Technology with a Purpose

Archive for May, 2015

The Secret to Hampton Fire & Rescue’s Success with TargetSolutions

How One Department ‘Thinks Outside the Box’ to Improve Training Efficiencies

For Hampton Fire & Rescue’s Brad Dougherty, 25 percent utilization of TargetSolutions’ powerful records management system just wasn’t going to cut it. Deep down in his gut, the system had more potential to create even greater operational efficiencies in both training and recordkeeping.

After a little hard work and a whole lot of deliberation, the WAE Instructor Dougherty has found some innovative ways to maximize TargetSolutions. Here are five examples of how Dougherty is thinking outside the box to help his department thrive.

Hampton, Va.Department Type
Combination (Fire & EMS)

Department Tempo
24,000 incidents per year

Department Size
285 career members
100 volunteers
11 fire stations

Population Served
136,000 residents

Logistics Branch: In the Commonwealth of Virginia, it is required that every vehicle has regulatory inspection checks. Whether it is a fire apparatus, ambulance, chief officer vehicle, staff vehicle, or support vehicle – each must have routine inspection. Like many other departments, TargetSolutions has helped Hampton maintain accurate inspection records on vehicles.

What makes Hampton’s vehicle-inspection tracking unique, however, is the ability to submit “Vehicle Work Requests.” Utilizing Activities Builder, personnel are able to submit notifications called “vehicle discrepancies.” Then, when officers run a report, they can see the apparatus identifier, apparatus type, garage number, and assigned station to ensure the appropriate vehicle is inspected and/or repaired.

“We really like the vehicle discrepancy form because of its real-time notifications,” Dougherty said. “Prior toTargetSolutions, we were using paper forms that had to go through city mail to various internal and external entities. It is important to the Division to have records that ensure an apparatus is in peak performance.”

ISO Inspections: Each month, Hampton’s goal is to conduct 50 inspections to be compliant with ISO requirements. With TargetSolutions, Hampton has created an inspection tracker allowing fire safety personnel to submit inspections electronically. That way the Division is able to generate comprehensive reports on everything that was accomplished to meet ISO training mandates.

“Every time we do an inspection, personnel come back and put it in to TargetSolutions, which gives them one hour toward their goal,” said Dougherty. “The other great thing is that the Assistant Chief in charge of the Community Risk Reduction Section can run a report to see where they are at.”

Pre-Incident Plans: Whether Hampton receives a call for service from a church, a fast food restaurant, or any other commercial or public building, personnel are equipped with information to understand the structure and hazards they may present. This Division has taken preparation to the next level, utilizing TargetSolutions’ File Center storage capabilities.

Hampton has approximately 5,000 pre-incident plans for structures throughout the city. This library of structure plans and protocols is broken down into 11 districts, and each file provides detailed drawings and information regarding what personnel might find inside.

“When we get a call, we jump in the truck, and enter the type of incident and location on the dispatcher screen,” Dougherty explains. “Then, we pull up our TargetSolutions home page and find our pre-plans. There is a picture of a map inside the Bulletin Board, which links to the File Center where all 11 districts are listed. It’s an effective way to pull up the information we need. This helps us assess potential hazards prior to arriving on a scene.”

“Hampton is getting what it paid for with TargetSolutions. We still use it for monthly training, we use it outside of training, and it’s another tool for us to maximize our efficiencies.”

Brad Dougherty, Hampton Fire & Rescue (Va.)

Post-Incident Review: In the fire service, much can be learned from what happens during responses and calls for service. Dougherty says these lessons are vital for improving his department’s performance and TargetSolutions has provided the department with the ability to document everything.

Through digital, tactical worksheets, personnel can do a 360-degree “check-off” evaluation after an incident. Then, they have the ability to implement the information
into critiques after an incident.

“We can take these activities and review them and say, ‘this is what we saw, this is what worked, and this is what didn’t work.’ That can all be logged on TargetSolutions,” Dougherty said.

Fire Safety Tracking: Fire prevention is an important issue for all communities. Hampton is doing its part to ensure the surrounding community is well-educated on
fire safety and prevention. But, the gap was in how that effort was documented. Now, after Hampton’s fire safety educators educate citizens on household smoke detectors, home evacuation plans, and other fire prevention guidelines, records are tracked in a centralized online location.

“It’s important to us as a fire service to make sure citizens are safe,” Dougherty said. “If we can prevent a fire and loss of life, then we have done our part.”

TargetSolutions allows Hampton to track and maintain accurate records about homeowners in the area and smoke detector status. This information is valuable to ensure follow-ups with homeowners and up-to-date statistics about homes and population in Southeast Virginia.

There is no doubt that Dougherty and Hampton are finding innovative ways to help the department operate more efficiently and effectively through TargetSolutions’ powerful online training management system.

“Hampton is getting what it paid for with TargetSolutions,” Dougherty said. “We still use it for monthly training, we use it outside of training, and it’s another tool for us to maximize our efficiencies. TargetSolutions is helping us live up to our department’s mission: to provide excellent service which exceeds customer expectations. Having these tools helps us do that.”

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 2,000 organizations across the country using TargetSolutions’ innovative technology to solve their training challenges. TargetSolutions is headquartered in San Diego, Calif. For more information, please call 1-800-840-8048 or check online at


Prevent Injuries with TargetSolutions’ Hand and Power Tool Safety Course

TargetSolutions’ Hand and Power Tool Safety training course delivers training that will re-enforce employees’ education on hand and power tool precautions and safety measures. The self-paced, one hour course features eight learning modules and a 10-question exam.

Every year, hand and power tools are involved in thousands of accidents and injuries. Because tools are such an essential key to productivity in the workplace, it is important to remember the dangers they pose.

Implementing safety procedures can prevent costly tool-related incidents from occurring. TargetSolutions’ online safety training course, Hand and Power Tool Safety, provides employees with information on how to recognize hazards and instill safety precautions to prevent serious injuries. The course covers hand tools, power tools, electric tools, pneumatic tools, power-actuated tools, fasteners, jacks, and more.

After completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Properly use hand and power tools for maximum safety
  • Learn how to use a wide variety of tools
  • Follow general rules for tool safety

If you have any questions about TargetSolutions’ online course catalog, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.

Tactical Emergency Casualty Care 101: What It Is and How It Impacts Emergency Response

tactical emergency casualty care

Ofer Lichtman of Rancho Cucamonga Fire DepartmentOfer Lichtman of Rancho Cucamonga Fire Department (Calif.) presented at 2015’s Firehouse World Conference in San Diego. Lichtman provided an overview on Tactical Emergency Casualty Care and how it impacts the fire service. A few months later, Lichtman answered a few more questions on the topic for TargetSolutions.




What exactly is Tactical Emergency Casualty Care and why is it so important for today’s fire service?
Tactical Emergency Casualty Care is the result of a group of experts from law enforcement communities, the fire service, academics, medical professions, and the military, creating guidelines that take into account military medical lessons learned from the battle field, and aid in applying them to civilian crisis response. TECC has looked at the preventable causes of death and targeted guidelines to mitigate those in a very efficient, practical manner.

Prior to the 1999 Columbine massacre, law enforcement traditionally waited for the SWAT team to arrive and secure the perimeter. However, during that time people were still dying. Due to this inefficiency, law enforcement has realized it needed a change and did an amazing job transitioning into what is called ‘contact teams.’ These teams arrive on scene and aggressively pursue the threat. Whether it is an active shooter or another threat, they try to eliminate it.

Though, the law enforcement community was now on board, the fire service never really adapted and shifted along and this formed a gap. The gap is shown when law enforcement has eliminated the threat, but the fire service is still not coming in because they are still using old methods of staging. Current statistics have shown that 85 percent of fire departments around the country are still staging. Many fire service responders do not have a plan of what to do, whether it is a post-blast, a barricaded subject, or an active shooter.

So what Tactical Emergency Casualty Care has done is looked at why there is such high number of casualties in a penetrating trauma. Whether it is a blast, or an active shooter, they have identified certain instances where there is preventable death and have prioritized the importance of these instances to reduce preventable deaths.

The TECC guidelines are different than the military version of Tactical Combat Casualty Care. The TCCC is used to teach soldiers basic life-saving measures. With these guidelines, the military has done an amazing job of having between 3 to 5 percent of deaths from preventable causes. TECC is specific for civilian EMS. If you look at Vietnam War Era and World War II, about 20 to 25 percent of casualties died from things that were completely preventable.

Today, in the civilian world preventable death numbers are nowhere near the military, so there is a need to fix that gap. It is a paradigm shift for the fire service, and it is working very hard on implementing these TECC guidelines, which are in place to guide them on what to do and in what order to treat victims to decrease preventable deaths.

Is there a specific amount of this TECC training in place right now that is required by the fire service or EMS individuals within the fire service?
Recently Fire Scope came out with their official guidelines, which state the fire service should apply a minimum amount of TECC or TCCC training into its day-to-day operations. Therefore, it is recommended that departments should have at least four hours of tactical training at a minimum FRO level, and training on how to respond with law enforcement in a warm-zone environment.

Traditionally, the fire service will only work in a cold zone. The paradigm in the fire service has since shifted. However, still only about 15 percent of fire departments across the country, with Rancho Cucamonga and other southern California agencies being some of them, have made this shift. They have a very progressive policy and protocol that a lot of departments have adopted.

In these situations, there is a different level of Personal Protective Equipment, so all our firefighters are outfitted with ballistic helmets, ballistic vests, and they are more subdued. They do not wear yellow jackets and helmets, which would put a giant target on them.

Also, they train on how to integrate with the law enforcement, and how to move with cover verse cover and concealment. They understand PACE mythology, which would basically mean what their primary plan is, alternate plan, contingency plan, and an emergency plan.

So it is a different mindset than most controlled environments that the fire service is used to. There are a lot of dynamic, moving parts to this level of care. With the main one being, you are working in a unified command environment with multiple agencies having different objectives all for the common goal of providing safety and saving as many lives as possible.

What are a few of the key points in applying TECC to trauma patients in trauma situations?
There are three phases of care in TECC that are crucial, and it is important for the first responder providing the care to understand what level they are working under. For example, if you are finding yourself in a hot-zone, maybe you notice an IED or a shooter with a gun, the principles of your care change dramatically.

First, let’s understand what phase of care. The three phases are 1) hot-zone, which is also called direct threat; 2) the warm-zone, which is the indirect threat phase; and then 3) the cold-zone, meaning no threat and evacuation care.

It is important that you know what phase of care you are in and then adapting to do what is most appropriate. Today, we realize the thing that decreases most preventable death injuries from occurring is hemorrhage control. Therefore, the first thing you should treat in a tactical environment is hemorrhage control.

Sixty percent of preventable deaths occur due to hemorrhage or massive hemorrhage. Even the simple bullet hole that looks like it is controlled could be bleeding on the inside or you do not see the exit wound. So it is crucial that personnel are very aggressive on using tourniquets and other hemostatic agents appropriately to address the main cause of preventable death.

The second in the TECC guidelines would be breathing and airway injuries. Breathing injuries account for about 33 percent of preventable deaths. For example, someone is shot in the chest and develops tension pneumothorax. If this goes untreated, it is something they will die from when one could have easily treated that in a tactical environment with very little equipment.

In conclusion, knowing the phase of care and then knowing what order to apply treatment in that phase are important components. The hot-zone is only hemorrhage control and then evacuate. The other ones are all the different treatments, so hemorrhage control, breathing control, and then airway issues.Read More

What are some of the latest updates from the committee on TECC? What is the committee?
The committee is a non-profit committee of pre-hospital emergency medicine experts that convene to provide guidelines about the medical lessons learned from the battle field to reduce preventable causes of death. TECC are the guidelines that the committee has set for best practice recommendations for casualty management during civilian tactical and rescue operations.

However, in the military, you are dealing with young, healthy adults between 18 and 30, which is much more different than the civilian population most emergency responders are dealing with. Your patient population could be geriatric, disabled, or pediatric; especially considering the school shootings in the last few years. First responders need to be able to incorporate scope of practice and local protocols into their care. Whether you are dealing with patients on blood thinners, patients that are obese, geriatric patients, or pediatric patients, scope of practice are important.

The committee itself is comprised of individuals of high academia who practice high-threat medicine, SWAT teams, fire and rescue agencies, hospitals and military personnel. Together they come up with guidelines and concepts based off current research, which are found in the TECC. Some changes that have been identified are realizing the significant threat to the psyche of the responders.

Some firefighters did not sign up to deal with a combat type of environment where they see mass injuries and death in children. There are some significant emotional injuries the providers will face. Therefore, having the ability to first train people to understand the horrific things they will see and how to deal with it has become important.

But how do you deal with that in TECC? There are things you can try to do, and that is the committee’s main objective – to find new guidelines to incorporate into the existing guidelines to prevent further post-traumatic stress to our own providers.

Exposure to these traumatic events has been identified as a major contributing factor to PTSD in the fire service that you do not even think about it. There is this hero mindset that nothing can hurt you because you are firefighters. But the reality is you are just like anybody else, and if you expose enough of these types of calls to people they are going to have some major emotional injury. The committee has recognized this and they are making progress to try to create guidelines for these instances.

Are there any other guidelines that have been updated recently?
Current medical research is showing the use of TXA (Tranexamic acid) can aid in hemorrhage control. This is potentially going to be a game changer in the trauma setting because there is now a drug agent that you can introduce into a patient’s bloodstream that will assist in clotting.

Before, if a patient was shot in the abdomen, there was little you could do in the field to prevent massive hemorrhaging. With this new treatment medication, there is a high possibility for survival because the paramedics on scene will provide this medication that will allow clotting. The military has been using this for a while, which may be another contributing factor to why their survival rates are the highest that they have ever been. Therefore, it is going to be a game changer in the civilian trauma setting to increase survival rates.

About the Author
Ofer Lichtman started out as a first responder in Israel and is currently the Terrorism Liaison Officer Coordinator for Rancho Cucamonga Fire Department and was instrumental in developing its Terrorism and Tactical Response Program. Ofer is a member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force and is on the advisory board of the C-TECC.

About the Department
The Rancho Cucamonga Fire Department has had a TECC program since 2003. In 2009 it adopted the TECC guidelines. It has taken its training program to the next level. Rancho Cucamonga Fire Department has trained on more than 116 active shooter drills over the last five years, which has helped it implement a strategic and efficient tactical response program.

Bio and photo of Ofer Lichtman are courtesy of

TargetSolutions’ Top 10 NFPA 1021 Company Officer Training Courses

TargetSolutions features more than 60 hours of valuable NFPA training courses, including its NFPA 1021 Series for Company Officers.

These self-paced courses, based on NFPA codes and standards, provide refresher level training to educate Company Officers, maintain safety and achieve compliance.

Here are the top 10 titles from TargetSolutions’ NFPA 1021 library based on total completions over the last five years:

  • NFPA 1021: Firefighter Safety and Health
  • NFPA 1021: Assuming the Role of Company Officer
  • NFPA 1021: Incident Response Safety
  • NFPA 1021: Company-Level Training
  • NFPA 1021: Professional Ethics
  • NFPA 1021: Action Plan Implementation
  • NFPA 1021: Incident Scene Management
  • NFPA 1021: Incident Scene Communications
  • NFPA 1021: Pre-Incident Planning
  • NFPA 1021: Elements of Supervision and Management

In total, TargetSolutions features more than 250 hours of Fire and EMS recertification training hours, as well as powerful applications for tracking training and compliance tasks. If you have any questions about TargetSolutions, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.

Resource of the Month Addresses Active Shooter Incidents

Preventing loss of life is the highest priority for every public safety official. But it’s becoming more difficult. Harvard research shows mass shootings have tripled since 2011. The simple fact is first responders need training on how to respond when confronted with an active shooter.

With this in mind, TargetSolutions offers valuable training resources for public safety officials. In addition to TargetSolutions’ “Basic Principles of Active Shooter Response” training course in the Law Enforcement Course Catalog, Community Resources offers a 28-minute video that provides in-depth information on how to handle these threatening situations.

“Rapid Deployment Active Shooter,” this month’s featured resource, provides a basic introduction to dynamic and non-dynamic responses followed by a detailed scenario of law enforcement officers handling a school shooting. Conclusive commentary provides evaluation on tactical responses to school shootings and/or armed intruder procedures.

This video resource was posted by Camp Roberts Emergency Services, and has since gained more than 1,300 views within Community Resources. Currently, 19 organizations utilize this resource to train on active shooter incidents.

To view this video inside Community Resources, please log in to your organization’s TargetSolutions site and search “Active Shooter” under the Community Resources tab. If you have any questions, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.


RT-130: Annual Wildland Fire Safety Refresher Updated for 2015

Fire departments can deliver TargetSolutions’ RT-130: Wildland Fire Safety Refresher training to help prepare firefighters for wildland fire season. The four modules have been updated for 2015 and provide firefighters with the fundamentals of wildland fire firefighting, as well as safety strategies for operating in the wild.

TargetSolutions has updated its four-module RT-130: Annual Wildland Fire Safety Refresher training with 2015 updates from the National Wildfire Coordinating Group.

The following updates have been made:

2015 Introduction: This module summarizes the 2014 fire season, provides statistical information, lessons learned, and a preview of the upcoming fire season.

Command and Control: Students will be able to explain the leadership principles of command and control, including trust, leader’s intent, pushing authority down to those with the information to solve problems, and communication.

Emergency Medical Short-haul: Students will understand how to use a short-haul helicopter to medevac a patient.

Margins: Students will understand the concept of margins and be able to create decision space in their complex and dynamic work environments.

Position Task Book: Students will understand the intent of the position task book system and how to implement it in the field.

Tools for Communication: Students will understand the five communication responsibilities including brief, debrief, acknowledge and understand messages, communicate hazards to others, and ask if you don’t know.


2015 RT-130 Updates in Community Resources

The 2015 video-based content has been added to Community Resources. You can search for it using the following tags: “2015 RT-130 updates” or “wildland fire annual refresher.”

This resource will come in handy for platform managers interested in assigning the new content for 2015 to users who have already completed the four-module course. If interested in delivering this resource, you will need to follow steps for building and assigning custom content.

Please click here for step-by-step instructions on how to create and deliver custom content. Also, please note, for best viewing experience watching this video, please view in Internet Explorer or Chrome.

If you have any questions about TargetSolutions’ online training for firefighters, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.


TargetSolutions’ Top 20 Online OSHA Safety Training Courses

TargetSolutions’ online training catalog features 50 OSHA safety courses that can be used to comply with state and federal training mandates. The computer-based system features training that can be completed online 24/7, eliminating logistical issues with traditional training methods.

TargetSolutions’ OSHA & Compliance library contains titles covering general safety, environmental awareness, human resources, supervisor-related topics, and much more.

Here are the top 20 courses based on total completions during 2015:

  • Bloodborne Pathogens
  • Hearing Conservation
  • Back Injury Prevention
  • Lock-Out / Tag-Out
  • Slips, Trips, and Falls Prevention
  • Aerosol Transmissible Disease
  • Drug-Free Workplace
  • Ethics in the Workplace
  • Fire Extinguisher Safety
  • Alcohol-Free Workplace
  • Driving Safety
  • Eye Safety
  • General Economics
  • Hazard Communication
  • General HIPAA Awareness
  • Building Evacuation
  • Asbestos Awareness
  • Electrical Safety
  • Disaster Preparedness
  • Office Safety

If you have any questions about TargetSolutions’ online training for OSHA safety, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.