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Learn How Columbia Fire Department Simplified Firefighter Training with TargetSolutions

Simplified firefighter training












In a year and a half since implementing TargetSolutions, Columbia Fire Department has simplified firefighter training, streamlined event planning, and is currently working toward earning the top ISO classification.

Ensuring that its cadre of 118 uniformed men and women were on the same page when it came to training was a challenge for the Columbia Fire Department (MO). How do you maintain consistent standards and ensure that training requirements are being met when there’s no surefire way to police or oversee anything?

Since implementing TargetSolutions, Columbia Fire Department has simplified firefighter training en route to becoming a power user.

That’s when the department switched to TargetSolutions. Implementing the powerful records management system in May of 2016 didn’t just streamline their training; it completely reinvigorated it. Consisting of nine stations that serve a population of over 100,000, the Columbia Fire Department has become one of the most highly utilized sites in the state of Missouri as well as the entire Midwest United States. Always on the hunt for new tips and tricks, the department is a regular representative at regional TargetSolutions user groups where they continue to maximize their usage of the platform.

When asked about what training was like prior to becoming a power user, Deputy Fire Chief Kyle Fansler pointed to the outdated recordkeeping methods and how they lent little credence to accuracy. “The most difficult part was ensuring that we were getting valid data,” recalled Fansler. “Prior to this when we were recording training hours in our RMS, there was no way to measure how accurate those figures were.”

“I didn’t have to do anything else. I was just entering unverified numbers into another system so there was no way to manage the training.”

Today the department takes full advantage of TargetSolutions’ arsenal of features to meet and exceed their training requirements. Planning live firefighter training events with the Events Manager and tracking license renewals (drivers, EMS) and custom task books with the Manage Credentials application consolidates what used to be monumental tasks. Custom Activities has been an especially useful tool when developing training and establishing a clear plan for what is expected from the fire companies. “This is what’s assigned to you each month and this is what needs to be completed,” said Fansler. “It’s really easy for the individuals because you just need to clear your screen in a month’s time.”

Setting their sights sky high, the ultimate goal of the Columbia Fire Department is to achieve the storied Class 1 ISO rating. To accomplish this, the department is using TargetSolutions’ ISO Training Tracker, a complete solution built specifically to meet ISO’s standards.

“We just went through an ISO audit and once I figured out which report the ISO fellow wanted to see, it was simple.” 

Deputy Fire Chief Kyle Fansler, Columbia Fire Department (MO)

“They (ISO) want to know the number of certified officers and instructors so with the credentials built, you give them one report for the whole package. We have that all in one place. In a little bit of time you can have that out and run with it.”

Implementing a learning management system (LMS) can seem like as much of a colossal task as managing training in a brick-and-mortar fashion, but it’s not. Quite the opposite, and TargetSolutions offers world class customer service that is eager to help every step of the way. As Fansler pointed out, “We’ve had really good technical support. We can reach out and get help when we need it. The staff has been good to work with and helpful in every way.”

To learn more about how simplified firefighter training can become a reality for your department, please contact TargetSolutions today at (800) 840-8048.

Enrich Your Organization’s Wellness Program During Healthy Workplace Month

With Healthy Workplace Month amongst us, TargetSolutions is committed to helping organizations establish regular programs to aid in meeting their health goals.

October is Healthy Workplace Month and there’s no better time than now to ensure your employees are in a position to accomplish their health goals. Sitting is the new smoking. Bad carbohydrates are the opening charge of obesity. The million-dollar question for traditional and nontraditional work environments is how do you stave off bad habits and promote healthy wellness choices? It starts with TargetSolutions, a true one-stop-shop for all of your organization’s needs.

When it comes to setting up a system that will actively involve employees, TargetSolutions has a number of pre-built and customizable applications designed to keep your organization in tip-top shape.

  • Online training courses catered to your healthy workplace needs: With lessons specifically tailored to diet and nutrition, health and wellness, and workplace stress, TargetSolutions offers something for everyone. These lessons routinely receive thousands of annual completions and are a perfect starting point for promoting a healthy workplace.
  • Customizable credentials to track and monitor your success: Available upon request from TargetSolutions’ account managers, this program covers various subjects from our Professional Development catalog including nutrition and fitness, tobacco, drug, and alcohol use, sleep deprivation, and stress management.
  • Create custom activities to develop a plan that works for you: Establish a walking plan. Set up a dieting challenge. TargetSolutions’ powerful Manage Credentials application gives you the power to create your own customizable health and wellness program.

“A healthy workplace is a happy workplace. With these tools at your disposal, you can effectively put your organization into a position to make healthier choices.”

Jennifer Jones, Director of Product & User Experience, TargetSolutions

While Healthy Workplace Month is an opportune time to address these issues, the reality is good health should be a lifetime goal. Get your organization’s health and wellness on the right track today.

To learn more about how TargetSolutions can help your organization achieve its health goals, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048.  

TargetSolutions Unveils New Multiple Day and Duration Activities Feature


Multiple Day Duration is a new reportable component that allows users to create a breakdown of days and hours that were allocated to a particular completion.

In an effort to capture multiple-day classes more accurately and efficiently, TargetSolutions has implemented the brand new Multiple Day Duration reportable component for activities. The concept is simple: not every activity will be completed in one day, so this component gives you the power to create a “paper trail” that details the time allocated for an activity on any given day.

“The Multiple Day Duration component is a useful tool because it makes the recording of multiple day classes or training more efficient for users. It’s much more convenient for a user to submit a single completion for a multiple-day training than it is to submit separate completions for each day.”

Misty Pratt, Senior Product Manager, TargetSolutions

The release of the Multiple Day Duration component follows a yearlong trend of new platform features that have enhanced the system and boosted efficiency. In no particular order, here are a few of the new enhancements to the TargetSolutions platform to date in 2017:

  • Archiving Activities: Gives platform managers an alternative to deleting activities, allowing them to keep their activities organized without compromising completion reports.
  • Upload New File Versions: Allows platform managers to upload new versions of existing files in the File Center and automatically update any activities to which the file is attached without affecting previous completions of those activities.
  • Add Activity to Credential Topic from Activity Setting: New activity setting allows platform managers to add activities to credential topics when creating or editing activities.
  • Upgraded Events Manager: Design overhaul including enhanced menus, new supervisor rights, and increased user functionality.
  • File Center – Improved Search Functionality: A series of updates including cataloging searches and added search functionality to the Enterprise Tab of the child site.

For more information about Multiple Day Duration or any of the new enhancements introduced to the platform this year, please contact TargetSolutions today at (800) 840-8048.

Firehouse Culture and Other Firefighter Issues Examined During Recent Webcasts

Two new TargetSolutions-sponsored webinars, each about an hour in length, are now available for viewing and touch on creating a positive firehouse culture as well as best practices for fire-based EMS. Firehouse Culture

The first webinar, Fully Involved: Creating a Culture That Works, highlights the essentials of effective leadership and how to establish a positive firehouse culture within the service.

Delivered by and presented by Captain Mark vonAppen of the Palo Alto Fire Department (Calif.), the 50-minute webinar focuses on creating an “us against the world” group mentality through camaraderie, effort and hard work. The son of a professional football coach, vonAppen draws on his upbringing in the sports world and applies those same principles to the fire service. Rebuking the notion that ruling with an iron first will create culture, vonAppen instead focuses on teamwork in its simplest form.

“The thing we came up with as a group in the firehouse I worked in was the Big 4,” said vonAppen. “Do your job like a professional, treat people right, give all-out effort and have an all-in attitude. You see how they all interrelate.”

To view a recorded version of this webcast from, please click here.

The second webinar, Best Practices in Fire-Based EMS, is presented by Fire Chief Gary Ludwig, MS, EMT-P, of the Champaign Fire Department (Ill.). Delivered by, the hour-long webinar explores best practices for fire departments while embracing the EMS mission. Examining statistics provided by the U.S. Fire Administration and National Fire Protection Association over a 3Firehouse Culture0-year period from 1985 to 2015, Ludwig points to the tanking rate of fires and the vastly increasing number of EMS calls.

In 2015, EMS calls were up 230 percent from 1985 and during that same period, fires dropped 45 percent. In fact, only 4 percent of all fire department responses in 2015 were for fires.

“If you think about your own departments, if you do any form of EMS, whether it’s transport and first response, probably the vast majority, about 60 percent of your calls, are EMS-related calls,” said Ludwig. “Most fire departments pump more oxygen than water. A majority of what we do is EMS.”

To view a recorded version of this webcast from, please click here.

Is your department looking for training in EMS or leadership? To learn what TargetSolutions can do for your agency, please contact us today at (800) 840-8046.

How DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department Improved ISO Rating with TargetSolutions

DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department, located in Northern Georgia, has utilized TargetSolutions’ online system since 2011 and as a result, has improved its ISO rating and simplified training. 

Improved ISO Rating

During the 2017 Vector Solutions Client Summit, TargetSolutions sat down with Battalion Chief Bill Voorhies of the DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department to discuss how he uses the platform for his department’s training. Chief Voorhies and his cadre have been using TargetSolutions’ online records management system since 2011 and he credits the platform’s Credential Management and ISO Training Tracker for revolutionizing how his department manages training.

The DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department’s 26 stations respond to more than 80,000 annual calls throughout the region. Using TargetSolutions’ record tracking functionalities, DeKalb County Fire Rescue is able to ensure its personnel are up-to-date on training and can respond effectively to incidents involving hazardous materials, rescue, fire suppression and emergency medical services.

“We use Target (Solutions) for tracking training as well as credential management – keeping our firefighters and EMTs all certified with CPR or with their state certifications…the credential management part of the program really has streamlined our ability to keep up with that.”

Bill Voorhies, Battalion Chief, DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department

TargetSolutions’ ready-made courses and customizable credentials give DeKalb County the freedom to train according to their specific needs while satisfying state standards. Thanks to TargetSolutions’ Credential Manager, DeKalb County was able to easily generate paperless records of their department’s training for their ISO audit and saw an improved ISO rating.

When reflecting on their ISO review, Chief Voorhies recalled: “when the state came back around to look at our training records, they were very, very happy with the courses that are there (in the platform) that already meet state standards.”

Is your department looking for an improved ISO rating? For questions about TargetSolutions’ ISO Training Tracker, please contact us today (800) 840-8046!

TargetSolutions Helps Schools Take a Stand Against Bullying

As October is National Bullying Prevention Month 2017, TargetSolutions is shining the spotlight on our important School Bullying training course to aid school districts with taking a stand against bullying. 

National Bullying Prevention Month 2017 addresses the growing crisis of bullying for youth across the United States. Each year, approximately 47 percent of students are estimated to be involved in some form of bullying, whether it’s being the bully or the target. What’s more is that this figure has nearly doubled from the mere 28 percent that was reported in 2001. The ultimate goal of the movement is to permanently “Stomp Out” bullying by improving awareness of the issue and its impact on children.

TargetSolutions helps school districts be proactive against bullying with the important School Bullying training course from the online course catalog for school districts. This interactive course educates school staff on the various forms of bullying and how to maintain a safe learning environment.

The structure of the course guides the learner from understanding bullying to becoming an advocate for school bullying prevention. The learning modules are organized accordingly:

  • What Is School Bullying?
  • Types of Bullying
  • Cyber Bullying
  • Bullying Myths and Facts
  • Identifying Bullies and Victims
  • Consequences of Bullying
  • Bullying in the Classroom
  • Confronting a Bully
  • School Intervention Programs
  • Promoting an Anti-Bullying School

School Bullying features audio narration and interactive exercises to accommodate different learning styles and highlights key points with related text and images. As learners complete lessons, they are tested with brief quizzes and once they complete the course, learners show their comprehension with an end-of-course exam.

“TargetSolutions’ School Bullying course helps staff identify different types of bullying, as well as confrontation methods. By administering this course to your staff, you can help promote an anti-bullying environment.”

Ashlee Marinello, Account Manager I – Education Specialist, TargetSolutions

Students who are bullied in school, particularly from targeted groups such as the LGBTQ community, are at risk for poor classroom performance, long-term damage to self-esteem and even suicide. National Bullying Prevention Month 2017 is about promoting growth, creating a safe school atmosphere, and taking a stand against bullying.

For questions about TargetSolutions’ School Bullying training course or our school district course catalog, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048!


Make Your Voice Heard with the ‘Voice of the Customer’ Feedback Survey

TargetSolutions’ Voice of the Customer benchmark survey allows customers to have their voices heard by providing input on our products, services, content, and brand. 

Aiming to provide customers with a platform to provide feedback, TargetSolutions has implemented a brand new benchmark survey as part of its Voice of the Customer initiative. The objective is simple: measure our customers’ satisfaction with the value and quality of our products, services, content, and brand.Voice of the Customer

This intuitive process is built on an ongoing foundation of collecting feedback in the forms of surveys, users groups, product interactions, interviews and more. From there, these valuable pieces of data will be collected and analyzed by TargetSolutions’ customer service and product leaders to formulate actions to regularly enhance the customer experience.

Maintaining a revolving feedback loop will keep all communication streams open and allow customers to voice suggestions about what is working and what can be improved.

The benchmark survey is a six-question census focused on the platform’s products and services. Feedback will fuel future enhancement plans, understand the platform strengths, and make improvements to the overall customer experience.

“Customer feedback is a key driver for us which is why we’re taking measures to gauge our clients’ experience and see what’s important to them. We’re very mindful that we are always serving our customers and will continue to do so by keeping things simple and ensuring we are efficient and operating in real time.”  

Jennifer Jones, Director of Product and User Experience, TargetSolutions

For more information about our Voice of the Customer benchmark survey, please contact TargetSolutions today at (800) 840-8048.

Optimized Multimedia Highlights Newly Restyled EMS and EMT Refresher Courses

Five EMT refresher courses have received multimedia overhauls to include video presentations, audio narration, and engaging images for an optimized learning experience. 

Following procedure for EMS personnel can make all the difference between success or tragedy. Understanding this important notion, TargetSolutions’ EMS Continuing Education course catalog is packed with over 160 hours of quality EMT refresher training that routinely receives upgrades to provide the most up-to-date and relevant curriculum available.

EMS Pediatric Assessment, EMS Burn Management Basic, EMS Cardiac Emergencies Advanced, EMS Managing Cardiac Arrest: During and After Resuscitation and EMS Common Infectious Pathogens all received complete content makeovers and are now delivered in new and engaging formats.

These five combined lessons amassed over 26,000 completions in 2016 and are available in video-based lessons for a more immersive learning experience. Users taking these courses are guided by audio narration and images to help retain crucial information.

As users go through each module, brief quizzes check for comprehension. Then, once a user completes a course, their knowledge is put to the test with a 10-question exam.

“We’ve completely restyled and updated our content for this bundle of EMS courses. The learning objectives in each course are comprehensive and helpful to both new first responders and veterans looking for an EMT refresher for their credentials.”

Bryan Fitzgerald, Content Manager, TargetSolutions

EMS Pediatric Assessment serves as a valuable tool to understand the principles of pediatric assessment and identifying characteristics of age-related vital signs for pediatric patients.

EMS Burn Management Basic highlights the different types of burn injuries and how to treaEMT Refreshert them to prevent further injury and reduce contamination.

EMS Cardiac Emergencies Advanced describes the signs, symptoms and emergency medical care for patients experiencing angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, heart failure, cardiac tamponade, hypertensive emergency, and cardiogenic shock.

EMS Managing Cardiac Arrest: During and After Resuscitation discusses treating patients suffering from cardiac arrest, including management techniques after resuscitation.

EMS Common Infectious Pathogens serves as an extension of EMS Infectious Disease Control to discuss infectious diseases encountered by healthcare workers and appropriate precautions to prevent disease transmission in the pre-hospital setting.

These highly utilized EMS courses improve decision-making in time sensitive situations and ensure compliance. Users taking these EMT refresher courses will become immersed in the training experience to perform life-saving procedures in the field.

For questions about these EMT refresher course updates or TargetSolutions’ EMS Course Catalog, contact us today at (800) 840-8048.

New Water Industry Aquifer Remediation Training Course Offers Groundwater Remediation Techniques

TargetSolutions’ all-new training course, Water Industry Aquifer Remediation, covers best industry practices for identifying aquifer contamination and applying effective groundwater remediation techniques.

Groundwater is an easily accessible and important source of potable water for communities. In fact, approximately 40% of the world’s drinking water is drawn from underground sources such as wells. While this is convenient, the accessibility of groundwater also leaves it susceptible to natural and man-made contaminants.

TargetSolutions’ brand-new course, Water Industry Aquifer Remediation, identifies the types of threats to safe groundwater sources and provides groundwater remediation techniques for effective cleanup. Authored by subject matter expert Alfredo Cely, P.E., MSEM, this course offers practical information and useful strategies thanks to his 14 years of professional experience in transportation, water resources, land development and aviation.

By the end of this course, learners will be able to:

  • List and describe the six main categories of groundwater contamination sources
  • Identify the three principal remediation goals for the restoration of groundwater aquifers to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of the public
  • Define the three general strategies used for cleanup and remediation of groundwater aquifers

Aquifer Remediation is divided into three video-driven lessons. For a more immersive learning experience, students are guided by audio narration and engaging text and images. Once the course is completed, the learner’s knowledge of groundwater remediation techniques is put to the test with a 10-question exam.

“This course extensively covers everything water industry personnel need to know about common sources of pollution and groundwater remediation techniques to restore water quality in compromised underground water resources. The instructor-led, video-based training is perfect for any engineer, architect, planner or contractor looking for best industry practices.”

Bryan Fitzgerald, Content Manager, TargetSolutions

A clear understanding of groundwater contamination and proper aquifer remediation methods are essential to minimizing risk of exposure and protecting the public’s well-being.

For questions about TargetSolutions’ new Water Industry Aquifer Remediation training course or any lessons in our Water and Wastewater catalog, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048!


Meet the Team: Get to Know Client Services Representative Jillian Conrad

Jillian Conrad

Jillian Conrad joined TargetSolutions’ Client Services team this past April.

Jillian Conrad was welcomed to the TargetSolutions team as a Client Services Representative this past April. Native to the San Diego area, Jillian grew up appreciating the city’s blissful weather, tasty Mexican food and vast dog-friendly beaches.

Prior to joining TargetSolutions, Jillian served as a Claims Specialist where she balanced tasks such as reviewing claims and communicating with clients and insurance companies. Her multitasking abilities and communication skills make her the perfect fit for the Client Services team.

After working at TargetSolutions for a few months, Jillian was asked what she enjoyed the most about her job: “I love the people I work with. TargetSolutions’ atmosphere is so welcoming and everyone is friendly!”

Get to know more about Jillian’s interests with this recent Q-and-A:

Favorite Movie?

The Labyrinth

Favorite Band/Artist?

All Country

If you could go anywhere, where would you visit?

Hawaii or Ireland

Favorite flavor of ice cream?

Mint Chip

Cats or dogs?

Both. I love all animals.

Describe your idea of a perfect weekend:

Relaxing with my dogs by the beach.

What is your favorite type of weather?

The mix of sunny and sometimes gloomy weather San Diego has.

Favorite food?


Any pets?

Yes. I have two rescue dogs! One is a fat chihuahua and the other is a greyhound mix.

Fun fact about yourself:

I love dancing. I do line dancing 2-3 times a week!