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TargetSolutions’ Cost-Effective System Helps Public Entities Decrease Liability Save Money

In today’s world, public entities have no choice but to watch their budgets. When investing in a web-based training management platform, they need to be confident they are making a prudent business decision. TargetSolutions gives fire departments and other organizations the opportunity to cost effectively and efficiently meet mandatory training requirements, eliminate unnecessary expenses and manage risks.

Here are some of the benefits of TargetSolutions:

Reduce Costs: Decrease pricy instructor-led training sessions and expenses, including overtime and fuel charges. Eliminate the need for rescheduling expensive training events when employees miss mandatory live events.

Improve ISO Rating: Preparing for an audit by ISO can be grueling. TargetSolutions simplifies it with ready-made training activities built for ISO and the ultimate tracking system. When ISO comes to analyze your records, you’ll be ready.

Reduce Claims: TargetSolutions’ training courses have proven to change unsafe behaviors that lead to injuries and other claims. Our catalog features critical sexual harassment training that will eliminate damaging and costly lawsuits.

Decrease Liability: It can be extremely difficult monitoring licenses and credentials for an entire department. With TargetSolutions you will always know your employees status. Alert notifications keep things like critical licenses from expiring.

Training Efficiency: As we all know, time is money. With TargetSolutions, training is simplified for everyone. Scheduling, assigning and monitoring training is easier than ever for administrators. And 24/7 access to platform helps users maximize their time.

Tools & Resources: Continuing education for EMS can be expensive. TargetSolutions features more than 160 hours of accredited courses in its library. Plus, Community Resources offers content from other organizations for all types of training.

If you’d like to learn more about how TargetSolutions can help your department reduce costs, please check out our Cost Savings Calculator. This tool will help you estimate how much savings your department can achieve with TargetSolutions’ powerful training management system.

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

TargetSolutions Announces Several Changes to Its Client Services Team’s Coverage

TargetSolutions is excited to announce a few changes to its Client Services team. Account Managers Kegan Konrady and Ann Gruetzmacher, as well as Account Specialist Kate Fishman, are now covering new territories.

Konrady will be serving as the primary account manager for the state of California. He will also support Nevada and Hawaii.

Gruetzmacher, who already covered the Great Lakes, Northeast, and the South, will now additionally provide service to the Mid-Atlantic (Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia).

Fishman, who was recently promoted to account specialist, will be picking up Gruetzmacher’s previous territory in the Midwest (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota).

The Client Services team is very excited about the changes and we feel confident that each team member is a great fit for their new region, said Client Services Manager Jennifer Antinone. We are dedicated to service and keeping our clients happy and we are looking forward to 2013 being a successful year for our company, as well as our clients.

If you have any questions about the changes, or operating the TargetSolutions platform, please do not hesitate to contact us today. Our team is available to answer questions during normal business hours at 800.840.8048. After-hours emergency support is also available.

Wheat Ridge Fire Department Looks to TargetSolutions for Tracking Critical Training Hours Certifications

In 1926, the Wheat Ridge Fire Department began serving the citizens of Colorado under the basic principle of service before self. The department has recently reinforced its commitment to the community by adopting a new mission statement: Doing the Right Things at the Right Times for the Right Reasons.

In order to carry out its goals, the entire department must be well-organized, well-trained and well-prepared to respond to a crisis in a moment’s notice. Battalion Chief Bob Olme manages the training division and ensures the department is reaching its maximum potential in those areas.

Olme began his career in the fire service in 1984 and is extremely experienced in many disciplines of the profession. He realizes the importance of comprehensive training and that’s why it made so much sense to begin using TargetSolutions, he said.

“TargetSolutions is a very strong platform for tracking certifications, hours and all of the things you need from a certification standpoint. It’s also a great way for us to keep track of records for ISO compliance,” said Olme, whose department implemented TargetSolutions in 2009.

In addition to superior tools for tracking training, Olme’s department benefits from uploading documents onto the platform for firefighters to view 24/7.

“SOPs come out and we put them on TargetSolutions. Everybody can reference them,” Olme said. “They’re permanent documents so people don’t have to chase paper anymore.”

In addition to the records management functions, Olme also assigns online courses to the firefighters.

“It supplements our hands-on training by providing a consistent knowledge base that we can roll out both to our career and volunteer firefighters simultaneously,” said Olme. It’s fairly self-taught, so if you’re on a busy schedule you’re able to do it at your will. It has been very successful for us both on the fire side as well as EMS training.

Olme has had experience with several different platforms and he says that TargetSolutions is the easiest to use.

“It’s a super strong platform that’s easy to use,” said Olme. “I don’t have a lot of administrative help, and I am still able to do it and stay up with it. If I can do it, anybody can.”

Even though it’s a user friendly platform, Olme reports that anytime he needs help, it is given to him by the excellent Client Services team at TargetSolutions.

“Whenever I need help, I get help,” he said. “I would certainly recommend TargetSolutions to anybody who asked me about it.”

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

Tip of the Month: How to Import Files from Community Resources Application

The Community Resources application gives administrators the ability to access and share training videos, organizational policies, inspection forms, and more with other TargetSolutions clients. Administrators are able to import and distribute these resources to users through the Activities Builder.

There are two ways to locate videos in Community Recourses: Top Files and Top Videos and by searching. The Top Files and Top Videos are determined by a combination of popular views and resource ratings. The search engine provides the ability to browse the database of shared content, which is based off of keywords, as well as administrator-defined tags.

Once an administrator or supervisor locates a video in the Community Resources that they would like to share with their department, they can easily import the file with just a few simple steps. First, click the Import Resource button under the Resource Details section. The file/video will then transfer to the File Center into a folder labeled Imported Resources. The administrator can then attach the video or file to a custom activity to be assigned out to their users. It is as easy as that!

Without a doubt, Community Resources is one of TargetSolutions most useful applications. If you’d like more information on this tool, please contact your account manager.

TargetSolutions Offers Newly Approved Fire Content in Florida

We are excited to announce the expansion of our library of approved fire content in Florida by the Florida State Fire College. Our newly released First Responder Hybrid Vehicles Incidents course is approved, as well as the NFPA 1001 and NFPA 1021 course bundles being accepted for continuing education credits for Firesafety Inspectors and Instructors.

But TargetSolutions is not only able to deliver fire content in Florida, there are infinitely more benefits of the approvals.

This is going to be huge for many of our clients. Firefighters need 40 hours of fire recertification every other year. Now, we can go to departments and show them how we can help them meet all their required hours, including EMS, said TargetSolutions Regional Sales Manager Jeff Oathout.

Additionally, inspectors and instructors can receive credit for our 8-hour HAZWOPER refreshers, and the Emergency Response to Terrorism course fulfills four hours toward the Terrorism Pre-certification requirement for Fire Officers. These newly-approved titles facilitate TargetSolutions being able to offer a much wider variety of options for Florida Firesafety Inspectors and Instructors.

Every Minute of Training Counts with TargetSolutions’ Record Keeping

TargetSolutions’ powerful records management system helps fire department record keeping for all types of training, including drill-yard and instructor-led training activities.

The TargetSolutions records management system is packed with innovative applications built to help track firefighter training hours. But perhaps its most beneficial tool is the Activities Builder.

This powerful application has revolutionized the way clients document training. By creating custom activities, departments can distribute and track firefighter training hours in categories that were once overlooked.

“The benefit of custom activities is the ability of a fire department to design its own training programs specific to its own departments SOGs and SOPs,” said TargetSolutions’ Product Specialist Tim Riley, who prior to working with the company was a chief with Dunedin Fire Department in Florida. “It truly gives the department a sense of ownership and validity when they can attach their own policies or principles directly to an activity.”

A huge component of TargetSolutions’ Activities Builder is its ability to track training specifically for fire department ISO compliance. TargetSolutions developed custom activities built just for ISO tracking. This feature consists of 60 custom activities that are preloaded into a department’s site (upon request). In addition to those custom activities, there is a preset of three Training Tracker credentials covering Driver Operator, Firefighter and Officer.

TargetSolutions offers other preloaded custom activities created to assist departments in improving the efficiency of firefighter record keeping. One specific activity consists of 19 daily checklist activities, similar to that of ISO. These lists are broken down into specifications that ensure every amount of training, no matter how minimal, is being tracked by the administration.

“Utilization of custom activities allows a department to track firefighter training hours they never classified as training,” said TargetSolutions’ Client Services Manager Jennifer Antinone. “In most cases, departments have been doing all their required training needs, but they just weren’t tracking them. Using TargetSolutions, they never have to worry about not getting credit for their training.”

With TargetSolutions, tracking any type of training and recording the duration is a cinch. Administrators can take any training document, transform it into a web-based form, and make the document accessible to users. Inspections for SCBA, PPE, apparatus, or anything else, can be completed and tracked simultaneously which increases operational efficiency.

“It’s easier for the users to understand when an activity, policy, or principle is department-specific,” Riley said. “This helps create a better sense of buy-in for using the system to document training. It’s a win-win for department’s administration, and subordinates alike.”

One example of a custom built activity is Truck Checks, which is utilized by Auburndale Fire Department in Florida. Truck Checks forms are created featuring a hard-copy inspection list. This form allows users to record free-form responses to questions about fuel levels, truck conditions and other specifications of each truck at the station.

“Inspections like this are vital to department administrators because they ensure equipment is in proper working order,” Antinone said.

Every department differs in the demand for inspections, policies and other daily activities. So not all activities can be replicated – but with the use of reportable components and free-form questions, TargetSolutions is capable of turning any hard-copy form of documentation into a custom activity.

With custom activities and credentials in place, it opens a fire department’s eyes to what they are currently doing with respects to training, said Antinone. Also, this capability helps them to understand what other training they should be doing. By generating reports on custom activities, a department can understand which areas they are efficient and which they are lacking the proper, up-to-date training.

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

TargetSolutions Selects Winner of Social Media Contest

Congratulations to Evan Scott of Polk County Fire Rescue! Evan won TargetSolutions’ social media contest prize of a $100 Amazon gift card after “liking” our Facebook page. Evan’s name was randomly selected from a list of individuals who participated in the sweepstakes by liking us during the promotion.

If you haven’t liked us yet on Facebook, please do so today by clicking the Like button on our Facebook page. Connecting with TargetSolutions through social media is a great way to learn about future promotions, company news and platform tips and tricks.

You can also follow us on twitter to stay up to date on information about TargetSolutions and its industry-leading online training and records management system.

Burnsville Fire Department Improves Hands-On Training by Using TargetSolutions for Pre-Training

Burnsville Fire Department has found TargetSolutions to be a tremendous tool for delivering pre-training prior to hands-on training exercises.

Since 1981, the Burnsville Fire Department in Minnesota has strived for efficiency in all areas of emergency response. The goal has always been to carry out its commitment to the preservation of life, safety and the protection of property.

Assistant Chief Brian Carlson plays an important role in helping the department meet that mission by administering training to personnel through the use of TargetSolutions’ industry’s leading web-based training and records management system.

Going through the hassle of manually tracking departmental data is a challenge many departments struggle overcoming. Before Burnsville found TargetSolutions in 2011, it faced the same difficulties.

“Previously, all the data we used would be something that would have to be manually inputted, or manually tracked,” said Carlson, whose department was slowed down by these outdated recordkeeping practices.

With the implementation of TargetSolutions, the department had the tool it needed to simplify and improve training management practices. But Carlson was pleasantly surprised with how TargetSolutions helped the department train more effectively through pre-training coursework.

“We use TargetSolutions to allow our crews to review didactic course information before we do hands-on training,” said Carlson. “When they arrive at training, they know all of the background information and we can jump right into the hands-on training.”

At the end of the day, however, it’s the recordkeeping capabilities that have had the largest impact on Carlson’s department.

“TargetSolutions has really allowed us to use their reporting to rapidly be able to find and extract information and be able to report it for ISO compliance, as well as reports for other elected officials,” he said. “Through reporting we can also see who’s late on assignments. Firefighters are able to receive e-mail notifications for when they’re due; and as the admin of the program I receive e-mails when the firefighters are late on an assignment.”

The implementation of TargetSolutions for online training and records management has resulted in cost savings, Carlson said.

“TargetSolutions has allowed us to keep units at their stations, which helps with response times and fuel costs. For OSHA training, rather than having to call everyone in and pay them off-duty, we can assign those courses through TargetSolutions and have them complete them on-duty.”

Brian Carlson, Assistant Chief

Overall, Carlson said he has been extremely pleased with the platform and the customer support he has received from TargetSolutions.

“I have nothing but good things to say about TargetSolutions, said Carlson. The content is good. The ability to upload our own content is fantastic. What I’ve enjoyed most is the customer service. Whenever I’ve had a question, the e-mails or phone calls have been returned promptly. All in all, it’s been a great product.”

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

TargetSolutions Helps Clients Add Custom Certificates to Activities

Did you know you can add custom certificates to activities? If your organization would like to create official training documentation for completed activities, TargetSolutions is here to help.

“Some organizations like to be able to show proof of training by creating custom certificates,” said TargetSolutions Client Services Manager Jennifer Antinone. “In some cases this helps them achieve easier recertification and continuing education credit by being able to document this completed training. We are happy to assist with it.”

Upon request, TargetSolutions will create a custom certificate for your organization. In order to produce this certificate, TargetSolutions will need the following information:

>> A copy of your existing certificate, if available

>> Your department’s logo

>> Electronic copy of the signature needed on the document

>> This same person’s full name and title

>> CE provider name and number, if applicable

Once you have gathered these requirements, please contact your account manager with TargetSolutions for more information. The process for adding custom certificates to activities typically requires 3-5 business days.

TargetSolutions’ Courses Are Timed to Meet Regulatory Standards

The timer is one of the features in our online training management system we often hear about. The timer policy was instituted when TargetSolutions started providing continuing education credits to ensure users were spending an adequate amount of time in the courses for which they were receiving credit(s).
Many of the state approval agencies we work with require some mechanism to ensure users of online training are not just clicking through the course content. Because a certain course has been approved for continuing education credit, you must spend at least a minimum amount of time in the course content to obtain a valid certificate of completion.
“We take our accreditation with regulatory agencies very seriously, but at the same time we do not want to alienate users for the sake of compliance,” said Content Architect Jeremy Lynch. “Because of this, we walk a fine line of delivering the appropriate amount of accredited content that meets the minimum time required to get credit for the course.”
The system only records a certain amount of time per page and will stop recording time spent in the course if you stop actively navigating through the course. For example, if you get up and walk away from the computer, the system will not record time for that period. If you need to walk away from the course for any reason, you can click the “Quit” button at the bottom of the sidebar and the system will save your time and bookmark your page.
The completion timer will only log five minutes per slide before assuming the user is idle. If a user opens a course and then walks away, the time they left the course open will not be recorded. If a user quits a course, the system will remember how much time has been spent and start calculating from that amount the next time they log in. If the required amount of time is not reached, the system will prompt the user to spend additional time in the course.
Administrators also have the option to add a time requirement to a course, regardless of whether the course is approved for continuing education credit. If your administrator has chosen to require a certain amount of time for completion, you will be required to fulfill that requirement.