Technology with a Purpose

Archive for March, 2016

IAFC’s VCOS Teams Up with TargetSolutions for the 2016 Training Officer Recognition Award

SAN DIEGO – TargetSolutions, the leading provider of computer-based training management applications for public safety agencies, is honored to work with the IAFC’s Volunteer & Combination Officers Section for the 2016 Training Officer Recognition Award.

For the third year in a row, TargetSolutions will sponsor the annual distinction bestowed upon an individual who demonstrates innovation in firefighter training. The award acknowledges exemplary conduct befitting of a training officer and recognizes creativity and commitment to best practices.

“We’re excited to work with the VCOS once again and recognize a member of the fire service who is committed to providing personnel with the training they need to be safe and effective,” said TargetSolutions’ Director of Sales Jeff Oathout.

“We take training very seriously. We realize how critical it is to a department’s success and for us, partnering with the VCOS for the Training Officer Recognition Award is a tremendous opportunity to honor someone who shares that same commitment.”

Please note, nominees should be chiefs, training officers, or others acquainted with training and must be an IAFC member, or come from a department where the department or the chief of the department, is an active IAFC member.

The winner of the award will receive a trip to San Antonio for Fire-Rescue International, which is scheduled Aug. 17-20. Round-trip airfare and hotel accommodations, as well as a plaque commemorating the award, will be presented to the winner.

Capt. Chip Everett of Oshtemo Township Fire Department (Mich.) and Asst. Chief Brad Pinsky of Manlius Fire Department (N.Y.) won the prestigious award in 2014 and ’15, respectively.

In addition to the Training Officer Recognition Award, TargetSolutions is offering VCOS members a discount on the industry’s most powerful online training management system. Departments will receive $500 off TargetSolutions’ set-up fee, plus an additional 10 percent off user fees. If interested in this discount, please click here.

For more information on TargetSolutions, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048.

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. For more information on TargetSolutions, check online at

VCOS provides chiefs and chief officers who manage volunteers within a volunteer or combination fire, rescue or EMS delivery system with information, education, services and representation to enhance their professionalism. For more information, check online at


Make Your Next ISO Review Stress-Free with TargetSolutions

TargetSolutions’ ISO Training Tracker simplifies the tracking and reporting of ISO training hours.

For many fire departments, ISO reviews feel like reoccurring nightmares. They can be scary and the next one is right around the corner.

The struggle to manually compile accurate spreadsheets, search for records, and decipher what meets certain requirements in preparation of an ISO review is very real. TargetSolutions changes all of that. With a recordkeeping system that automatically tracks training assignments and generates detailed reports, TargetSolutions’ computer-based system was built to simplify ISO.

By packaging training and compliance tasks through TargetSolutions’ one-of-a-kind Manage Credentials application, agencies are able to accurately deliver required training to meet standards for driver training, officer training, hazmat training, company training and facilities training. Then, when the review comes, generating detailed reports is stress-free.

Here is what TargetSolutions’ clients have to say about tracking ISO training hours with TargetSolutions:

“After finding out specifically what (ISO was) looking for, I generated a report and that was the last I heard from them. When they evaluated us on our training, we got top marks on everything because our documentation was on point.”

Stuart Sprung, Oceanside Fire Department (Calif.)

Watch Oceanside’s Testimonial >

“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, Alcoa Fire Department (Tenn.)

Read Alcoa’s Testimonial >

“TargetSolutions has created a records system that clearly allowed our organization to comply with our scheduled ISO audit in September 2010. The process of completing the training section of the report for ISO was seamless.”
Guy Keirn, Pinellas County Training Group (Fla.)

Read Pinellas County’s Testimonial >

“TargetSolutions is a very strong platform for tracking certifications, hours and all of the things you need from a certification standpoint. It’s also a great way to keep track of records for ISO compliance.”
Bob Olme, Wheat Ridge Fire Department (Colo.)

Read Wheat Ridge’s Testimonial >

“It will definitely improve our ISO rating. It only takes 10 minutes to generate reports for every shift captain to let them know exactly what they need to do for ISO by the end of the year. The speed is amazing.”
Kim Miller, Haines City Fire & Rescue (Fla.)

Read Haines City’s Testimonial >

“I’m really excited about the ISO solution. ISO reports are such a big headache. It’s a lot of work getting ready for when the ISO team is going to be here. I think with this system it will be much easier. TargetSolutions (tracking capabilities) have cleaned up the process for us.”
Dennis Reglen, El Paso Fire Department (Texas)

Read El Paso’s Testimonial >

“During our last ISO review, we got down to a 2 (rating), but my goal before I retire is a 1. I think we are now going to be able to track training even better — so that is a big push for us.”
Michael Walton, Yuma Fire Department (Ariz.)

Read Yuma’s Testimonial >

For more information on how TargetSolutions can help your organization manage ISO training more effectively, please contact us today at 1 (800) 840-8048.


Reinforce Safety Measures with TargetSolutions’ School Shooting Awareness Training Course

TargetSolutions’ School Shooting Awareness training course discusses warning signs and how to respond to potential threats.

Every time an unthinkable tragedy of a school shooting incident makes headlines, questions arise and debate stirs. The conversation is always centered on why these events happen and what can be done to prevent them in the future.

TargetSolutions’ School Shooting Awareness course examines the collective characteristics of multiple shootings and analyzes the behavior and personalities of the perpetrators. Additionally, the course provides an overview of early warning signs and what actions need to be taken when a threat is made.

“This course is beneficial in that it provides awareness on identifying potential mental illness issues,” said TargetSolutions’ Client Services Manager Jennifer Jones. “It provides information on identifying and assessing potential threats as well as how to respond to those threats.”

To learn more about TargetSolutions’ online course catalog for school districts, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048.

Seven Ways to Win in Today’s Fire Service

Ways to Win in Today’s Fire Service

Battalion Chief Bob Atlas is a 20-year fire service veteran who is currently the Interim Assistant Chief of EMS and Training for the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District located in Northern California. Atlas is a prodigious adherent of personal growth and lifelong learning, with a mantra of “the minute you stop learning is the moment you start dying.”

Instead of prepping firefighting candidates for a test, he advocates preparing them for a career. Seven Ways to Win in Today’s Fire Service was developed as a personal and moral compass for individuals to always put in their best efforts and strive to be better than they were the day prior. Whether it’s with a combination of all seven tried and true methods or with a focus on just one, it’s important to always move forward every day, he believes. “Excellence is not what you do, but who you are,” said Atlas.

During Firehouse World in San Diego, Atlas presented the Seven Ways to Win in Today’s Fire Service. Here is an overview:

1. Take Control: Generate positive change and avoid negative influences. Communicate your plan to the people around you, build strategic relationships and, most of all, take control of your reputation. When you succeed at taking control, then you have essentially taken control of the outcome.

2. Establish Credibility in the Profession: Avoid developing a sense of complacency. Firefighters by nature are very humble people who don’t toot their own horns, but we can’t be ashamed of sharing who we are and what our values are. We need to develop our own mission statement that describes our values and what we’re committed to. We need to establish public outreach and proactive campaigns and create a delicate balance that shows the public what we do and how we do it.

3. Be a Participant in the Organization’s Success: Be a part of something greater than personal gain and help take an organization to the next level. The key to success is remaining relevant in the fire service and being better today than you were yesterday.

4. Have a Vision: Individuals need to change the way they approach their careers. They need to be lifelong learners and not just be looking to get a job and then kick back. It’s important that they don’t fall into the mindset of thinking that they’ve learned everything once they’re off probation, or that they’ve learned everything they need to know for the remainder of their careers.

5. Master Command and Leadership Skills on and Off the Fire Ground: The question is: Do you have what it takes to lead in different fields? Can you lead in the firehouse? How about a single engine response?

6. Know Your ‘Why’: Your “why” is the thing that makes you get up in the morning and drive to work and push forward in your career. It’s what makes you excited and happy with wanting to continue and to do more for yourself. Life isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey.

7. Learn How to Fail Forward: We’re so used to failure as something that moves us backward. Failing forward is no different than a boxer who gets up after being knocked down. Champions and successful people figure out how to use failure to drive them to succeed. Failure is not a bad thing but rather it’s a fork in the road that presents you with opportunities. You fail when you quit. You fail when you let everyone pass you by. Learn to respond and be successful in overcoming obstacles. Don’t let it hold you down. Don’t quit.

Atlas summed it all up by challenging entry level firefighters and incumbents alike: “Do your job and do what is right … always!”


Bob AtlasAbout the Author

Bob Atlas is the Interim Assistant Chief of EMS and training for the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District in California.  He entered the fire service as a Community Fire Aide for the Milpitas Fire Department in 1996 and completed an internship with the South Santa Clara County Fire Protection District and Cal Fire in 1997. Chief Atlas has been married for 25 years to his wife Teresa. They have three children and reside in Brentwood, Calif.



Get to Know TargetSolutions’ Client Services Representative Niko Dela Cerna

Niko De la Cerna

Niko Dela Cerna has been a Client Services Representative at TargetSolutions for nearly two years. As a CSR, Niko is the first point of contact for customers. He assists with technical issues, log-in errors and a variety of other customer service inquiries via phone, chat and e-mail. Niko also assists TargetSolutions’ Account Managers with tasks and helps with the training process for new hires in the Client Services department.

“I’ve always held customer service-related positions because I love talking to people,” said Niko. “I enjoy assisting clients with their needs and solving problems for them.”

When not in the office, Niko loves partaking in outdoor activities, especially hiking at local trails. Learn more about Niko in this recent Q-and-A:

What is your favorite food?


Describe your perfect vacation:

Travel around Asia. Go to Thailand, Japan and the Philippines.

Art Museum, Concert or Theme Park?


Cake or Ice Cream?


If you could live in any other state in the U.S., where would it be?

I would live in Seattle, Washington because it’s so green.

If you could be any super hero, who would you be and why?

Superman because he saves lives and helps people.

What is your favorite book?

“Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter.

If you could travel in time, what era would you go back to and why?

The 1990s because the music was better and people were more engaging with each other compared to now with cell phones.

Three words your best friend would use to describe you:

Caring, outgoing, funny.

New Enhancements: Dashboard Visibility for Supervisors, Search Functionality in Credentials

Supervisors in need of information on their personnel’s incomplete assignments and administrators wanting easier access to credentials are going to be thrilled with TargetSolutions’ latest round of enhancements.

The online training management system received several upgrades to improve the platform’s usability. Here are the details:

Supervisor Dashboard

Supervisors will now see assignment dashboards from their Administration tab. The incomplete assignments data is specific to the users they oversee and is controlled by a setting available in Manage User Profile.

“This provides supervisors with a quick glance at how their users are doing,” said Product Manager Misty Pratt. “The graph format gives valuable insight on how an organization is performing. This helps supervisors solve problems before they occur by staying aware of their group’s training progress.”

Supervisors will not lose access to their current dashboard view, which includes a list of users they oversee and last login date. If the supervisor has access to both dashboards, they are able to toggle between the two.

Note that only supervisors with access to the Assignments – Incomplete report have automatically received access to the new dashboard.

Search in Manage Credentials

Platform managers accustomed to searching for courses and activities inside the platform can now do the same with credentials. Search bar functionality has been added to Manage Credentials.

“This solves usability issues for administrators who are seeking to find specific credentials,” said Pratt. “We wanted to make credentials more efficient and easier to use.”

“Both of these enhancements were things we have heard about from clients and we are always striving to make the platform as user-friendly as possible.”

Misty Pratt, Product Manager, TargetSolutions

In addition to these enhancements, TargetSolutions completed additional improvements, including removing the default setting that made all new activities accessible in Record Completions, as well as a changing reports to increase the number of entries (data rows) viewable per page in both the standard and full screen report view screens.

For more information on these enhancements, please click here. If you have any questions about the system, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.

TargetSolutions Launches Three New Law Enforcement Training Courses

TargetSolutions’ online training catalog features more than 240 courses for law enforcement personnel. Courses are created by subject matter experts and include scenario-based lessons and multimedia.


About New Law Enforcement Training Courses Released

TargetSolutions has released three new courses in its law enforcement catalog: “Tire Tread and Tire Track Evidence” and “No Regard for Human Life,” which is a two-part series.


Each of the courses are video-based courses and come with numerous learning modules and a 10-question exam. All of the law enforcement courses provide supplementary training designed to enhance field knowledge, reduce risk, and maintain safety for law enforcement officers.


Tire Tread and Tire Track Evidence Training Course

In this course, law enforcement officers will learn about tire tread and tire track evidence and the deductions that can be made at the crime scene. Special focus is made on how to properly collect evidence and use it to solve crimes.


No Regard for Human Life – Two Part Series

In this course, law enforcement officers will learn about the anatomy of gun battles and how to maintain composure during such an incident with an emphasis on real-world scenarios.


Check out our law enforcement training catalog for more information about these courses and more.. If you have any questions, contact us online or at (800) 840-8048.


If you’re interested in seeing the TargetSolutions training management platform in action, request a free demo now.

TargetSolutions Updates Two WHMIS Courses from Canadian Catalog

TargetSolutions‘ WHMIS Basic and Advanced Refresher courses have been updated with new multimedia.

Two courses in TargetSolutions’ course catalog for agencies in Canada, centered around Workplace Hazard Material Information System (WHMIS), have received content updates. The courses, one a basic refresher of WHMIS, and another that is advanced, contain revisions for content that complies with currently changing national laws centered on workplace chemicals.

In 2015, the Canadian Ministry of Labour modified WHMIS to incorporate the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) for workplace chemicals. Known simply as WHMIS 2015, it includes harmonized criteria for hazard classification and new requirements for labels and safety data sheets (SDSs). The standards are being phased in across Canada from 2015 to 2018.

These updated courses feature nine learning modules, a 10-question exam and new multimedia. Both the WHMIS Basic and Advanced Refresher courses cover all elements of WHMIS 2015, including SDSs, supplier labels, workplace labels, hazard classes, and pictograms.

For more information on these courses or other courses in our Canadian catalog, please contact TargetSolutions’ Canadian distributor Global Risk Innovations at (866) 639-8727.

TargetSolutions Optimizes Two NFPA 1021 Firefighter Training Courses

TargetSolutions has updated two courses from its NFPA 1021 library. Company-Level Training and Leadership as a Group Influence have received updates.

Company-Level Training and Leadership as a Group Influence, two training courses from TargetSolutions’ NFPA 1021 catalog, have been updated with optimized content and new multimedia.

Company-Level Training’s primary focus is to equip officers on how to conduct successful training and how to assess particular training needs. With nine learning modules and a 10-question exam, this course will teach company officers how to successfully train at the company level.

Leadership as a Group Influence explores how different types of leadership styles, strategies, and theories can affect a fire battalion. Examples are provided that explore the benefits of positive leadership, as well as pros and cons of varying leadership styles.

To learn more about TargetSolutions’ NFPA training courses for firefighters, please click here. And if you have any questions, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048.