Technology with a Purpose

Archive for April, 2013

The Essentials of Honorable Leadership

Blog by Mark Emery, EFO
President of Fire Command, LLC

If all learned skills must begin with the fundamentals, what are the fundamentals of leadership?

Many experts define leadership as the action of leading a group of people or an organization. What that definition describes is supervision and management, not leadership. The evidence is that a person can be promoted to a position of supervision or management without being a leader. Thus it is imperative to prepare leaders at all organizational levels.

Again, it is important to not confuse leadership with supervision or management. The distinction is crucial; not making this distinction is why groups and organizations experience ongoing conflict.

While it is possible to draft a job description for a Supervisor or a Manager, it is impossible to draft a job description for a Leader. Imagine saying to someone, starting Monday morning you will be a leader.

Consider this: The actions of a prison guard ensure that the inmate group gets things done; goals like cooking meals, mopping floors, doing laundry, meeting license plate production quotas, etc. Does that mean that the prison guard is a leader? Of course not, prison goals will be met whether or not the guard is a leader. The supervisory success of the prison guard is entirely based on position and authority.

Although the role, responsibility, and authority of people may vary, the intrinsic template of truly honorable leadership does not vary. Often missed by traditional leadership programs is the fact people should be a leader before they become a supervisor or manager. Each member must be able to lead themselves before they attempt to supervise others.

It is not uncommon for so-called leadership programs to morph into supervision and management programs. Thus, a leadership gap is perpetuated. Fundamentals of leadership essentials must permeate the organization, top to bottom. Not all people will supervise, but all people should possess the template for honorable leadership.

Once the honorable leadership template has been internalized individually, and institutionalized organizationally, honorable leaders will proliferate and the ultimate manifestation of organizational development will emerge: Trust.

About the Author

Mark Emery is president of Fire Command, LLC in King County, Wash. He is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer (EFO) Program and has a degree from California State University Long Beach. In 2010, he retired as an operations battalion chief with the Woodinville, Wash., Fire & Life Safety District.

TargetSolutions’ Newly Updated Courses for New GHS Standard

Late last year, TargetSolutions announced it will be updating more than two dozen courses to meet the new Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals standards. TargetSolutions has made good progress toward that goal by updating and/or re-launching the following courses:

>> Right to Know
>> NFPA 1500 Hazard Communication
>> Hazmat Spill Prevention and Control
>> Hazmat Transportation
>> Materials, Handling, Storage, Use and Disposal

All of the remaining health and safety training courses that directly deal with the new GHS standard are scheduled to be, or are in the process of being, updated to the new regulations. We expect all updates to be completed this year.

GHS is a worldwide initiative to promote standard criteria for classifying chemicals according to their health, physical and environmental hazards. It was developed by the United Nations because systems already in place worldwide create multiple classifications and inconsistent protection for those potentially exposed to the chemicals.

The GHS itself is not a regulation or a standard. It is simply a document that establishes agreed hazard classification and communication provisions with information on how to apply the system. Its primary goal is the protection of human health and the environment by providing chemical users and handlers with enhanced and consistent information on chemical hazards.

“TargetSolutions understands the importance of updating these courses,” said Content Architect Jeremy Lynch. “We are in the process of making the changes, and while there is no international implementation schedule we will have all of our related courses in compliance with the new system by the end of 2013.

For more information on the GHS, please visit its website.

Longtime Client Praises TargetSolutions’ Client Services Team for Going Extra Mile


Fresno Fire’s Civilian Training Officer ‘Most Definitely Recommends’ TargetSolutions to Other Departments

TargetSolutions is known for delivering the industry’s most robust online training catalog and powerful applications that make training management more efficient. But ask longtime client Christine Boozer of the Fresno Fire Department what she finds most valuable, and she will probably say it’s the company’s unrivaled customer support.

TargetSolutions proved to Boozer it was willing to go the extra mile during Fresno’s implementation of the platform in June of 2006.

“We almost signed with another vendor, but within two weeks we ended up going with TargetSolutions,” said the department’s civilian training officer, who relied on TargetSolutions’ Client Services team early on. “I was expected to roll out custom training, not just TargetSolutions training, but custom activities. I didn’t even know the system yet, so I was helped from Day 1 in a very high profile way.”

When Boozer needed TargetSolutions’ help for rolling out the system, the company delivered in-depth training to make sure she was successful launching the web-based platform. More than six years later, Boozer is a platform expert able to effectively utilize Activities Builder to provide videos and policies to employees.

“We do a lot of pre-training before a multi-company drill, so if we have a new policy we have created either videos or PowerPoints to illustrate the new policy,” Boozer said. “We put it out ahead of time (with Activities Builder) for training so it has a lot of pre-training purposes.”

“Staying on top of changes in policies and training with the Activities Builder is critical,” Boozer said. “Departments are able to ensure users accountability to policies and procedures through e-signatures.”

“Within the City of Fresno Fire Department, there are 23 stations needing to fulfill training requirements,” Boozer said. “(This can put) strain on the efficiency of the stations and safety of the city due to taking people out of the area for classroom training.”

“With TargetSolutions’ easily accessible platform, training is delivered universally to all without leaving the city of Fresno at risk. The platform offers delivery of training in a way that is easily recorded, ensuring the department is tracking everything and remaining compliant,” Boozer said.

At the end of the day, however, Boozer is most grateful for the tremendous support she received in the beginning when she was just learning to maneuver the platform.

“You can call TargetSolutions and say, something is not working, I need your help, do you have something for our needs?” Boozer said.

“And that’s exactly the type of support TargetSolutions aims to deliver every single day,” said TargetSolutions’ Director of Client Services Jenny Fergason.

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

Easily Filter Course Activities with TargetSolutions’ Easy-to-Use Tagging System

Platform administrators are able to Tag courses and activities to help make the platform easier to manage. A tagging system enables administrators to better organize courses and activities using filters to search for topics, while working with reports and credentials.

This is beneficial to administrators because it helps them determine total number of training hours, based on Tags. For example, with TargetSolutions EMS courses, platform administrators can add the tag EMS to all of the EMS courses available in their library. Then, when running a report based on the EMS tag, they are able to see the total number of EMS training their users have received.

Additional examples of Tags are OSHA, Hazardous Materials, Human Resources, Training Drills, Recruit Training, Company Training, General Requirements, etc. Clients who track ISO and ARFF training, for instance, have found great success with the tag feature because it allows them to tag all of the appropriate activities and courses with their respective ISO or ARFF Tags.

The first step is to choose a course from the Courses box, then click edit next to Tags. After that you select the Tags you wish to apply to the course and click Apply Changes. Tags can also be associated to activities built within the Activities Builder through the Activity Settings feature.

For more information on this feature, please contact TargetSolutions support team today.