Technology with a Purpose

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TargetSolutions’ Upgraded Help Section Provides Valuable Resources for Admins, Users

Have you visited our upgraded Help section lately? TargetSolutions’ comprehensive Help section is a great tool for supplemental training and tutorials on how to operate the platform. We have focused on making the Help section user-friendly, providing you with detailed step-by-step instructions and video tutorials on all of the applications available in the site.

It is our mission to provide valuable support to all of our clients. We want your experience with TargetSolutions to be a successful one. We encourage you to explore the upgraded Help section and see for yourself! To get started, please click on the Help tab inside your organization’s customized TargetSolutions site. A new window featuring the Help section will open (pictured below).

Browse Home Page Support is targeted toward standard users while Browse Administrator Support provides administrators with FAQs on commonly asked questions and step-by-step tutorials about operating the applications within the site. Watch Video Tutorials provides you with video tutorials on all of the applications. There is also a Live Help section that enables users and admins to chat with a TargetSolutions support team member. This feature is available Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PST) and on Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon (PST).

For more information on any of these tools, please feel free to contact TargetSolutions toll-free at (800) 840-8048.

The Policy-Behavior Disconnect in the Fire Service

Blog by Dr. Richard B. Gasaway
Retired Fire Chief and Web Master for Situational Awareness Matters

I often poll program attendees about the need to complete a 360-degree size-up. While the responses are mixed as to how many have policies and how many don’t, those with policies that require a 360-degree size-up often admit that first-arriving companies often do not do them.

This prompts me to ask why. Why would a first arriving company fail to comply with departmental policy and not complete a 360-degree size-up? There may be many explanations. Among them is a philosophical disagreement with the policy leading to a conscious decision for non-compliance. Another explanation may be a failure to see the importance of completing a size-up.

Yet another explanation may be there is a policy-behavior disconnect. The policy says, the first arriving company shall do a 360-degree size-up on structure fires.

That’s pretty clear.

However, in training (at the fire station, at the burn tower and/or in acquired structures) many firefighters are not required to complete a 360-degree size-up prior to entry. I’m not talking about the pre-burn walk-around required by the NFPA 1403 standard. I’m talking about making the fire crews walk around the structure as the first step in every evolution. This creates a habit that will become the automatic performance under stress.

Your muscles don’t learn from verbal instructions. Your muscles learn from muscle movement. You can read all day long about what you’re supposed to do and how you’re supposed to do it. But you’re not really learning until you move your body and do it.

A 360-degree size-up is a situational awareness best practice that should be performed at every structure fire, sans physical limitation based on structure size, access and obstructions. If you want your policy and behavior to align, train by physical movement of the body in ways that are consistent with your policies.

About the Author
Dr. Richard Gasaway is widely considered to be one of the nation’s leading authorities on situational awareness and decision making processes used by first responders. In addition to his 30-plus years in the fire service, including 22 years as a fire chief, Dr. Gasaway has a second passion: Uncovering and applying research in brain science for the benefit of first responders. His website, Situational Awareness Matters (www.SAMatters.com) has enjoyed over a million visits since its launch in October 2011. He can be reached via e-mail at support@RichGasaway.com.

Interactive Lessons Make TargetSolutions’ Content More Engaging

Online training and e-learning has evolved from a static, read-and-click format to one that is video- and multimedia-based and TargetSolutions is exploring all the flexibility and creativity the improved formats offer to a students learning environment.

Recently, TargetSolutions had a user request to lengthen and improve the content of one of our sexual harassment courses. Rather than downplay the need to revise the course, we looked at it as an opportunity to make some of our content better.

With the help of an Articulate product called Storyline, TargetSolutions is adding more interactive lessons making content engaging. We are looking to utilize drag-and-drop functionality, as well as combine static files into a more video-driven display of information.

TargetSolutions strives to deliver content in a format users will enjoy. At the same time, the learning environment must be taken into account so as to not become a distraction. While the development of this type of content is a little more time-consuming, TargetSolutions is confident the end result will have users coming back for more.

TargetSolutions Simplifies Distribution of Policies Videos and More for Corona Fire Department

The Corona Fire Department has been serving the citizens of Corona since 1898. The department’s mission of serving our city with pride, integrity, and professionalism while protecting and enhancing the quality of life for the citizens of Corona, has never wavered.

Corona has seven stations and 100 members serving a population of more than 153,000 residents over 39.2 square miles. The department is headed by Fire Chief John Medina, while Captain Jeremy Verderber makes certain the staff is properly certified and prepared to serve at a moment’s notice.

But ensuring everyone within a department is up to date with all of their training can be complicated and difficult. The muddled process of having to attain written signatures from each individual at all seven stations where they took a course, read a document, or watched a video was unsustainable for Corona. The absence of a comprehensive training management tool was preventing the department from reaching its maximum efficiency.

In 2009, with the arrival of TargetSolutions, everything changed for the department. Coronas most challenging training issues – mainly achieving accreditation and tracking records – were quickly eliminated.

“For the mandated stuff and compliance issues, TargetSolutions is actually great,” Verderber said. “The first thing is that it satisfies minimum mandatory training requirements in certain subjects, provides all the EMS continuing education units that you would need, and allows you to add your own personal content and distribute it with the push of a button and get accurate reporting back on who has completed it.”

“The powerful Activities Builder tool inside the platform is a huge benefit,” Verderber said.

“We utilize it to send SOGs, he said. We can create a new SOG and then send it out as an activity. They review the new SOG and check the box to submit it. It makes it really easy for captains to disseminate the information. In 10 minutes it can be sent out to the entire department. Thirty days later, we can spend another 10 minutes to run a report. Department captains don’t have to worry about it, as opposed to e-mailing a hard copy and telling everyone to sign here.”

With Activities Builder, TargetSolutions makes it easy for everyone in the department to watch relevant videos.

“We can have all the crews watch it,” Verderber said. “We load it, send it out as an activity, say watch this video, and now it’s on there and anyone can pull it up and watch it.”

The overall functionality of TargetSolutions has improved compliance by giving Corona the ability to easily run reports that provide detailed information on who has done what.

“Before, we would send out a document through e-mail and tell everybody to take a look at it, but we didn’t know if they were reading it or not,” Verderber said. “Now, there is a box to check, which gives me the comfort to know they looked at it.”

About TargetSolutions
Founded in 1999, TargetSolutions is the leader in online training and records management for public entities. More than 2,000 organizations across the country use our technology to solve their training needs. We work hard every day to understand our clients’ challenges and deliver powerful tools that save time and money.

The Time to Redefine the Art and Science of Firefighting Is Nearly Upon Us

Blog by Christopher J. Naum
Executive Producer of www.buildingsonfire.com

Today’s incident demands on the fireground are unlike those of the recent past, requiring incident commanders, commanding and company officers and firefighters to have increased technical knowledge of building construction. It also requires heightened sensitivity to fire behavior and fire dynamics, a focus on operational structural stability of the compartment and building envelope, as well as considerations related to occupancy risk vs. the occupancy type.

Without question, there is an immediate need for today’s emerging and operating command and company officers to increase their foundation of knowledge and insights related to modern technology and its relationship with building occupancy, building construction and fire protection engineering.

We need to be ready to modify traditional and conventional strategic operating profiles in order to safeguard companies, personnel and team compositions.

Strategies and tactics must have the combined adequacy of sufficient staffing, fire flow and tactical patience orchestrated that identifies with the fire profiling, predictability of the occupancy and building profile and accounts for presumptive fire behavior within compartments and buildings.

We used to discern with a measured degree of predictability how buildings would perform, react and fail under most fire conditions. Implementing the fundamentals of art and science of firefighting operations built upon nine decades of experience and proven strategies continues to be the model of suppression operations. These same fundamental strategies continue to drive methodologies and curriculums in our current training programs and academies.

The lack of appreciation and the understanding of correlating principles involving fire behavior, fuel and rate of heat release — as well as the growth stages of compartment fires within a structural occupancy — are the defining paths from which the fire service must reexamine operations in order to identify with the predictability of occupancy performance during fire suppression operations. Ultimately, this will increase suppression effectiveness and firefighter safety.

The demands and requirements of modern firefighting, as well as the influence of technology will continue to require the placement of personnel within situations and buildings that carry risk, uncertainty and inherent danger. Risk management needs to become fluid and integrated with intelligent tactical deployments and operations recognizing the risk problematically and not fatalistically, resulting in safety conscious strategies and tactics and operational excellence.

Our world has evolved and changed. There are a variety of technological and sociological demands that create a continuing element of change in the built environment and our infrastructure. With these changes and demands come the requirements to assess these vulnerabilities, hazards, threats and dangers with effective and dynamic risk management and competent command and control.

These changes influence the way we do business in the street and equate to the risks and hazards you and your personnel will be confronted during incident operations. Fire suppression tactics must be adjusted for the rapidly changing methods and materials impacting all forms of building construction, occupancies and structures.

The need to redefine the art and science of firefighting is nearly upon us. Some things do stand the test of time, others need to adjust, evolve and change. Not for the sake of change only, but for the emerging and evolving buildings, structures and occupancies being built, developed or renovated in our communities.

About the Author
Christopher J. Naum, SFPE, has more than 37 years of field and operations experience and previously worked in command, operations and training capacities. Currently serves as the executive producer for several fire service websites, including www.buildingsonfire.com.

“Request a File” Functionality Assists Tracking of Offsite Training

We have recently received a few calls from clients wondering about the new Request a File component in Activities Builder. This new functionality was added a few months ago as an especially handy feature for tracking offsite training.

The Request File component enables administrators to require the user attach a file to the activity before they are able to complete it. In the past, users would have to record the training in TargetSolutions and then hand the physical certificate to the training officer or other administrative personnel.

Now, the user can scan the certificate and the Administrator can view it right from the TargetSolutions platform!

Publish Articulate Presentations as SCORM Courses with TargetSolutions

Attention all clients using Articulate Presenter! Did you know you can publish Articulate files as SCORM courses? Publishing your presentation as a SCORM course enables you to set the minimum amount of time a learner must spend with the content before being able to finish the course and receive credit. You can also build a test using Articulate’s test-building tool (QuizmakerTM) and have the scores populate in your completion reports.

The TargetSolutions platform supports SCORM compliant courses from all sources, but the easy to use Articulate platform makes creating them a cinch! No coding experience is required, simply follow these instructions to publish your Articulate presentation as a SCORM course. For information on how to upload the course, log in to your TargetSolutions account, select the Help tab, Browse Administrator Support and then search “Articulate.”

Do not have Articulate? Check out this link and then contact your Account Manager to purchase the program through us at a discounted rate.

TargetSolutions Embraces NAEMSE Standards

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has published a new set of guidelines for EMS education and training and TargetSolutions is implementing the changes.

Previously under the Department of Transportation, the NHTSA’s shift to the National EMS Education Standards formally took place in 2009. Since then, agencies throughout the nation have been gradually incorporating the new guidelines into their training, including TargetSolutions.

Updates to our EMS catalog will include terminology changes, the introduction of new skills and information, and augmented content that will provide a more comprehensive overview of each course topic.

TargetSolutions strives to address the precise knowledge and skill sets specific to each level of pre-hospital care provider. Under the new NAEMSE standards, TargetSolutions will be better able to deliver accurate information to EMS professionals everywhere, so they can safely and effectively do their job.

Who Says Earning a Positive ISO Rating for Fire Departments Has to Be So Difficult?

If you are like most training officers, you have had your share of headaches recording training in preparation for an audit by the Insurance Services Office (ISO). With TargetSolutions’ software, the entire ISO rating for fire departments process is simple.

TargetSolutions has created powerful tools to help you prepare for ISO. We provide access to ready-made, customizable training templates created just for improving the ISO rating for fire departments. After delivering these activities to personnel through our platform, TargetSolutions industry-leading tracking system does the rest. When ISO comes to analyze your employee training records, you will be ready with well organized, detailed training reports.

If you are still tracking training the old-fashioned way, you will be amazed how TargetSolutions’ easy-to-use and efficient recordkeeping applications keep everything logged. Even more importantly, the ISO will be too when looking at your data.

“TargetSolutions has created a records system that clearly allowed our organization to comply (with its ISO audit),” said Guy Keirn, who is a training chief with Pinellas Park Fire Department in Florida. “The process of completing the training section of the report for ISO was seamless using TargetSolutions.”

Are you a client looking to maximize the platform’s capabilities in preparation for ISO? If so, TargetSolutions is here to help! Just e-mail your account manager for information or call (800) 840-8048 for assistance.

TargetSolutions Offers EMS Continuing Education Credits for Individual Customers

Are you an EMT looking to stay certified? Do you know an EMT who is out of work but trying to keep their certification? If so, TargetSolutions has the answer.

In addition to being the No. 1 choice for departments looking to remain compliant and track training records, TargetSolutions makes its EMS catalog available for individual customers. Users can easily and affordably purchase and earn EMS CE credits for individuals with TargetSolutions.

“By offering EMS professionals our courses, they have an easy and affordable way to earn EMS CE credits for individuals,” said Thomas Woodward, who is TargetSolutions’ executive VP of sales and marketing. “The convenient access through our learning management system combined with our accreditation guarantees a consistent, high-quality educational experience every single time.”

When an individual signs up with TargetSolutions, they receive access to online training courses for two years at one low price. The user gains administrative rights on the platform and is able to assign themselves any course in their library. Individual course libraries are determined by each states certification requirements, including states that require CECBEMS. Once the courses are completed, the user can submit the certificate they receive to their state.

With this offering, TargetSolutions has made it easy and affordable for EMS professionals to stay certified.

Since our inception in 1999, TargetSolutions has been committed to providing the industry’s very best online training content. We take great pride in the fact our web-based library features more than 160 hours of EMS recertification courses that have been accredited by various regulatory agencies. TargetSolutions’ EMS content is accepted in almost every state. Please check online for more information about your state.

“At TargetSolutions, we strive to continually improve our EMS library because we understand that good, comprehensive training not only makes life easier, it actually saves lives,” said TargetSolutions’ Content Architect Jeremy Lynch.

About TargetSolutions
Founded in 1999, TargetSolutions is the leader in online training and records management for public entities. More than 2,000 organizations across the country use our technology to solve their training needs. We work hard every day to understand our clients’ challenges and deliver powerful tools that save time and money.