Alcoa Fire Department in Tennessee may be a smaller-sized department, but it deals with the same larger issues other departments face. Questions such as, how are we going to keep personnel compliant? How are we going to make sure assignments are completed on time? How are we going to report training for our next ISO review? Those are the types of issues Deputy Fire Chief Jim Whaley was looking to answer.

As an early adopter to online technology, Alcoa began tracking training with a competing records management system back in 1998. The department still uses that system for incident reporting, but in 2011, Whaley’s team was ready for a more comprehensive tool built specifically for the nuances of tracking fire department training. It turned to TargetSolutions and hasn’t looked back.

Here are some of the ways Alcoa is effectively using TargetSolutions:

ISO Reporting: Alcoa customized TargetSolutions’ pre-built fire department ISO solution and delivered it to employees to cover training for driver, officer, hazmat, company and facilities requirements. Facing a review in May of 2014, Alcoa was able to compile completed training hours, generate detailed records, and report them exactly how ISO requested during the review.

“The TargetSolutions layout is right in line with the form needed for ISO audits. This made it easy to access everything they were looking for.”

Jim Whaley, Deputy Fire Chief with Alcoa Fire Department (Tenn.)

Generate Reports: Beyond ISO training, TargetSolutions has provided Alcoa with the ability to generate comprehensive reports on everything that is tracked — including overdue assignments, incomplete assignments, etc. — in an easy to digest manner.

“TargetSolutions’ reporting system provides us with a tool to determine how many assignments are overdue and how many are incomplete, so we can keep track of what is going on with training in the department,” Whaley said.

Alert Notifications: For all departments, big or small, it’s not easy managing expirations of licenses, certifications and credentials. However, TargetSolutions’ recordkeeping system features unique alerts to keep users and platform managers on top of deadlines. Whaley is thrilled with how TargetSolutions keeps stakeholders informed of personnel’s compliance.

“The course completion e-mails that notify us when employees have completed certain assignments are helpful,” Whaley said. “Notifications are also sent when deadlines for licenses and credentials are approaching to ensure we don’t let them go unnoticed.”

Custom Activities: With TargetSolutions’ Activities Builder, departments are able to deliver and document SOPs, policies, pre-training, or anything else it needs.

“Our department utilizes the application to schedule courses for individuals to review and complete the necessary pre-training for offsite training sessions,” Whaley said. “Another aspect we’ve found beneficial is if there’s a memo, SOG, or policy that we want to go out, we give it in an assignment and then require validation to know if there is anyone that didn’t read the policy.”

Thanks to a new approval in the state, Alcoa may look into using TargetSolutions for the Tennessee Educational Incentive Program. Departments are now able to use online training for 20 of the required 40 hours to meet their obligation. For now, however, Whaley is thrilled with the ability to track vital training.

“Thanks to the hard work of several members of our staff we have the system set up and the department is able to track training effectively,” Whaley said.