please contact us with any questions at (800) 840-8048.

EMS Basic Airway Management, Cardiac Emergencies, and Patient Assessment Courses Updated and Restyled

TargetSolutions has updated three of its most popular EMS training courses with engaging content and new video-based lessons. 

Between three of the most popular courses in TargetSolutions’ EMS Continuing Education catalog, EMS Basic Airway Management, EMS Cardiac Emergencies, and EMS Patient Assessment received over 30,000 completions in 2016.

Due to their popularity and value to new and veteran first responders, these one-hour training courses have been revised with refreshing content packed into visually enticing video-based lessons. As users progress through each video module, they are guided with audio narration and related images for a more engaging learning experience.

After completing each module, users are tested for comprehension with a one-question quiz and at the end of the course, must pass a brief exam. These tests reinforce crucial concepts and help first responders perform procedures during a call.

“Knowing these three EMS courses are some of our most highly utilized offerings, we’ve completely restyled and updated our content. The learning objectives in each course, such as basic airway management, are comprehensive and are perfect for both new first responders and veterans looking for a refresher.” 

Bryan Fitzgerald, Content Manager, TargetSolutions

EMS Airway Management Basic recalls the anatomy of the respiratory system for EMT personnel to identify signs of inadequate breathing. This basic airway management course covers the steps to safely clear an obstructed patient’s airway as soon as possible.

EMS Cardiac Emergencies Basic highlights the signs of cardiac arrest and how to properly use an automated external defibrillator (AED). As half of the 600,000 annual deaths from cardiovascular diseases occur before patients reach the hospital, immediate and correct defibrillation is crucial.

EMS Patient Assessment Basic lays the foundation for determining a scene’s safety and recognizing symptoms of an abnormal condition in a patient. Based on the assessments, personnel will be able to perform the appropriate tests and identify changing conditions throughout the interaction.

These courses provide an overview to essential practices for first responders. Users will understand basic airway management, how to properly use an AED, and analyze patients’ conditions. Utilizing these skills will reduce mistakes in time sensitive situations and increase patients’ chances of survival.

For more information about these updated courses or TargetSolutions’ EMS Course Library, contact us today (800) 840-8048!

New Functionality Enables Administrators to Add New Activities to Existing Credentials

All it takes is a few simple clicks when creating a new custom activity to add it to a previously created credential inside the TargetSolutions platform.

All it takes is a few simple clicks when creating a custom activity to add it to a previously created credential.

If you are an administrator who has ever wished you could add an activity into an existing credential directly from the activity, your wait is over. Now, you can save time and avoid the hassle of having to go into Manage Credentials to add a new activity to Credential topics.

New functionality inside Activities Builder enables administrators to add activities straight into a credential topic with just a few simple clicks. Administrators can add an activity to as many credentials as they would like, which saves time.

“In the past, you would have to create an activity and then go into Manage Credentials to add it to the credential,” said Product Manager Misty Pratt. “This was a step that impeded workflow. Now, if you are creating an activity that counts toward credential training requirements, you can add it to that credential topic directly from the activity.”

To learn more about utilizing this new functionality, please click here to view help documentation.

If you have any questions about this enhancement or other features inside TargetSolutions’ online training management system, contact us today at (800) 840-8048.

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 FireEngineering.com 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.”

cb-it-security-course-catalog-download-cta

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.