Technology with a Purpose

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New Save and Assign Tool Helps Clients Build Whatever They Want, the Way They Want

 

TargetSolutions prides itself on delivering both innovative technology and exceptional customer service. Our latest application is what happens when those two critical missions blend together.

After hearing the same request from several different clients, TargetSolutions took action with the new Save and Assign tool. This enhanced assignment-building tool that will be released for the first time Thursday, May 30, allows platform managers and users to complete different portions of the same activity. The end result is more consistent records management system and efficiency when delivering repetitive activities, including evaluations, certificates, inspections, etc.

“Departments looking to give both platform managers and users the ability to partially fill out an activity before assigning it are going to love this new application,” said TargetSolutions’ Product Manager Misty Pratt. “This is really done with the goal of making training records more accurate by letting admins have supervisors and users complete separate parts of the same activity.”

TargetSolutions wouldn’t be the company it is today if not for the tremendous feedback of clients like Bill Voorhies of DeKalb Fire Department in Georgia. Chief Voorhies spent several months working as one of TargetSolutions’ beta clients during the creation of this new tool.

“Save and Assign helps keep training records consistent,” said Voorhies, whose department joined TargetSolutions in January of 2011. “By giving users the ability to fill in information related to a location, or an instructor, and then send it back complete is important to the integrity of our training records.”

Voorhies also says the ability to batch-enter information will save a significant amount of time.

“Our entire department recently had to attend a customer service class, but different people went at different times,” Voorhies explained. “With Save and Assign, we’re able to fill in information for everyone about the class and then let individuals enter the specific date they attended. That’s a big help.”

TargetSolutions’ Director of Clients Services Jenny Fergason sees huge potential in the Save and Assign application for departments that are logging their probationary reports online.

“Officers now have the ability to complete a probationary firefighter report electronically for probationary members,” Fergason said. “Then, they can send it to the probationary member for final validation and to provide their e-signature. This application provides departments the ability to provide a second layer of validation to their activities. Many clients have requested this feature and we’re excited to be able to deliver an easy-to-use solution.”

Here are four ways departments will be able to utilize the Save and Assign application:

Evaluation Forms: Platform managers can create an evaluation form and partially complete it before delivering to users. After receiving, users are required to respond to questions or provide e-signatures. This helps departments eliminate paper files and gives managers more flexibility when assigning the same template to multiple users.

Certificate Completions: In addition to providing platform managers and users with the ability to complete different portions of the same activity, Save and Assign relieves managers from having to upload multiple certificates on behalf of employees. Now, they can just save the template and have users upload their own certificates.

Training Records: As a platform manager, your employee training records need to be accurate and consistent. Save and Assign allows you to complete certain portions of an activity for consistency, while leaving other information for users for accuracy. For instance, complete fields like instructor or location and allow the user to enter notes or complete a class evaluation. This tool simplifies records and information management.

Group Training: Save and Assign gives platform managers a way to deliver videos or presentations as a group and then log any data about the session accurately, while still assigning the material to allow a test to be taken or feedback to be provided by the user. This feature requires more information from users, making employee training records stronger in case of an audit.

Voorhies said he was impressed by TargetSolutions’ willingness to adapt and improve the platform for its clients.

“Everyone has been very responsive in finding ways to make things work better,” he said. “It’s not just about making it work globally either, but all the way down to my department.

If you have questions about the new Save and Assign application, please don’t hesitate to contact your account manager. You can also learn more by searching Save and Assign in the Help Center of the platform.

About TargetSolutions
TargetSolutions is the leading provider of web-based technology solutions for fire and EMS organizations. These solutions enable organizations to maintain compliance, reduce losses, deliver curriculum, and track all station-level tasks, certifications and training activities.

From Skeptic to Supporter Fire Inspector Changes Mind about TargetSolutions Training Management System

The Hendersonville Fire Department in Tennessee has been dedicated to its citizens since its inception as a volunteer fire service in 1970. A few years later, Hendersonville became a full-time paid department, equipped to accomplish its mission of protecting lives and property within our community.

With a team of 100 people spread across six stations, Hendersonville responds to more than 4,500 calls per year. In order to meet that challenge, the department works hard to improve in all areas of the profession. But without a full-time training officer, managing training requirements had become difficult for the department. And the issue was only magnified when training needed to be reported for ISO compliance.

“Not everybody knew exactly what counted for ISO or what type of training they should be doing,” said the department’s Fire Inspector Nate Renzella. “It was like closing your eyes, throwing darts at a dartboard, and hoping you met the requirements.”

With a clear need, Renzella decided to research and evaluate the effectiveness of the TargetSolutions platform.

“I thought it might tank,” said Renzella, who studied TargetSolutions as part of his final research project toward obtaining a Master’s Degree from Oklahoma State University. “I didn’t think guys would be comfortable getting some of their training done on the computer; but it’s been just the opposite. I’ve been pleasantly surprised.”

With TargetSolutions’ ISO Training Tracker, every member of the department is able see what required assignments need to be completed in order to fulfill ISO standards. And the best part is training officers can easily generate comprehensive reports that have been built specifically for ISO reporting purposes.

“With TargetSolutions, we’re able to show auditors what we’re doing,” said Renzella. “I can pull a report on anything within the system and demonstrate its effectiveness and efficiency.”

Hendersonville is looking forward to satisfying its ISO requirements in such an economically effective manner. Rather than having to pay thousands of dollars to attend expensive training conferences, the department’s personnel are able to substitute online courses for certain training material.

“This is a very cost-effective program to get our staff a great deal of training and also meet training needs,” said Renzella, who was pleasantly surprised by his department’s usage of the program.

In fact, Renzella’s skepticism against TargetSolutions and online training, in general has been completely altered, he said.

“If you were thinking about implementing TargetSolutions in your department, but are unsure whether your staff will use it, we’ve found that they will and it works a lot better than you might think,” said Renzella. “It’s something new. It’s different. It engages people. TargetSolutions is not what you’re used to, but in a good way.”

About TargetSolutions
TargetSolutions is the leading provider of web-based technology solutions for fire and EMS organizations. These solutions enable organizations to maintain compliance, reduce losses, deliver curriculum, and track all station-level tasks, certifications and training activities.

Classes with TargetSolutions’ Product Specialist Help Clients Use ISO Solution to Full Potential

 

TargetSolutions ISO Training Tracker enables departments to complete, track and report ISO requirements. But cutting-edge technology isn’t always enough. Sometimes, gaining proper understanding of how to utilize the technology is what truly makes a difference.

With this in mind, Product Specialist Tim Riley has stopped at several departments to demonstrate best practices for utilizing TargetSolutions credential-tracking application. In March, Riley spent several days at DeKalb Fire Department in Georgia and then in April, several more at Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department. There were members from 16 other departments in attendance at the Jacksonville event.

Tim Riley

“We spent the first half of the course training on ISO requirements and how to capture the training and then got into general site familiarization and tricks of the trade,” said Riley. “Many attendees had little or no understanding of ISO prior to the class. They were ecstatic with what they learned.”

Riley’s assessment was echoed by Captain Donnie Griffis of the Waycross Fire Department in Georgia.

“We recently attended a seminar that Tim put on and the information that he gave us was very helpful,” Griffis said. “He presented it in a way that should direct our department in using the program to its full potential.”

Riley, who prior to joining TargetSolutions was a chief with the Pinellas Park Fire Department in Florida, was instrumental in the creation of TargetSolutions’ ISO application.

“We’ve built specific custom activities because we know what is going to count toward ISO,” said Riley. “The ISO auditors love the way our system generate reports, because it’s in the format they want.”

After Riley covers ISO, he discusses some of the platform’s other capabilities, like ensuring credit for what he calls “lost training hours” and capturing all the various types of training firefighters typically complete and don’t receive credit for.

If your department is interested learning more about ISO tracking and/or the TargetSolutions platform, please contact your account manager.

Police Department Sees Quality and Efficiency of Training Elevated with TargetSolutions

north attleboro police department

The North Attleboro Police Department in Massachussetts is maximizing TargetSolutions’ online training management system to streamline the delivery of training assignments.

Serving approximately 30,000 residents in Southeastern Massachusetts, the North Attleboro Police Department is responsible for providing quality police services in an effective, responsible and professional manner.

The 54-member department that answers more than 31,000 calls each year is committed to maintaining order, delivering timely response to every incident and improving the quality of life for everyone living within the city’s 19-square miles.

“Anyone associated with law enforcement, however, knows this is not an easy mission. When it comes down to it, superior training can make all the difference in the world,” says North Attleboro Police Departments Erin Belham.

“Fortunately, TargetSolutions, the industry’s leading online training provider, is here to help elevate effectiveness. As a client since September of 2012, it didn’t take the department long to see the platforms benefits,” says Belham.

“We are very happy with what TargetSolutions has brought to our department, it’s helped us improve the quality and efficiency of our training,” said Belham, who works in the departments training division. “It has made training more readily available and simple to deliver.”

North Attleboro has seen significant advances in the quality of training since signing on with TargetSolutions. Belham says the exceptional video content has been tremendous. With hundreds of training videos in its library covering every law enforcement topic imaginable – including Defensive Tactics, Ethics, Gangs, Legal, Pursuit, Traffic Stops, and much, much more – TargetSolutions helps the department improve overall performance.

“The videos are very informative and provide the officers with valuable tools they can use in everyday situations,” said Belham, whose department uses the videos for roll-call training. “These videos help maintain the safety of everyone. There are various topics available; many of them are tactical ways to approach people in different and stressful situations. We know situations can turn bad in a hurry, so we need to be prepared. These videos help provide us with the knowledge and tools to keep everyone safe.”

The quality training videos are key, but the innovative system for distributing the content is what truly sets TargetSolutions apart. By using the platforms comprehensive web-based training management tools, North Attleboro is able to easily disseminate and log all types of activities, not just training videos.

Departments are able to store important documents, videos and other files in their File Center and then easily distribute. They can ensure accountability with e-signatures.

“We also use it to notify the members of our department of any new memos that contain information such as shift changes, uniform changes and any information they need to be made aware of,” Belham explains. “We send out monthly legal updates to keep everyone up to date with the changing laws. Sometimes we include a test with the activity. By doing it this way, we can see that everyone has seen the memo and signed off on it. We use the site as much as possible and as a primary way to get information to the whole department.”

This 21st century recordkeeping functionality has enabled North Attleboro to go green, eliminating the need for endless paper trails. TargetSolutions is able to serve as a virtual file cabinet, storing documents in a password-protected online database.

“TargetSolutions has decreased the amount of paperwork; we don’t have to print out individual copies for the whole department. By posting it on the website we can be sure that everyone has received and read any updates or notifications,” Belham said. “We are importing all the rules and regulations for our department onto the website with the intention to streamline the training and replace the individual binders each member of the department has. By assigning these to the officers we insure they have all read and have the most current version.

“We love the fact that the members of our department do not have to be at the Police Station to access this information. They can be at home, and access the system at any time of the day on their Smartphone, or tablet.”

Erin Belham, North Attleboro Police Department (Mass.)

For more information on how other departments just like North Attleboro are benefitting from TargetSolutions powerful system, please contact us today.

About TargetSolutions
TargetSolutions is the leading provider of web-based technology solutions for fire and EMS organizations. These solutions enable organizations to maintain compliance, reduce losses, deliver curriculum, and track all station-level tasks, certifications and training activities.

SDFD’s Ventilation Training Still Top Resource in TargetSolutions’ File-Sharing Application

One of TargetSolutions most popular applications is Community Resources. This file-sharing tool gives administrators the ability to access and share videos, organizational policies, inspection forms, and more with other clients nationwide.

“Community Resources allows departments to have access to the best training techniques with the ability to adopt those techniques and incorporate them into their own training programs,” said TargetSolutions Vice President of Operations Alex Day. “It’s different than YouTube in that it allows a department to not only review training practices, but allows access within ones own site to deliver and distribute accordingly.”

Here are some of the top resources within TargetSolutions, all of which have been viewed more than 1,000 times, and in the case of SDFD Ventilation Training, more than 7,300 times.

SDFD Ventilation Training: This PowerPoint presentation by the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department has been viewed more than any other resource and maintains a 4star rating.

Ventilation Skills: SDFDs counterpart to the Ventilation Training video, more than 90 organizations are currently using this resource. The file maintains an impressive 4star rating.

Use of Facemasks and Respirators: A podcast from the CDC that demonstrates facemasks and respirators used in public settings during an influenza pandemic.

Working with Stress (Part 1): With work-related stress continuing to be a growing concern, this video from the CDC raises awareness for workers.

Safety First in All We Do Video: This video covers offers interesting tips for maintaining safety in organizations.

With more than 4,500 resources currently in TargetSolutions, there is information to suit almost every organization’s need. Approximately 125 files have been uploaded to the platform each month since the tool was introduced in 2009. With its powerful search engine, users can easily locate topics they are seeking in Community Resources.

For more information on this application, please contact TargetSolutions.

 

SDFD’s Ventilation Training PowerPoint in the Community Resources application has been viewed more than 7,300 times and has a 4 out of 5 rating from other clients.

 

Users Can Now Access Their TargetSolutions Login Page through Assignment Alert E-mails

TargetSolutions has heard your requests and has taken action! Now, when users receive an assignment alert e-mail, their organization’s site URL will be available and prominently displayed in the e-mail. This update makes it easier for users to access assignments.

“We’ve heard some requests from clients to provide their sites URL in the alert e-mail,” said Software Engineer Manager Dustyn Borghi. “We are always listening to our clients’ feedback and trying to make our system as user-friendly as possible. This new feature gives users the ability to go straight to their organizations login page. From there they just need to log in to access their assignment information.”

TargetSolutions works hard to deliver on feedback from clients. If you have any other questions about the platform, please contact us today!

Fundamentals Still Come First in Emergency Response

Fire-Rescue Med 2013 finished up Tuesday afternoon with the perfect closing session by Rommie Duckworth titled, “Perspiration and Inspiration: You’ve Got to Love This Job!”

Duckworth’s message was simple: Take the lessons learned at the conference and put them into action. But don’t ever lose focus on the patients. Don’t ever forget fundamentals come first in EMS.

“You’re here to learn about new stuff,” said Duckworth, who is a lieutenant/EMS coordinator and instructor with Ridgefield Fire Department (Conn.). “But fundamentals are still the key to success.”

Duckworth knows this point might not be popular at a conference focused on the future of fire-based EMS. After all, people come to conferences to learn about current issues and new solutions, not necessarily regurgitate the old stuff.

But Duckworth is adamant the fundamentals always will be the most important element to effective emergency response.

“I know the fundamentals work and I’m comfortable telling anyone of any rank that because of what I saw (on 9/11),” said Duckworth, who was called to duty from his department in Connecticut that day. “… It’s really about providing emergency care. That’s what it’s about.”

Duckworth encouraged everyone to take the lessons they learned at the conference and inspire action in their own departments.

“This is how things move forward,” he said.

The Mobile Application That Puts Citizen Rescuers Into Motion

Technology’s impact on the fire service has been monumental. New tools are constantly being introduced to the market to make emergency response more efficient.

One example is the PulsePoint mobile application spearheaded by San Ramon Valley (Calif.) Fire Protection District Chief Richard Price.

Price discussed the innovative solution Tuesday during Fire-Rescue Med in Las Vegas. The application for iPhones was created to accomplish two things: 1) Improve cardiac arrest survival rates through improved bystander performance and active citizenship; 2) Generate support in the communities where departments are utilizing the tool.

This app has the rare ability today to really foster goodwill in our communities, Price said. I’ve seen it time and again how appreciative communities are by this.

The app is brilliant, but simple. Its works by alerting CPR-trained citizens with a text message when someone nearby is having a sudden cardiac event in a public location (not residential). The app directs citizen rescuers to patients and informs them of location of nearest available AED.

If we can get those AED’s out of the cabinets and onto the chests of patients, this app has tremendous potential, said Price, who is working to get other agencies to implement the application in their own communities.

With more than 1,000 people dying each day from sudden cardiac arrests – an average of one person every two minutes – Prices message resonated with the EMS-focused audience. As high as 50 percent of patients, would survive if CPR and AED’s were used within the first five minutes. Every minute that lapses, the chance of survival is reduced by 7-10 percent.

“We’re trying to improve awareness of bystanders who know CPR,” Price said.

“The app is currently being used in more than 300 communities across eight states and two countries,” Price said. “Its value has been recognized by various organizations, including the IAFC, which awarded it the Fire Service Award for Excellence and the American Heart Association, which tabbed it a Heart of Gold winner.”

For more on the creation of the application, please click here.

TargetSolutions’ New “Power Users Group” Helps Platform Managers Connect and Share Best Practices

TargetSolutions, the leader in online training management for public entities, is growing its presence on LinkedIn by creating a Power Users Group.

This special group is designed to enhance communication between TargetSolutions and the platform’s most active administrators. With utilization spiking to unprecedented levels, there are many individuals who will see great value in joining the group that connects administrators looking to maximize TargetSolutions.

We see this as a good opportunity for administrators around the nation to communicate with each other on their department’s utilization of the platform, said Client Services Manager Jennifer Antinone. With utilization growing at such a huge rate, it’s obvious our platform has tremendous value for clients. By creating this special group, the most experienced power user can share their knowledge and discuss best practices with their peers in the group.

We really think it’s important to give our clients as much information as possible so they can make the most of TargetSolutions’ online training management for public entities.

TargetSolutions is on pace to have more than 6.5 million assignments completed in 2013, which represents an increase of more than 150 percent since 2010. By giving platform managers more tools for collaborating through social media, utilization will continue to grow.

Members of TargetSolutions’ Power Users Group can expect to see updates on enhancements to the platform, blog posts explaining some tips for best practices, as well as comments and questions from other users. TargetSolutions’ exceptional Client Services team will also contribute to the discussions by suggesting ideas and answering questions.

Client Services is excited to have a new forum where our power users can go for new ideas and collaboration, said Antinone. We want every client to make the most of our online training system for public entities and this is just one more tool they have to learn about the platform.

If you’re a platform administrator and would like to join the Power Users Group, please click here to get started.

About TargetSolutions
TargetSolutions is the leading provider of web-based technology solutions for fire and EMS organizations. These solutions enable organizations to maintain compliance, reduce losses, deliver curriculum, and track all station-level tasks, certifications and training activities.

Access Completed Training Records through My History

TargetSolutions keeps track of all assignments and those completed training records can be accessed at any time by clicking on My History from the home page.

Depending on whether the completion is a TargetSolutions course or a custom activity, there is a details column with information containing assignment information, a course certificate and/or a course evaluation.

The magnifying glass icon displays the details of an assignment in a brief, yet useful format. You can review the number of times the course was accessed and/or the final score on a test, among other things. Provided there was a certificate of completion associated to the course, you can view/print the certificate using the ribbon icon. And the thumbs up icon lets you view your course evaluation, assuming you completed one after taking a course.

The evaluation is an interactive feature. TargetSolutions staff members are able to reply to your comment and in this case, you will receive a notification via the Notifications box of the reply.

A few things to note:

>> Please refrain from taking a course through My History as you are only able to review course material, not retake exams in this application.

>> You will know you successfully completed a course if it moved from the Schedule on the Home page into My History.

>> TargetSolutions deliberately inactivates accounts (rather than deleting them) when users retire, leave an organization, etc. By law, completed training records are kept for upward of 30 years. Inactive users can call TargetSolutions customer support at (800) 840-8048 to gain temporary access to their account to print certificates of completions.

If you have questions about TargetSolutions My History section, or any part of the TargetSolutions platform, please check the platforms Help section or contact us directly.

 

Platform users can access completed training records through ‘My History’ selection.