Some things go together perfectly. Take TargetSolutions’ Community Resources application and members of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors, for example.
ISFSI has utilized the robust application more than any other group on TargetSolutions’ platform, which makes total sense. After all, Community Resources has been called Google on steroids for the fire service, making it ideal for fire instructors looking to beef up their training programs.
Community Resources is a way for instructors to network and share information, ISFSI President Eddie Buchanan said. “If there is a program they have done that they are proud of, they can put it out there for everyone to use. They can also look at what others have done for some help. It’s really a great way to share in a community setting.”
TargetSolutions first introduced Community Resources in 2009, and the application has been a hit with ISFSI and other groups ever since. Users from ISFSI’s Members Only PreventionLink Connect website have downloaded more than 1,200 resources to help with their instruction, and that’s nearly 300 more downloads than the second-most active user, Cal Fire Riverside County.
Community Resources gives users access to training presentations, educational videos, inspection forms and other compliance management and loss control documents that help departments develop custom training and compliance programs at a fraction of the cost it would take to create from scratch. “I like to keep my training fresh, relevant and interesting,” said Charles Collins, who is a battalion chief for Estero Fire Rescue in Florida. “I have been the bored student listening to training presentations that are re-runs or outdated, as well as the unimaginative drills where we just go through the motions or pencil whip the training. I do not want to have that type of training with my name on it. For those reasons, I am continuously looking for examples, ideas, PowerPoints, lesson plans, etc. that aid me in creating my programs.”
“With time and resources so tight these days, it makes no sense for trainers to recreate the wheel,” Collins added.
“I look to my peers for their ideas and I share mine as well,” he said. “I will be uploading several more items very soon to the Community Resources (application) that I have created recently. These types of resources are vital to our mission in the fire service.” Two of the most well-received resources available right now are San Diego Fire and Rescue Departments SDFD Ventilation Training, a PowerPoint, and Ventilation Skills, a video produced by the department. The two resources each have an outstanding 4star rating (out of five) and have been viewed more than 4,500 times combined.
SDFD’s resources are well organized with clear learning objectives, according to Jim Bryla, the chief of the Training Division for the Roseville Fire Department in California. The information is practical and provides a good foundation for manipulative training, he added.
While SDFD’s ventilation resources have been smash hits for TargetSolutions’ entire network of users, 10-1 HYDRAULICS, which was uploaded by Craig Kodat of the Riverside Fire Department, has been viewed more than any other resource by ISFSIs users.
With such a powerful search engine, however, users can easily locate the topics they are seeking.
“The search engine is helpful if you go into it looking for a certain topic, like forcible entry, or something, you will find material in there,” said Wes Djuplin, who is a firefighter/instructor with the Kenosha Fire Department in Wisconsin.
Brian Ward of the Gwinnett County (Ga.) Fire Department has been an active user of the application since its inception. Ward has uploaded numerous resources, but he’s especially fond of the Tactical Decision Games resources that were recently uploaded.
“Those resources are Word documents with a picture, a paragraph with a question, and a time limit that can be done at the kitchen table,” Ward said. “It’s good to test and see if guys can process the situation with a time limit, because if they can’t perform with a hard time limit in that setting, you know it’s something that needs to be reviewed before it happens in the field.”
With such a tremendous tool for finding material to help with teaching and keeping firefighters prepared for duty, it’s no wonder TargetSolutions’ clients are benefiting greatly from Community Resources, Buchanan said.
“I think firefighters are just very resourceful and when something benefits them they’ll try to find a way to put it to good use,” Buchanan said.
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.