Technology with a Purpose

Archive for June, 2016

Webcasts for Fire Department Leaders Put Spotlight on Training, Professional Development

cb-webcast-promo-cta-1In June, TargetSolutions sponsored two webcasts for fire department leaders. The first presentation, hosted on June 9 by, was titled “The Future of Fire Training, Where Are We Headed?

The webcast explored how training officers can create a happy medium in their training program between computer-based training and classroom-style training.

Brian Kazmierzak, a battalion chief for the Penn Township Fire Department in Mishawaka, Ind. delivered the presentation on how fire agencies can create the right blend to ensure quality training for personnel.

To download a recorded version of this webcast from, please click here.

cb-webcast-promo-cta-2The second webcast, titled “Developing the Next Generation of Fire Service Leaders,” was broadcast on June 29 by

Doug Cline, an assistant chief with Horry County Fire Department (S.C.), presented on why it is vital for fire department leaders to create a professional development model for their organizations.

Cline’s presentation outlined why career growth for employees is a critical element to leadership. It also discussed the responsibility leaders have to continue their own training and improve their own effectiveness.

To download a recorded version of this webcast from, please click here.

If you have any questions about fire department training with TargetSolutions, please contact us today at (800) 840-8046,

Promote an Alcohol and Drug-Free Environment for Your Organization

TargetSolutions’ Alcohol and Drug-Free Workplace training courses provide tips on how to sustain a sober work environment.

Substance abuse in the American workplace can result in poor performance, on- and off-the-job injuries, lost work time and other liabilities. Perhaps even more importantly, drugs and alcohol abuse can destroy an individual’s personal life as well as their professional life.

TargetSolutions’ online training catalog features two diverse courses for combatting the issue of substance abuse and maintaining workplace sobriety.

Alcohol-Free Workplace explores the damage alcohol abuse can have on both the body and the workplace. Drug-Free Workplace dives into the destructive impact of drug abuse and offers insight into the dangers of specific drugs.

Promoting a substance-free workplace for your employees won’t just aid in defeating abuse, but it’ll demonstrate a genuine concern for the health and safety of your workforce.

To learn more about the dangers of abuse and what training you can provide to combat it, please contact TargetSolutions today at 1 (800) 840-8048.

Why Sleep Deprivation Is a Serious Threat to Firefighters

Serving in the line of duty results in an abundance of health risks for firefighters, though perhaps none more silent or threatening than the constant onslaught of sleep deprivation.

David F. Peterson, a retired fire chief and current fire training coordinator of Blackhawk Technical College in Janesville, Wisc., has made it his mission to expose the ongoing dangers of sleep deprivation and establish guidelines to ensure firefighters are getting the quality rest they need.

Firefighter Sleep Deprivation

David F. Peterson

Although the fire service’s line of work has become synonymous with a lack of rest, Peterson scoffs at that notion.

“To me, that’s a hollow acceptance,” Peterson said. “I think we can do much better.”

Typically, the human body goes through four to five cycles of sleep every night, with each cycle lasting roughly an hour and a half to two hours. Toward the end of each cycle, the body goes through rapid eye movement (REM), a crucial stage for repairing brain cells, DNA, and allows the brain to cleanse itself of waste that it produces during the day.

Over the years, however, this crucial stage of sleep has considerably shrunk for firefighters.

Peterson cites an exponential increase in 911 responses to an aging population as the primary reason for an elevation in call volume. “While I’m retired now, I can’t tell you how many calls I went on that were not emergencies,” recalled Peterson. “People lack the education of when to call 911 but also lack transportation so they use emergency services as a clinic-type service.”

The result of Peterson’s theory is an increased amount of calls and longer work hours, with many firefighters working 24 and, occasionally, 48-hour shifts.

Although it varies from person to person, most experts suggest that the human body needs seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep to allow the brain to rid itself of waste and repair DNA. Long-term damage from a lack of quality sleep can turn into chronic problems later in life, including an increased chance of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and weight gain.

Although there is no conclusive data yet, Peterson points out a link between Alzheimer’s disease and lack of sleep. Sleep deprivation robs the brain of a crucial protein called amyloid beta, which results in a plaque buildup that’s similarly seen in cat scans of patients with Alzheimer’s.

Contrastingly, studies show that the short-term effects of REM-lacking sleep begin with a decline in cognitive skills.

“After 18 hours of no sleep, you’re operating on .05 percent alcohol level as far as cognitive ability and that goes up to .1 percent after 24 hours. After four to five days of no REM sleep, you start to develop psychosis.”

David F. Peterson, Retired Fire Chief

Fixing the issue long-term, Peterson suggests, begins at the core of the problem: shift times.

“Some departments change shifts at 6 a.m., but if you live out of town and have to drive two hours, you’re going to be up at 4 a.m. and into the day and up all night. If you shift change at 8 a.m. then you could get two more hours of sleep.”

Check Out Fire BlogsOne solution that Peterson recommends for the short-term is a sentiment that’s echoed by many experts: naps.

Some departments don’t allow their staff to nap, which Peterson argues is detrimental to getting quality rest. Darkened dormitories and a flexible napping schedule are critical first steps for departments when it comes to solving the issue of sleep deprivation.

Although change can take time, Peterson’s advice remains simple and sound: “In other words, try to catch your Z’s when you can.”

About David F. Peterson
David F. Peterson is a 35-year veteran of the fire service and a retired fire chief. He is currently an EMS and fire training coordinator for Blackhawk Technical College in Janesville, Wisc. He served as a Level A regional HAZMAT team coordinator and instructor for 20 years and holds a bachelor’s degree in fire service management from the University of Southern Illinois and a master’s degree in executive fire leadership from Grand Canyon University.

North County Fire Protection District Saves Time by Streamlining Training Management

North County Fire Protection District, located in Fallbrook, Calif., utilizes TargetSolutions for tracking training, credentials, EMS recertification, and much more.

When implementing TargetSolutions as a go-to training platform, an organization isn’t just changing the way it trains employees; it’s revolutionizing it.

Enter the North County Fire Protection District.

Located in the community of Fallbrook, Calif., the district has enlisted the services of TargetSolutions for more than 10 years. The powerful online training management system has enabled the organization to centralize all of its training into one convenient and easily-accessible location.

The Benefits of Implementing TargetSolutions

Benefits of implementing the platform are increased efficiency in pre-course work, EMS recertification training, credential tracking, and much more, said Division Chief of Operations Brandon Lucore.

“The platform as a whole is very efficient and it saves a tremendous amount of time. Whether we build the activity or they’re pre-built TargetSolutions activities, the time savings is huge.”

Brandon Lucore, Division Chief of Operations, North County Fire Protection District

Comprised of five stations spanning 100 square miles and no full training division, the need to work efficiently is critical for Lucore’s agency. TargetSolutions’ online system streamlined training collaboration and eliminated the need to regularly assemble entire battalions in one spot.

“It’s one of the chief officers who runs training and then we rely on the battalion chiefs as well as the crews themselves,” said Lucore. “From an administrative standpoint, (TargetSolutions is) very effective. We can basically set it and forget it.

“It’s a great platform to not only deliver training but to host it all, to keep it in one spot.”

Are you ready to take your department’s training to the next level? Contact TargetSolutions at (800) 840-8046 to get started.

Cutting-Edge Enhancements Made to TargetSolutions’ Defensive Driving Strategies Training Course

TargetSolutions’ Defensive Driving Strategies online training course features groundbreaking 3-D simulations and engaging animations. The course is built to educate employees on defensive driving techniques.

Did you know vehicle-related fatalities are the most common type of on-the-job fatality in the United States? In fact, vehicle-related incidents accounted for 40 percent of all workplace fatalities in 2014.

This alarming statistic, as well as the number of costly claims resulting from accidents on the road, provide a somber warning for the need to educate employees on safer driving practices.

Adorned with brand new 3-D simulations and animations, TargetSolutions’ innovative training course, Defensive Driving Strategies, is set to revamp the way you look at online training. Featuring six learning modules and a 10-question exam, this course focuses on:

  • The need for defensive driving
  • How to drive defensively
  • Anticipating and recognizing hazards
  • Responding to hazards

“No matter how safe a driver is trained to be, they are not able to control the behavior of other vehicle operators,” said Client Services Manager Jen Jones. “This course has been enhanced with incredible 3-D simulations and aims to prepare drivers for when they encounter potential hazards on the road.”

If you’re interested in reducing claims and increasing safety, check out TargetSolutions’ newly enhanced Defensive Driving Strategies training course. And if you have any questions about TargetSolutions’ online training catalog, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048.

TargetSolutions’ Top 10 Resources for Health and Wellness

TargetSolutions maintains a diverse selection of resources for promoting health and wellness in your organization.

TargetSolutions prides itself on providing supreme quality training that aims to sustain a safe and productive work environment. Whether it’s a career in the fire service, law enforcement, or any other profession, TargetSolutions has you covered.

Comprised of online training courses, pre-built custom activities, and items shared inside Community Resources, this top 10 list provides a compilation of what TargetSolutions has to offer. This diverse selection allows platform managers to promote a safe and healthy work environment while maintaining a centralized hub for tracking completions.

Here are TargetSolutions’ top 10 resources for Health & Wellness:

  • Health & Wellness training coursePre-Built Custom Activities from the General Industry: Wellness category
  • Pre-Built Custom Activities from the General Industry: Wellness categoryFirefighter Safety and Health training course
  • Firefighter Safety and Health training courseHeart Health for Active Duty Officers training course
  • Heart Health for Active Duty Officers training courseDiet & Nutrition training course
  • Diet & Nutrition training courseAlcohol/Drug-Free Workplace training course
  • Alcohol/Drug-Free Workplace training courseWorkplace Stress training course
  • Workplace Stress training course
  • Smart Team Professional Development Health training bundle
  • Various items inside Community Resources
  • The Wellness Program Challenge (Four pre-built custom activities)

TargetSolutions can help you promote a healthy work environment. Please contact TargetSolutions at (800) 840-8048 to learn more about our resources.

Meet the Team: Client Services Representative Tera Kenyon

Tera Kenyon comes from Woodstock, Ill. This town may sound familiar because it is where the popular movie “Groundhog Day,” starring Bill Murray, was filmed. When Tera was 5 years old, her family moved to San Diego. She went on to attend college in Denver, but came right back to San Diego where she has resided ever since.

Tera has ample experience in customer service. After her daughter was born, Tera needed to find a job with the right schedule for her family. Tera’s good friend and TargetSolutions’ Account Manager, Debbie Pringle, told her about the client services representative position and she jumped at the opportunity.

“I love working with people who serve us all in public safety,” said Tera. “It’s great to know we work for a company that has an impact on the people who do so much for our communities.”

Here’s more about Tera from a recent Q-and-A:

What is your favorite food?

Italian, I love pasta.

What are your top three travel destinations?

Bora Bora, Italy, and France. I’d love to see Paris. The best place I ever visited was Hawaii, which is the next best thing to San Diego.

What is your favorite musical?

“Phantom of the Opera,” I can watch it over and over.

Do you have a favorite book?

Anything that can put my daughter to sleep … usually a Disney short story.

Where is your favorite place to shop?

Target, because it has everything.

What is your favorite TV show?

“The Curse of Oak Island” and “Teen Wolf.”

Give us a fun-fact about Tera Kenyon that we might not have known about you.

I love to knit. I also love D-I-Y projects and I like to tile.

Create Your Own Firefighter Training with AlphaACT® FIRE’s Scenario Builder

Attend a free webinar to learn more about AlphaACT® FIRE’s Scenario Builder. Webinars are scheduled for 9 a.m. (PDT) every Wednesday.

Want to use your fire department’s own post-incident reports to create scenario-based training courses? TargetSolutions has partnered with AlphaACT® FIRE to make that possible with the industry’s leading online training management system.

AlphaACT’s Scenario Builder is an online interview process for the development of custom training courses that can be delivered through the TargetSolutions platform.

The Scenario Builder enables platform managers to input information into the system’s easy-to-use interface to create scenario-based training. All platform managers need to do is follow a simple step-by-step process through the Scenario Builder to create training content and have it automatically deploy into their department’s training library.

Here are some of the features of AlphaACT’s Scenario Builder:

  • Intelligent interview wizard for streamlining the interview process
  • Automatic progress saving so you never lose your work
  • Uploading of standard media types for simulation training
  • Scenario sharing with other members of the fire community
  • Customized learning objectives for your department
  • Build up to four scenarios each month with this technology

Whether custom made with the Scenario Builder or picked from AlphaACT® FIRE’s impressive library of pre-built training, these dynamic scenario-based courses are available through TargetSolutions and meant to help fireground incident commanders improve their decision-making skills.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Scenario Builder, please attend one of AlphaACT® FIRE’s upcoming webinars. If you have any questions about pricing for using this technology with the TargetSolutions system, please contact us at (800) 840-8046.


Michigan Fire Fighter Training Division Approves TargetSolutions for Fire Inspector Recertification

The Michigan Fire Fighter Training Division has approved 25.5 hours of TargetSolutions’ online courses for the Fire Inspector recertification.

Fire departments in Michigan will be thrilled to learn TargetSolutions has received 25.5 hours of new approvals for Fire Inspector recertification.

“This is exciting news for agencies in Michigan,” said TargetSolutions’ Content and Compliance Manager Lauren Crosby. “We’re pleased to partner with the Michigan Fire Fighter Training Division to deliver accredited content for Fire Inspector recertification.

“Inspector recertification hours have been a growing need for fire departments we serve nationwide. The content department has been working to develop curriculum specific to this certification level and ensure it meets accreditation standards.”

Listed below are the 27 courses (25.5 hours) approved by the Michigan Fire Fighter Training Division for Fire Inspector. Please click here to download a PDF.

  • Assembly Occupancy Fire and Life Safety Inspection (0.5 hour)
  • Building Construction (1 hour)
  • Fire Alarm Systems (1 hour)
  • Fire Prevention and Public Education (1 hour)
  • High Rise Fire and Life Safety Inspection (0.5 hour)
  • How to Read a Building (0.5 hour)
  • NFPA 1001 Building Construction (1 hour)
  • NFPA 1001 Fire Behavior (1 hour)
  • NFPA 1001 Fire Department Communications (1 hour)
  • NFPA 1001 Fire Detection, Alarm & Suppression System (1 hour)
  • NFPA 1001 Fire Hose (1 hour)
  • NFPA 1001 Fire Prevention and Public Education   (1 hour)
  • NFPA 1001 Firefighter Orientation and Safety (1 hour)
  • NFPA 1001 Portable Extinguishers (1 hour)
  • NFPA 1001 Protection of Evidence of Fire Origin & Cause (1 hour)
  • NFPA 1001 Water Supply (1 hour)
  • NFPA 1021 Fire Department Communications (1 hour)
  • NFPA 1021 Fire Investigation (1 hour)
  • NFPA 1021 Fire and Life Safety Inspections (1 hour)
  • NFPA 1021 Incident Response Safety (1 hour)
  • NFPA 1021 Incident Scene Communications (1 hour)
  • NFPA 1021 Labor Relations (1 hour)
  • NFPA 1021 Legal Responsibilities and Liabilities (1 hour)
  • NFPA 1021 Pre-Incident Planning (1 hour)
  • NFPA 1021 Professional Ethics (1 hour)
  • NFPA 1021 Public Education Programs (1 hour)
  • NFPA 1500 Hazard Communication (1 hour)

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

EMS Training Tracker: The Ultimate Solution for EMS Recertification

TargetSolutions’ computer-based training system, with online EMS Recertification credentials, provides an efficient, effective way for agencies to meet EMS continuing education requirements.

Offering more than 250 hours of EMS training, TargetSolutions’ powerful online training management system is the industry’s leading software for continuing education.

With dynamic recordkeeping technology, TargetSolutions helps organizations create, deliver, and track certifications with accredited EMS training courses, custom training assignments and electronic forms for documenting hands-on exercises. The end result is a powerful application with pre-built credentials designed for achieving compliance with mandatory EMS recertification requirements.

Here are some of the reasons why TargetSolutions is the undisputed leader for EMS continuing education:

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