Technology with a Purpose

Archive for January, 2016

Get to Know Your Account Manager: Julie Blosch

As one of TargetSolutions’ newest employees, account manager Julie Blosch has embraced her new position serving as an account manager for the Southeast region. After wearing multiple hats in her previous role, Julie landed at TargetSolutions in November of 2015 following a tip from fellow employee Debbie Pringle, and is now ready for the new challenges that await.

“The best part of my job so far has been meeting so many site administrators and starting to build those relationships,” said Julie. “It’s rewarding to get to work with so many brave men and women serving in public safety, so I only hope to make their jobs easier!”

A 2013 graduate of California State University San Marcos, Julie spends her free time enjoying sunny San Diego with a combination of hiking, camping, and photography.

Here is a recent Q-and-A to learn more about Julie:

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I have been focusing on planning more vacations to destinations that I haven’t been to before and that are not big, touristy areas. My love of camping only widens those opportunities, plus the photos that I get from the lesser-known beaches and early morning mountain hikes can’t begin to describe how beautiful it is here in California!

What is your favorite band/artist/genre of music?
Currently my playlist contains: Ed Sheeran, Sam Hunt, Kendrick Lamar, Rhianna…all genres. My trusty go-tos include Rascal Flatts, Adele, Ellie Goulding, and Blink (not to mention a little Bieber fever!).

Who is your hero or role model?
Although my mom is my absolute hero (love you, Mom!), one of my previous managers, Shannon, is the one person that stands out in my mind as a huge role model. She helped me become a better person through her support, friendship, and mentorship. Her demeanor and way of thinking is composed, open-minded, and solution-driven. I’d like to think she rubbed off on me a little.

If you were to be famous for something, what would it be?
Being in a pop group with my sisters!

What is a quote that you routinely live by?
Live in the moment.

Would you rather explore the deepest parts of the ocean or blast off into space? Why?
I’m fascinated with the ocean. It captures your attention daily when you’re living in San Diego. The ocean is vast and relatively unknown… plus I’m afraid of heights, so space seems scary.


Attendees Ask Questions, Receive Answers During Webinar on How to Track ISO Training Hours

The special webinar presentation provided an overview of the ISO’s fire department training requirements, best practices for tracking ISO training, and examples of other items that need to be tracked for compliance. Please click here to watch the webinar, which was presented in combination between TargetSolutions and the IAFC.

TargetSolutions and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) recently teamed up to deliver a special webinar presentation, “How to Track Fire Department Training with a Purpose.”

Nearly 300 individuals registered for the webinar, which broke down how fire departments can effectively utilize technology to track training, specifically Insurance Services Office (ISO) requirements. Tim Riley, a retired chief and current Product Specialist for TargetSolutions, delivered the presentation.

While presenting an overview of TargetSolutions’ ISO tracking capabilities, Riley touched on key points, such as ISO’s general training requisites, how to meet those requisites, and perhaps most importantly, how to track training and compliance.

“(TargetSolutions) gives the individual a snapshot view, so they know exactly where they stand on meeting the ISO’s goals in a given year and what type training they lack. Now, you as a training officer can know the status of your people and what kind of training they need to meet the goals.”

Tim Riley, Product Specialist, TargetSolutions

In addition to ISO requirements, Riley also dived into the importance of adequately tracking OSHA training, Fire & EMS continuing education, career tracking, NIMS (National Incident Management System) training, and qualification training.

During the hour-long presentation, attendees had the opportunity to ask questions. Here is a collection of those questions:

Is electronic documentation all that is needed, or is there still a need for hard copies of records for ISO?
The electronic form has been accepted recently and that’s all that’s really needed. ISO, when it’s doing inspections now, sends you a form ahead of time. Most of the time when you get there you can have your reports run and printed out for the inspector.

Are chief officers required to maintain 192 hours for ISO?
If the chief officer is required to respond on a first alarm, such as the battalion chief or the district chief, yes. The fire chief, the deputy chief, those individuals who come out after the fact, they’re not required to meet the 192 because they’re not going to be in the hazard zone. That’s what you have to look at it. It’s who’s going to be in the hazard zone.

What is the definition of a “hazardous zone”?
My best definition is, are you going to be entering a structure that is on fire while the fire is still burning? The hazard has not been mitigated.

Are there any requirements for administrative staff who are firefighters?
If they are working online and they are responding to first alarms then they are required to meet the standards. The biggest question you have to ask yourself is “is this person going to be entering the hazard area?” If this person is going to enter the hazard area while the hazard exists then they have to meet the training requirements.

Does the ISO not accept EMS training?
Absolutely, that is correct. Even though it is 87 percent of the job, it’s not fire-related training and it’s not related to mitigation of the hazard.

Can a training facility also house a station crew or does it need to be a standalone?
The requirements do not say that it doesn’t have to be a standalone. It just has to be on two acres of property with a three-story tower and some kind of burn room or burn prop. It can include a fire station or it could be standalone.

Does ISO offer a handbook which details all these requirements, similar to an NFPA manual?
Yes, if you go to the ISO mitigation website you can print out the new schedule and all the training requirements appear on pages 37 and 38.

If you would like more information on TargetSolutions’ ISO tracking capabilities, please click here or contact us at (800) 840-8048.


Reduce Workplace Injuries with TargetSolutions’ Essential Ergonomics Solution

TargetSolutions’ Essential Ergonomics Solution allows organizations to combine custom training and policies with online courses to educate employees and reduce injuries.

Ergonomics is focused on minimizing injuries and stress in the workplace by enhancing the relationship between employees and their work environment.

Poor posture, incorrect positioning of computer equipment, and forceful exertions are leading factors when it comes to workplace injuries. Whether it’s in a traditional office setting, or out in the field, ergonomics are an important aspect for maintaining a safe working environment.

TargetSolutions’ Manage Credentials application allows organizations to package engaging online training content, including engaging online training courses, surveys, policies, and other custom content to achieve compliance and minimize workplace ergonomic issues.

“If people don’t understand how to properly operate in their work environment, especially in regards to how they’re positioning themselves, how they’re lifting, how they’re even using their computer or sitting in their chair, it can cause musculoskeletal disorders,” said TargetSolutions’ Client Services Manager Jennifer Jones. “I think the number one issue organizations face in regards to ergonomics is lost work time due to injury.”

To learn more about how TargetSolutions’ online training benefit your organization, please contact us today at 1-800-840-8048.

TargetSolutions’ Top 10 Online Safety Courses for Reducing Claims and Liability

TargetSolutions’ online training courses feature engaging multimedia, real-life scenarios, quizzes, and more. Courses are proven to educate employees and reduce risk in the workplace.

TargetSolutions’ extensive catalog of online training courses covers topics such as harassment, injuries, driver safety, and hazards in the workplace. Whether it’s preventing accidents or managing volatile behavior, maintaining a consistent training program is integral for reducing claims and liability.

Here are 10 of TargetSolutions’ top online safety courses for reducing claims and liability:

•    Sexual Harassment Awareness
•    Back Injury Prevention
•    Slips, Trips, and Falls Prevention
•    General Office Ergonomics
•    Workplace Diversity
•    Anger, Violence, and Conflict in the Workplace
•    Bloodborne Pathogens Safety
•    Personal Protective Equipment
•    Driving Safety
•    Discipline and Termination

If you would like more information about TargetSolutions’ online safety training, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048.

Otay Water District Simplifies Continuing Education with TargetSolutions

For more than 15 years, Otay Water District has utilized TargetSolutions’ online management platform to streamline its training.

Otay Water District, a water, recycled water, and sewer service provider serving the communities of southeastern San Diego County, has been with TargetSolutions for more than 15 years. With a need to maintain certification requirements and compliance, Otay found that utilizing TargetSolutions’ online training management system not only exceeded their needs, but simplified them as well.

“TargetSolutions has given us the ability to quickly and effectively deliver training to the organization,” said Otay’s Safety and Security Specialist Oscar Ramirez. “The platform gives us the ability to automate employee registration, credentialing and recordkeeping,”

Otay’s Utility Maintenance Supervisor Chad Thompson cites the benefits of the system’s user-friendly applications.

“As a supervisor, I like it because we can pick what applies to what we’re doing in the field,” Thompson said. “If we had a recent back injury, it’s a good way to have a refresher with a back safety course or one of those applicable topics.”

Are you ready to start streamlining your agency’s continuing education and recordkeeping? Contact TargetSolutions at (800) 840-8048 to learn more.


Year in Review: TargetSolutions’ Top 10 Courses and Other Achievements from 2015

TargetSolutions made significant enhancements to its online courses in 2015. This slideshow breaks down the 10 most popular titles based on user completions.

What makes TargetSolutions the ultimate tool for managing training? It’s the system’s engaging online courses and powerful applications created by our team of talented developers and subject matter experts.

In 2015, TargetSolutions worked hard to enhance the platform’s capabilities and provide the best support possible. Here are some of most notable accomplishments from 2015.

Top Courses from 2015

Every year, more and more courses are completed on the TargetSolutions’ platform. In 2015, more than 1.7 million courses were taken by TargetSolutions’ users. Several of the most popular titles from the past year include Child Abuse: Mandated Reporter Training (formerly called Reporting Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of Children), Sexual Harassment Awareness, and Bloodborne Pathogens Safety.

TargetSolutions updated and enhanced dozens of courses during 2015, while also releasing several packages of new training material, including a professional development training catalog and 12 new firefighter training courses, giving TargetSolutions nearly 260 hours of training for fire departments with 160 hours of EMS recertification.

New Accreditations and Accomplishments in 2015Law Enforcement Advisory Board

In June of 2015, 36 new EMS recertification courses from TargetSolutions were approved for credit by the Continuing Education Coordinating Board for Emergency Medical Services (CECBEMS).

With 25 states now accepting TargetSolutions’ online training courses for Law Enforcement credit, TargetSolutions announced the creation of a new Advisory Board in September to help meet the needs of 21st century police officers.

By December, TargetSolutions’ training for firefighters was accepted in Minnesota, Kentucky and Missouri. These approvals make 11 states that accept TargetSolutions’ online firefighter courses for recertification, with others in the approval process, as well as all 50 states permitting utilization for EMS continuing education.

All-New Reports Application Released in 2015

In August, the highly anticipated all-new Reports application was released. The comprehensive overhaul of the platform’s reporting tool, Generate Reports, as well as updates to the user interface, were designed to make TargetSolutions more intuitive, easy to use and effective.

TargetSolutions’ Generate Reports application features major enhancements for scheduling and sharing reports.

“TargetSolutions is always striving to limit the amount of work platform managers need to do in the system. We want TargetSolutions to be working for you while you’re working on other things for your organization.”

Misty Pratt, Product Manager, TargetSolutions

In addition to the All-New Reports application, TargetSolutions released two new help videos from the TS Fire Academy. The System Overview and the How to Manage Users videos were created to help educate employees on operating TargetSolutions. Keep an eye out for more help videos in 2016!

Memorable Events from 2015

The year started out in January with TargetSolutions’ Customer Appreciation & User Group Workshop at the Marriott Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego. At the event, four clients took home special awards for their outstanding utilization and contributions to the platform, including Rancho Cucamonga Fire Department’s Cheryl Roberts, Fresno Fire Department’s Christine Boozer, Lacey Fire District 3’s Mike Heikes, and San Diego Fire-Rescue Department’s Dan Froelich. This year’s event will be held at the same location on Feb. 2.

In November, TargetSolutions hosted the first-ever Risk Summit. The three-day training workshop featured engaging speakers, platform training sessions, one-on-one tutorials, and a live presentation of the TS Academy. In addition to the comprehensive training for platform managers at the Summit, TargetSolutions awarded the City of Roseville’s Lorrie McClain with the Power User Award and Otay Water District’s Oscar Ramirez with the Milestone Achievement honor after using the platform for 15 years.

For TargetSolutions, the inaugural event offered up a fantastic opportunity to meet face-to-face with platform managers.

“We are really hoping that our clients take away that we value them, and that we want to hear from them and we love their feedback. We want to support them and really show them the platform; provide them with some resources they can take back to their organization and share that with others.”

Amy Albanese, Account Manager, TargetSolutions

This year, TargetSolutions will be hosting more special events for clients to learn about the platform. Please click here to stay up-to-date with upcoming events.


Fire Department Leadership: Nature vs. Nurture

leadership in the fire service

“Leadership is the art and science of influencing and directing people to accomplish the assigned mission. … Leadership does not equal command, but all commanders should be leaders.”

The Air Force Doctrine Document 1-1, Leadership and Force Development

We all know it when we see it. When we hear the words “leader” or “leadership,” certain people come to mind. Whether it was someone’s steadfast presence on a tense call, or maybe how they mentored a younger firefighter. We all have that sense of relief when we know a certain individual will be leading a scene. I can think of several incidents over the years where it could have gotten squirrely, very quickly, but the ICs on scene used their presence of command, the tone of their voice, their experience, and trust in their crews to beat the odds.

Where did they learn these traits?

Some people believe leaders are born while others are developed. In a recent edition of Fire Engineering Magazine, Bobby Halton discussed this theory of nature vs. nurture and the considerations of being born with a certain set of inclinations and predispositions that are the foundation for leadership.

Halton also discussed the other aspects of developing leaders, through the environments that surround us growing up. If you review the two excerpts above from the U.S. Army and the Air Force, neither statement references born vs. developed. Furthermore, it does not specifically reference rank or seniority as being a leader, but they both reference the power of influence and inspiration to achieve a goal.

Barn Boss LeadershipIn my book, Barn Boss Leadership (under review) we take the stance that leaders are developed through experiences and mentoring by wiser individuals. As we develop throughout our careers, it is the experiences (from incidents and training) that drive us to become better leaders.

It is the job of the veteran to show the way, provide opportunities and lead by example. If you are up and coming – ask for the hard assignments, take on additional responsibilities, and listen to the experience surrounding you. If you are a veteran – give those below you a chance, share your knowledge, and say yes more than no.

Mentoring is key, but it is the responsibility of the up and comer to position themselves to be mentored. This is done by positioning yourself to display your enthusiasm, motivation and desire as a student of the service.

Be safe, train hard and go mentor someone!

About the Author
Brian Ward is the chief of emergency operations for Georgia Pacific in Madison, Ga. He is also the author of Fire Engineering’s “Training Officer’s Toolbox” and the managing editor for the Training Officer’s Desk Reference. Brian serves on the ISFSI Board of Directors and is a member of the Georgia Smoke Divers. He is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in Organizational Development from Columbia Southern University and is the founder of Brian can be contacted at


Get to Know TargetSolutions’ Account Manager: Debbie Pringle

As a self-proclaimed “people person,” customer service comes naturally for Debbie Pringle. That’s why she is meshing so well as an account manager with TargetSolutions. After being hired in May of 2015, Debbie has quickly assimilated to the company’s culture and is flourishing in an environment where customers’ need are always the top priority.

“I’ve really enjoyed building relationships with clients,” Pringle said when asked about her new role. “It’s a privilege to work with the clients who serve in public safety and it makes my job more special.”

As a mother of three and an avid cook and baker of everything from salmon to carrot cake, Debbie’s outstanding attitude is helping her be successful. Here is more about Debbie from a recent Q-and-A:

What are some of your interests outside of work?
I spend a lot of my free time with my family. We go to the movies a lot and we spend a good amount of time at the beach. I also love to sing. When I was younger I used to record myself singing and hand out tapes to people as if I were a famous singer. I love to draw too, not that many people know that about me.

If you were able to trade places with a movie character, who would it be and why?
Willy Wonka or Forrest Gump. They both believe life is like a box of chocolates. Who doesn’t love chocolate?

You just won the billion dollar jackpot. What’s your first course of action?
I would buy a huge house, most likely in Seattle. I feel like I would really love the weather in Seattle because I love the rain. I have enjoyed the San Diego sunshine my whole life but I would love it if it rained just a bit more.

What is your favorite food?
My favorite food would be Italian because I’m obsessed with pizza. I would have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

What is your favorite movie?
Die Hard with a Vengeance is by far one of my favorites. It’s such a funny movie.

Do you have any catchphrases?
“Here I come to save the day!”