Technology with a Purpose

Archive for October, 2015

Get to Know Steve Walsh, TargetSolutions’ New Account Specialist

When Steve Walsh reflects on his journey from Greenacres, Wash. to San Diego, he describes it as a “very long story with lots of miles travelled.”

Indeed, TargetSolutions’ new account specialist had quite a trek with many twists and turns – but now that he’s here, it feels like home.

Before arriving at TargetSolutions, Steve served as a volunteer firefighter with the Airway Heights Fire Department (Wash.) where he also became a certified EMT. From there he enjoyed a lengthy career refereeing hockey games in numerous professional leagues across the country, including the Western Hockey League, USA Hockey, and the East Coast Hockey League.

TargetSolutions entered the picture in July when Steve befriended fellow employee Eric Kile on the golf course and was informed of the account specialist position. With Steve’s history as a firefighter and EMT, the position seemed like a natural fit.

“There’s a lot more opportunity here in terms of business and growth,” said Steve. “So far I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Here is more about Steve from a recent Q-and-A:

What are some of your hobbies?

Golf of course; and wine tasting is a lot of fun for my girlfriend and I. Another hobby, though, I haven’t played in a while, is racquetball. I used to play in a league and play on a daily basis when I lived in South Carolina. Aside from that, probably collecting memorabilia from my hockey experiences. I have hundreds of pucks from every building I’ve ever been to. I’ve kept things that have been thrown at me when I was officiating like a rubber duck and a big stack of beer cups.

Favorite and least favorite food?

My absolute favorite food in the entire world – and it’s a rare occasion when I get to eat it – but I’d go with lobster tail. Least favorite: Brussels sprouts.

If you could live out any movie, what would it be?

Gotta go with “Star Wars.” I’m a huge fan. I own all the movies and I’ve seen them multiple times. I’m excited for the new one.

If you were to go anywhere on the planet right now, with no restrictions, where would you go and why?

Australia/New Zealand! Everything I’ve ever seen makes it look like an amazing place. I’ve always been interested in wildlife, so I’d like to go to the outback and go on a safari.

Who do you consider to be a hero or role model?

My Dad. He’s been a hard-working guy my entire life and doesn’t complain about anything.

If you won the lottery, what would you buy first?

Probably buy a house. It would be on the water, preferably the ocean.

What’s something about yourself that most people may not know?

I made it to the state championships in the discus toss in high school.

Why Firefighters Should Remember Every Building Is in the Process of Falling Down

Building Behavior Under Fire Conditions
Firefighters can increase their safety by being prepared for potential structural collapses and understanding how to make predictions on how buildings will behave under fire conditions.

Blog by Richard B. Gasaway, CFO, EFO, Fire Chief (ret.)

When responding to a building on fire, does it make sense for firefighters to just assume the building is in the process of falling down? Is that a realistic expectation?

You bet it is!

You don’t have to study Newton’s law of universal gravitation to understand gravity is pushing down on the earth at all times with constant force. This means, in essence, gravity is trying to make every building fall down, including the one you are sitting in right now.

The only thing holding the building up against the force of gravity is the components of construction. Pretty simple stuff, right? The components of construction will work, as designed, for so long as they are not acted upon by an outside force (there’s a little Newtonian physics language for our scientific readers).

For the sake of this discussion, that outside force is heat. Heat degrades the ability of the building’s components to stand up to gravity. At some point, unless action is taken to stop the degradation, the components of construction will lose out to gravity and the building will fall down.

Let’s tie all of this in to situational awareness. The first level of situational awareness is perception – being aware of building construction and fire conditions. The second level of situational awareness is comprehension – being aware how the former is being impacted by the latter. The third level of situational awareness is projection – being able to make accurate predictions about how soon a building is going to lose its battle with gravity.

If you look at every building on fire as if it is in the process of falling down, it can change your entire perspective about your safety. As you conduct your size up, consider the components used to make the building. This takes some training and some knowledge of building construction. There are many different types of construction and each have benefits and detriments, most of which are a factor of strength and cost of materials.

Dwellings made with lightweight construction are going to lose their battle with gravity much sooner than dwellings with legacy construction. Buildings with fire suppression systems and fire resistive construction are going to fare better than those without.

The important point I want to make in this article is about your mindset. Be of the mindset that heat is degrading the component of construction and the building you are working in is being pushed to the ground by gravity. There may be little to no warning to indicate when gravity is going to win the battle.

I’m reminded of an experiment one of my kids did for school in which they built a toothpick structure and then loaded weight on top of it incrementally until it collapsed. Until that last unit of weight was added there was no warning signs of impending collapse. But when the final unit of weight was added, the entire structure came smashing down. There was no warning whatsoever. And while we were expecting it – in fact, we were trying to create it – we were still surprised with the speed it happened.

Here are several firefighter training items to discuss:

1. Discuss the training you have received on building construction and how those lessons apply to being prepared for potential structural collapse.

2. Discuss how you can improve your safety by making reasonable predictions of how buildings will behave under fire conditions.

3. Discuss what you can do to ensure you will not be inside a structure fire when gravity wins and the building (or some portion of the building) falls down.

About the Author
Dr. Gasaway is widely considered one of the nation’s leading authorities on situational awareness and the human factors that complicate first responder decision making. In addition to his 30-plus years in the fire service, including 22 years as a fire chief, Dr. Gasaway has a second passion: Uncovering and applying research in brain science for the benefit of first responders. His website, Situational Awareness Matters ( welcomes 50,000 visitors a month from 156 countries. He can be reached via e-mail at

Oceanside Tracks Its Firefighter Training Records with TargetSolutions

The Oceanside Fire Department has found success managing its training records with TargetSolutions’ online system.

Like all fire departments, Oceanside Fire Department has a critical need to make sure its firefighter training records are accurate. That need came into focus not too long ago when the ISO came to audit the Southern California agency’s training records.

“After finding out specifically what they (ISO) were looking for, I generated a report and that was the last I heard from them,” Oceanside’s Fire Training Specialist Stuart Sprung said of TargetSolutions’ ISO fire department tracking capabilities. “When they evaluated us on our training, we got top marks on everything because our documentation was on point.”

firefighter training recordsIn addition to effective recordkeeping, the department has seen its total number of training hours skyrocket since implementing TargetSolutions.

“Our guys are training all the time, but if you make it harder for them to enter and record it, then they won’t because they’re busy,” Sprung said of how the agency tracked firefighter training records. “We usually have an over-abundance of training recorded that definitely satisfies.”

When asked whether or not the implementation of TargetSolutions makes his job easier, Sprung was quick and to the point: “TargetSolutions absolutely makes my job easier. It gives me the freedom to be untethered from my office.”

Would you like to learn more about the TargetSolutions fire department training system? Please click here to watch a demo video. If you have any questions, contact us today at (800) 840-8048.

TargetSolutions’ Top 8 Training Courses for Motor Vehicle Safety

TargetSolutions’ Motor Vehicle Safety training catalog features valuable courses on driver safety, emergency vehicle operator training, large vehicle operations, and supervisor training.

TargetSolutions’ Motor Vehicle Safety training catalog offers organizations online courses proven to educate employees and reduce motor vehicle losses. TargetSolutions’ courses for drivers are designed to change unsafe behaviors and reinforce critical safety concepts.

Specific courses are tailored to meet the needs of drivers of various automobiles, including large trucks and passenger vans, as well as emergency vehicle operators. Supervisor curriculum provides supervisors with the training information they need to maintain a staff of safe and capable drivers.

Here are TargetSolutions’ top 8 Motor Vehicle Training courses based on the total number of completions.

  • Defensive Driving Strategies
  • Distracted Driving
  • Dangers of Speeding for Emergency Vehicle Operators
  • Defensive Driving Strategies for Emergency Vehicle Operators
  • Adjusting to Changing Conditions for Emergency Vehicle Operators
  • Accidents & Emergencies for Emergency Vehicle Operators
  • Emergency Vehicle Operations
  • Emergency Vehicle Characteristics

For more information on TargetSolutions’ online safety training, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.

Answers to Your Questions about the All-New Generate Reports Application

TargetSolutions launched the upgraded version of Generate Reports in August. The new tool features major enhancements for scheduling and sharing reports.

After releasing the all-new Generate Reports application, TargetSolutions hosted several webinars to educate clients about the new functionality.

If you didn’t attend a webinar, please click here to watch a recorded version of the presentation.

During the webinar, platform managers had the opportunity to submit questions about creating standard reports, scheduling reports, and other miscellaneous items. Below are a few of the questions and answers that were provided. To download a PDF of the entire Q&A, please click here.


How do I print a certificate for user?

When running a completions report, be sure to have the ‘Assignments — Certificate’ option selected under the Columns. Once the report is ran, you will want to view the report within TargetSolutions, and a clickable hyperlink under the ‘Certificate’ section of your report will show up which will include a link to the certificate that you can also print.

Is there now capability to run a Credential report on multiple credentials at the same time for a single user?

Yes! You may now run a report for multiple credentials for a single user. With the Credentials report type selected, you may select more than one credential in the ‘Narrow down your report to specific data — Credentials’ section, and select your single user within the ‘Users’ selection.

We are currently tracking our Driver’s License numbers in TargetSolutions. How can I run a report on Driver’s License numbers?

To run a report to populate Driver’s License numbers, you will want to run a Credentials report. Within this report, be sure to have the Credential — Credential Number option selected under the ‘Columns’ section to populate this information on your report.

Can a scheduled report be emailed to an external email address?

You are able to email a completed report to an external email address; however, you are unable to schedule a report to automatically be sent to an external email address.

Is it possible to sort a report by more than one criterion, such as sort by name, then date, then activity?

Using exporting your report into Excel, you can sort your report by more than on criteria. The old reporting system has a TAGS selection field in the “limit by” section. Is it possible to get that TAGS added to the new reporting system in the “Narrow down your report to specific data”? Yes, tags are still an available option to narrow your report. You can limit your report to a particular tag or tags by using the drop down under “Courses and Activities” and then choosing “Select tags.”

If you would like more information on this application, please contact your account manager via e-mail at


TargetSolutions’ Top 10 Training Courses for Water & Wastewater Professionals

TargetSolutions’ online training courses feature engaging lessons, interactions, videos, real-life scenarios, quizzes, and more.

TargetSolutions’ online training for water and wastewater comprises of more than 60 hours of accredited recertification training, plus OSHA safety training, harassment prevention training, driver safety training, and more. These continuing education courses have been designed to fulfill both the safety and technical recertification requirements for all levels of industry professionals.

Here are TargetSolutions’ top 10 courses for public works professionals based on the total number of completions over the past year:

• Back Injury Prevention
• Personal Protective Equipment
• Hazard Communication
• Confined-Space Entry
• Storm Water Pollution Prevention
• Driving Safety
• Working in Extreme Temperatures
• Lock-Out/Tag-Out
• Disinfection Basics
• Slips, Trips, and Falls Prevention

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