Technology with a Purpose

All posts in Company Blog

San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Dazzles TargetSolutions Users with Training Resources

The nice comments and high ratings just keep pouring in for San Diego Fire-Rescue Department’s training resources on ventilation skills. The department posted a training video and PowerPoint presentation into TargetSolutions’ Community Resources in August of 2009 and three years later both of the items are still popular with the online platforms network of users.

The PowerPoint presentation, titled SDFD Ventilation Training, is the most viewed resource in the history of Community Resources. The presentation narrated by SDFDs Curtis Bennett, has been viewed more than 7,000 times, is being utilized by 86 different organizations and has an outstanding 4star rating (out of five). The video, titled Ventilation Skills, a companion video created by SDFD, has more than 4,000 views and the same 4star rating. There are 81 different organizations using this particular video resource.

Jeff Clyons, who worked as the department’s assistant training officer when the videos were created and was interviewed about them soon after their creation, said his department’s firefighters were having issues with ventilation during several fires, so it attacked the issue with a multi-pronged training approach. The department spent three months focusing on ventilation by incorporating the PowerPoint and video with in-station drills and an in-service training session where crews had the chance to work with chainsaws during a manipulative drill.

“We realized our recruits had learned one way to cut a hole in a roof and we realized when they got out in operations, that one way was restricting their ability to do other things,” said Clyons. “It was limiting what our personnel were doing when it came to ventilating a roof. So we wanted to teach our existing personnel multiple ways to do this. We wanted to raise the bar on our ability to use a saw and raise the bar on cutting holes. Ventilation is an extremely risky and dangerous proposition so it was definitely something we were concerned with. I think we were lucky we didn’t have more incidents in the past. But to avoid those in the future, we wanted to make sure everyone was very well trained.”

Clyons reported considerable improvement in the quality of operations after the fire department training. He believed the high-quality resources SDFD has generously shared with TargetSolutions’ community are a major factor for the significant strides in performance.

Our message was well received, he said. I think it assisted people who were tactile learners, people who were visual learners, and people who were a
uditory learners. They all had a chance and it hit all the senses, so we definitely felt retention was better.

Clearly, SDFD isn’t the only department that benefited from the online fire training. TargetSolutions has received numerous complimentary comments from other clients about the quality of SDFDs presentations. Here’s a sample:

>> Great video! Was a great refresher, said Tom Fritz of Palm Harbor Fire Rescue.

>> This is a good video for new and veteran firefighter to refresh on the basics, said David Ramirez of the Fresno Fire Department.

>> I learned some new cut techniques that I will put to use on future incidents, said Jordan Motta of Cal Fire Riverside County.

Clyons said his department will look to continue doing that type of multi-pronged approach with quality video presentations in the future.

“I think it’s important to try and make the videos entertaining,” Clyons said. “I think the narration of the PowerPoints provides visualization, so tslogo_symbol-color-smallyou’re not just seeing a slide, but you have the audio explaining it. That helps. And the beauty is that because it’s online, any company officer can pull it up at any time and drill on it again.”

TargetSolutions’ Community Resources application gives departments the ability to easily download, modify and assign shared resources like SDFD’s ventilation submissions with just a few clicks of the mouse. Organizations can import any of the files, videos or other documents from Community Resources into their organizations File Center and then modify and assign to employees through TargetSolutions’ Activities Builder.

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’ Generate Reports Application Now Features Enhanced Searching Capabilities

With more than 250 hours of accredited Fire and EMS recertification courses in our web-based library, it’s easy to understand how TargetSolutions became the industry’s leading online training provider.

Innovative technology applications also help TargetSolutions stand high above the competition and one of the most useful tools, Generate Reports, recently underwent significant changes that site administrators will be excited to hear.

Generate Reports, which is accessible to users from the Administration tab inside the platform, has enabled administrators and supervisors to run a suite of reports that gather various types of user data, including Completions, Incomplete Assignments, Credentials and much more. Now, administrators and supervisors will have unprecedented control over searching to easily command the information they desire.

TargetSolutions’ team of engineers have made several interface upgrades, making the Generate Reports application more intuitive. They’ve also created the ability for administrators and supervisors to run reports on individual users, search more thoroughly with additional filters and utilize components more effectively.

“These changes have definitely improved the Generate Reports application,” said Product Manager Misty Pratt. “It’s now easier than ever for administrators to capture the exact type of information they need. It’s going to be a huge time saver for everyone. The new search and filter capabilities are really impressive.”

In addition to the upgrades made on the Generate Reports application, TargetSolutions has advanced the File Centers wherewithal, modernizing the speed of the upload process. It’s also now possible to upload multiple files at the same time.

Site administrators will also no longer receive duplicated e-mail notification alerts on the same credential for different users. When multiple users need to take action on the same credential they will now be combined into one e-mail to administrators.

Also, TargetSolutions has discontinued the monthly summary report for users. They will now periodic inactivity reminders instead.

And lastly, administrators now have the ability to notify users of a new assignment directly from the Create New Assignment application. They can also choose to send a notification when that assignment becomes overdue.

If you’d like more information on these upgrades or applications, please feel free to contact your TargetSolutions account manager or view the Help section located on the top navigation bar inside the platform.

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.

Survey Highlights Benefits of Online Training

slider-main.pngTargetSolutions recently facilitated the completion of an interesting marketing survey in which respondents described their favorite benefits associated with online training. Here are some of the top features reported in the survey (in no particular order):

  • User friendliness of completing training online
  • Interesting videos in courses
  • Personalized and self-paced ability to complete courses
  • Can add customized content to assigned courses
  • Variety and realism in videos in courses
  • Can keep records with innovative training management tools
  • Accessibility and flexibility of online training
  • Saves your place if course is not completed in one sitting
  • Cost-effective method for completing mandated training hours
  • Tests and feedback make courses interactive, challenging
  • Quick help if needed is available online
  • Self-paced so users don’t have to rush through training
  • Plentiful number of courses from leading providers

The survey, which was conducted by Miller Pierce, a marketing agency out of Indianapolis, found that nearly 50 percent of the fire service is currently using an online training provider and nearly another 30 percent are considering making the switch soon.

TargetSolutions is the industry’s pioneer and leader in web-based education as its comprehensive web-based training library features more than 1,000 training courses and more than 250 hours of Fire and EMS recertification courses. In addition to NFPA-approved content and EMS continuing education, TargetSolutions offers online training covering OSHA and Compliance, Human Resources, Water and Wastewater, Law Enforcement, Education (K-12), Driver Safety and more.

With TargetSolutions, users can complete courses 24/7 anywhere there is an Internet connection. Meeting federal, state and local mandated requirements has never been more convenient and affordable.

“The biggest benefit for us (using online training with TargetSolutions) is being able to provide consistent training on compliance topics for all our employees. Emergency response, sick days, holidays and regular days off consistently made total coverage a nightmare. With TargetSolutions, that problem is now a thing of the past. On things like sexual harassment, it was difficult. We’d bring in an expert and they would do a wonderful job, but how do you recapture that for everyone not there?”

Al Schlick, Wauconda Fire District (Ill.)

About TargetSolutions
TargetSolutions delivers cutting-edge software applications, engaging online training courses, and world-class customer service. The company was founded in 1999 and today there are more than 4,000 organizations across the country using TargetSolutions’ innovative technology to solve their training challenges.

Small Department Receives Huge Benefits With TargetSolutions

Nestled up against the Atlantic Ocean, Hinesville is a small town sitting along Georgia’s coastline. Established in 1837 in Liberty County, Hinesville is known for its tall pine trees, majestic oaks and impressive wildlife. The city is also home to the fire departments two stations that are tasked with protecting more than 30,000 residents. The department is led by Chief T. Lamar Cook, while Captain Kristian Johanson is responsible for training a 47-person staff for the obstacles emergency responders face on a regular basis.

Hinesville may be a small department, but that doesn’t prevent it from experiencing some of the same issues many bigger departments encounter keeping training structured and standardized. In the past, the department faced numerous challenges, including maintaining an organized schedule and consistent curriculum from shift to shift. Training was conducted on a random basis, and training and ISO hours were minimal and usually not tracked.

“We did not have an avenue for the members to receive training, except in a class setting — whether it was in the bay or in a classroom,” Johanson said. “We were looking for an online solution. In the past, communication was also done person-to-person and that wasn’t reliable. We wanted a platform with more transparency and consistency.”

In 2008, Hinesville Fire Department found the solution it was seeking in TargetSolutions. With the platforms expanding, high-quality course content and the powerful Activities Builder application, users were finally receiving a consistent message in training curriculum.

“The biggest problem before starting with TargetSolutions is that nothing was standardized. Everything was everyone’s own version. If the topic was extrication, it wasn’t to a standard, it was that teachers view of extrication. TargetSolutions really allowed us to get everyone on the same sheet of music. With Custom Activities, we were able to track company training, safety drills, standard-operating procedures, dissemination of vehicle ERGs and many other activities.”

Kristian Johanson, Captain

Things only got better for Johanson and his department when TargetSolutions released Credentials Manager in September 2010. This new application gave members the ability to manage their own certifications, rather than relying on management to remind them what needed to be done.

“That’s when the platform really took off,” Johanson said. “It allowed us to track every type of certification required for the department to include. When Credentials Manager came out, everyone was given the ability to see what requirements they have left and achieve them through the platform.”

Not only does TargetSolutions keep records organized, it provides quality curriculum and gives users the ability to receive continuing education units, which helps the bottom line.

“I just can’t say enough about the platform because it just does so much for us,” Johanson said. “Every month a new application seems to come out, and that makes it more usable and user-friendly.”

The platform continues to add more applications and tools all the time that have really made TargetSolutions an integral part of the Hinesville Fire Department. With the user-friendly environment and customer service that is above and beyond all, TargetSolutions is an asset for our small department.

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.

Registration Now Open for Upcoming User Group Workshops

TargetSolutions will be conducting two User Group Workshops in the coming weeks in an effort to help inform both prospects and existing clients about the platform. The first meeting will be Monday, July 23 at the San Jose Fire Department. A few weeks later on Friday, Aug. 3 during Fire-Rescue International in Denver, TargetSolutions will conduct another session at the Crowne Plaza.

The first event will start at 10 a.m. TargetSolutions will be discussing best practices for the platforms new, upgraded interface, demonstrating our new CICCS applications and answering questions. Several clients will be on hand to show how they are using the powerful program. A complimentary lunch will be provided.

In August at FRI, TargetSolutions will be discussing these same topics, including ISO tracking and best practices for recordkeeping, as well as conducting an in-depth Q&A. The event is scheduled from 8:30 to 11 a.m. and TargetSolutions will be hosting breakfast.

If you’re interested in attending either event or would like more information, please click here to e-mail the marketing department. We can’t wait to see you there!

“Both of these User Group Workshops are great opportunities for us to show our platforms capabilities”, said Director of Client Services Jenny Fergason. “Both sessions will be beneficial to prospects and clients. We truly enjoy spending time with clients and discussing how TargetSolutions can help a department save time and money.”

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.

After Buying Into Technical Wizardry, San Angelo Fire Department Experiences Improved Recordkeeping Recertification

The San Angelo Fire Department has been putting out fires since the late 1800s. The department serves a city with a population of about 100,000 deep in the heart of Texas and it is even deeper in history and tradition.

So it makes sense some of the departments veteran firefighters were a bit reluctant about training on the cloud with TargetSolutions’ web-based platform.

“Most of the guys were willing to change over and are pretty versed in computers, but some who were used to the old methods wanted to stick to their guns,” said the departments EMS Instructor Santos Elizondo. “Some of the older guys wanted to do it the old way regardless of what kind of technical wizardry came around.”

It’s times like this when the “brotherhood” really comes into play, Elizondo says. Facing some initial pushback after signing up with TargetSolutions in April of 2010, several younger employees came to the aid of their senior coworkers and helped them see the flexibility and superiority to completing mandated training requirements online.

“The younger guys brought them in and helped show them how,” Elizondo said. “It’s a brotherhood. The younger guys couldn’t do the assignments for them, but they really made it a family affair. The younger guys took care of the older guys — so while the older guys were teaching the physical side of things, the younger guys were teaching the technical side. Eventually everyone was going in the same direction.”

After overcoming these initial challenges, TargetSolutions started flourishing for the department with 163 personnel and eight stations across a territory that expands 1,500 square miles. Prior to TargetSolutions, the department was conducting its mandatory training through what Elizondo affectionately calls paper training.

“Our previous way of conducting training was tedious and archaic; it was truly a nightmare,” Elizondo said. “We wanted to find a vendor who could help us hold our personnel accountable, complete training in a timely manner and not burn down a forest every time we conducted training. There was just a massive amount of paper going out every month. After visiting with several vendors, we found the solution we needed.”

San Angelo selected TargetSolutions and immediately benefited from its robust catalog of training courses that includes 250 hours of Fire and EMS recertification material. In combination with the catalog was a recordkeeping system that streamlined the entire training management process, Elizondo said.

“Guys used to always be wondering where they were for recertification,” Elizondo said. Now they were able to get the data and an instant response to their efforts — kind of like when they are in the field and they give a drug to patient and immediately see if its working or not. With TargetSolutions they can complete an assignment and see where it is and know the data has been taken.

These powerful training tools make it easy to track training assignments and generate comprehensive reports that satisfy stringent audits, like the type conducted by ISO.

“With TargetSolutions we’re able to complete an audit faster,” Elizondo said. “With 12 to 20 people recertifying at any given time, it can really chew up time. Now with TargetSolutions, were able to do it much faster and it’s much more convenient. Guys are able to obtain their goals much easier.”

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.

Answers Are Just a Few Clicks Away With TargetSolutions’ New Help System

You know all about TargetSolutions’ powerful online training and records management system. But have you heard about the platforms comprehensive web-based Help System?

Site administrators and users can now stay updated with announcements and upgrades, search for useful platform-related help threads and step-by-step instructions and view support videos on TargetSolutions recently released Help System.

“Our platform is extremely user-friendly for both administrators and users, but if anyone ever has any questions, our online Help System is a great tool for finding quick answers to the most common questions clients have,” Jenny Fergason, Director of Client Services, TargetSolutions.

“The Help System can be easily accessed through the newly upgraded platform with the Help tab atop the menu bar. Clients still operating the older platform are encouraged to contact TargetSolutions client services department to upgrade. The latest Help System is only compatible with the new system,” Fergason said.

“This is another benefit to the new platform,” Fergason said. “Not only is it far more intuitive and engaging, with several new applications to help clients manage training more efficiently, but it’s complete with an integrated and constantly updated Help System.

“That’s one of the best things about this — it’s updated in real time. The platform is constantly undergoing enhancements, and with this new web-based help documentation, we can easily make changes.

“In the past we relied on a PDF document and sustaining updates was very difficult and time-consuming. We’re really excited users now have such easy access to comprehensive and reliable help information.”

The Help System currently features 30 tutorial videos — including an in-depth Administrator Basics Video — for completing various administrative tasks inside the platform. Users can also communicate with a live TargetSolutions client services representative — during normal business hours (Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. to noon on Fridays) — through “Chat” functionality; as well as access a Web page for requesting platform enhancements.

Fergason said clients find great value in the Search capability that operates like any normal search engine. While the new system makes finding answers easier than ever before, clients are still welcome to call at any time of the day with questions on operating the platform.

“In Client Services, we pride ourselves on providing the highest level of service available,” Fergason said. “From getting your organization set up to ongoing support, you can expect nothing but the best from our team.”

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.

TargetSolutions to Hold User Group Workshop in July

TargetSolutions is conducting a special User Group Workshop on Monday, July 23 at the San Jose Fire Department. Discussion will start at 10 a.m. We will be discussing best practices for the platform’s new, upgraded interface, demonstrating our new CICCS applications and answering questions. Several clients will be on hand to show how they are using the powerful program.

“This is a great opportunity for us to show our platform’s capabilities,” said Director of Client Services Jenny Fergason. “We’re really excited to have the event and thankful to the San Jose Fire Department for allowing us to do it there. It’s going to be very informative and we enjoy getting together with clients and prospects to discuss how TargetSolutions streamlines training management.”

If you’re interested in attending, please click here to e-mail the marketing department and register for the event. And in case you’ve never attended one of our user group workshops before, you can count on a fantastic lunch hosted by TargetSolutions! So sign-up today!

Agenda
10-11:30 a.m. Platform discussion
11:30-1 p.m. Lunch hosted by TargetSolutions
1-3:30 p.m. CICCS demonstration

Location
San Jose Fire Department
255 South Montgomery, San Jose, CA 95110

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.

Always Stay Connected with TargetSolutions

TargetSolutions is making it easier for everyone to stay informed about company news, support help, special offers and other interesting items with its growing social media presence. The company currently manages active accounts for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube and is always looking for new outlets for connecting with existing clients and prospects.

“Through social media were able to connect with our market and share ideas,” said Director of Marketing Mike Butler. “We’re looking to keep clients in our network informed about what we’re doing. Social media is an important means for connecting and communicating. We are always looking to generate interest in our platform, which we know can save public entities time and money. We think we can increase awareness about how were helping organizations and also make it a valuable experience for those who are connected.”

Individuals linked with TargetSolutions’ community will enjoy the following benefits:

> Platform support information
> News articles covering new courses, applications
> Promotional offers, discounts, giveaways
> Videos, testimonials, images, support links, etc.
> Valuable articles by industry experts
> Networking with other organizations through our community

Please click on one of the icons below to connect with TargetSolutions through these social media channels:

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/TargetSolutions

TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/targetsolutions

LINKEDIN: http://www.linkedin.com/company/targetsolutions

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/targetsolutions

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.

Wauconda Fire District Solves Its Compliance Issues with TargetSolutions

Al Schlick has served as the Wauconda Fire Districts director of training for more than eight years now. Schlick admits the first half-dozen were not always an easy ride. The main reason for sleepless nights was that no matter how hard he tried, it was impossible to achieve 100 percent compliance for his entire staff.

There were some things that everybody had to do, like CPR, but it would take three months and I had to chase people around, Schlick says. Its not that these guys are deadbeats or anything. These are great guys. But we are just so busy. Its just the nature of everything we need to get done in the amount of time we have.

Facing undeniable difficulties achieving compliance, Schlick was looking for answers. The District needed a new training platform with a robust offering capable of reaching his entire staff. After hearing rave reviews from a colleague, Schlick discovered TargetSolutions. He quickly realized the web-based platform was exactly what his District needed to achieve total compliance.

“The biggest benefit for us is being able to provide consistent training on compliance topics for all our employees,” Schlick says. “Emergency response, sick days, holidays and regular days off consistently made total coverage a nightmare. With TargetSolutions, that problem is now a thing of the past. On things like sexual harassment, it was difficult. Wed bring in an expert and they would do a wonderful job, but how do you recapture that for everyone not there?”

Schlick loves the fact TargetSolutions constantly monitors his staffs upcoming renewals, making his life much easier. I dont have to do that anymore, Schlick said. TargetSolutions sends them an e-mail that says, Hey, youre up. If they dont do it, it tells them when theyre overdue and Im alerted. Its brilliant.

Schlick is not only thrilled with the comprehensive training and alert notifications, but the platforms powerful and innovative training applications.

“We use (Activities Builder) like a rented mule,” Schlick said. “We can now build an SOP, put it in TargetSolutions and record when it has been completed. We now have 100 percent certainty that everyone who works here has read something and that theyve got it. To me, thats brilliant and something I wouldnt be able to do unless I were here 24 hours a day.”

“To do the things we are now doing was not possible before TargetSolutions. The flexibility and access our employees have now would not be possible unless I sat in my office 24/7. TargetSolutions brings compliance training to every employee with little or no effort.”

About Wauconda Fire District
Since its formation in 1889, the Wauconda Fire District has been focused on consistently meeting the shifting needs of the communities it serves in Northeastern Illinois. With three departments providing 24-hour coverage for more than 40,000 residents, it’s not an easy chore. More than 3,600 emergency calls come in annually and the District takes pride in its high-quality service and commitment to protecting life and property. In addition to emergency response, the Districts staff also performs a wide range of non-emergency duties, including fire safety education, First Aid and CPR classes.

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.