Technology with a Purpose

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The Top 5 Most Commonly Asked Questions During the Purchasing Process

Check out this slideshow to learn answers to the most commonly asked questions we hear from training officers, captains and chiefs tasked with learning more about TargetSolutions.

If you are considering purchasing TargetSolutions’ online training management system for your fire department, you undoubtedly have questions. Fortunately, TargetSolutions has the answers you need to make the right decision for your agency.tslogo_symbol-color-small

Here are five of the most commonly asked questions we hear during the purchasing process. If there is something not covered here that you would like to know, please give us a call today at (800) 840-8046.

How Will TargetSolutions Fit into My Department’s Budget?

Course packages can be adjusted to fit your agency’s needs. Factors such as your department’s size and level of training your agency requires can impact pricing. While some organizations may only need safety training or firefighter training courses, some may require personnel to track EMS continuing education. TargetSolutions understands budgetary cycles and will work with your agency’s decision makers to plan a cost-effective and efficient implementation. If there is one thing TargetSolutions consistently hears from customers, it is the fact the platform easily pays for itself in overall cost savings. Check out this ROI calculator to see how much your agency can save with TargetSolutions.

Are TargetSolutions’ Fire and EMS Continuing Education Courses Accredited?

TargetSolutions is dedicated to regularly updating its online training content to stay ahead of each state’s mandated requirements. TargetSolutions offers the industry’s largest online training library for EMS continuing education. The platform features more than 160 hours of CEUs and is be accepted in all 50 states. Additionally, TargetSolutions is organizationally accredited by CAPCE, the leading regulatory agency on EMS continuing education. TargetSolutions also offers a robust catalog of NFPA firefighter training, including NFPA 1001, 1021, 1410 and 1500 series. These courses are written to the NFPA’s codes and standards.

Is It Possible to Share Information with Neighboring Agencies?

When multiple departments are out on a call, firefighters need to work together effectively. In addition to having your own department’s TargetSolutions training, information and resources can be shared through TargetSolutions’ Enterprise solution. Agencies can easily track hands-on training sessions, schedule events, and assign activities to all personnel. This system allows departments to train firefighters cohesively. Check out this video from the North Zone Training Group in San Diego’s North County to learn how Enterprise is working for the mutual aid partners.

Do Users Need to Upgrade Their Systems to Use TargetSolutions?

TargetSolutions is a cloud-based service and it is not required for users to install additional software to run the system. However, certain system requirements will ensure learners can successfully access their courses. TargetSolutions is compatible with most modern browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Google Chrome. It is recommended that individuals use Mozilla Firefox v27+, have audio capabilities, and a 1.5 Mbps bandwidth. To log in and validate your email in the system, you’ll also want to make sure you can receive emails from

Are TargetSolutions’ Firefighter Training Courses Customizable?

While TargetSolutions is compatible with other systems, its customizable Activities Builder provides organizations the ability to deliver their training content. Departments can use the Activities Builder to create task books for different training purposes. Activities feature electronic tracking forms for live training or can be used for checklists to track vehicle inspections efficiently. Agencies can also attach custom policies to TargetSolutions’ pre-built online training courses or deliver SCORM course content.

If you have any questions not covered here, please don’t hesitate to contact us today via e-amil at or call us at (800) 840-8046.

Hundreds of Video-Based Professional Skills Training Courses Released by TargetSolutions

TargetSolutions’ online training catalog has undergone an infusion of hundreds of new courses covering office productivity, project management, business skills, and more.

In late 2016, TargetSolutions’ parent company, Vector Solutions, acquired LearnSmart, a powerhouse provider of high-quality professional skills and IT certification training. Accompanying the acquisition of LearnSmart is a treasure trove of video-based training courses now available to TargetSolutions customers.

These mobile-ready professional skills training courses, designed to boost workplace productivity and maximize performance, are now available in high-definition videos with live demonstrations.

Here is a breakdown of the new training:

  • Business Skills: 144 new courses on the subjects of leadership, management, strategic thinking, and more.
  • Office Productivity: 21 new courses built to boost employees’ knowledge, skills and abilities in the workplace.
  • Project Management: 52 new courses to help public entities develop project managers who are equipped to achieve organizational goals.
  • OSHA & HR: 12 new courses that address employee health and safety in the workplace.

Also available from LearnSmart is a premium library, featuring more than 140 courses designed for IT and Security professionals. These in-depth training lessons, available at an additional cost, can help bolster your organization’s cyber security and provide skills to meet certification goals, including CompTIA series (A+, Network+, Security+) and CCNA Security.

 To learn more about TargetSolutions’ new training courses, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.

Meet the Team: Get to Know Account Specialist Karly Andrade

Karly Andrade joined TargetSolutions in January 2017. Originally from Santa Clarita, Calif., Karly is a Southern California native who loves the region’s laid-back vibes. After moving to rainy Southport, England for 3 ½ years, Karly and her spouse made San Diego their permanent home.

meet the teamNow serving as an account specialist, Karly is well versed in customer support here at TargetSolutions. She happily joined the TargetSolutions team after hearing positive things from Krista Woodin, who is also a client services representative for the company. Her international work experience has helped Karly become adaptable to new environments and a perfect fit for TargetSolutions.

“At TargetSolutions, there is so much support and genuine care for the employees,” Karly said. “I enjoy working with everyone in the Client Services department and working alongside our account managers.”

When Karly isn’t at the office, she enjoys being outdoors doing adventurous activities.

Find out more about Karly with this Q-and-A:

Favorite movie?

Love Actually

Favorite band?


If you could go anywhere, where would you visit?

I really want to go to Thailand! I love Thai food!

Favorite flavor of ice cream?

I love cookie dough!

Favorite sports team?

It used to be the Chargers, but now I don’t have a team.

Best book you’ve read?

The Alchemist

Any hobbies?

My two biggest hobbies are surfing and traveling.

What is your favorite type of weather?


Favorite animal?

Daushaund dogs.

Any pets?

Not at moment.

How Southern Marin Fire Protection District Manages Training with TargetSolutions

Southern Marin Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Matt Barnes uses TargetSolutions to streamline training, track ISO hours, deliver pre-training coursework, and much more.

Battalion Chief Matt Barnes of the Southern Marin Fire Protection District (Calif.) considers himself a student of lifelong learning, so serving as his department’s training officer for the last 10 years has been a natural fit. Searching for a way to simplify his department’s training and documentation, Barnes implemented TargetSolutions’ powerful online management and recordkeeping software years ago.

fire department training success storyAs an incentivized bonus, when it came time for the typically dreaded ISO audit, Barnes’s preparation with the platform paid off tenfold. In fact, some might even say the ISO results were anticlimactic.

“They basically took my information and said ‘thank you,’” Barnes recalled.

Utilizing TargetSolutions’ ready-made training package specifically built to cover the five categories tracked for ISO fire department training (Driver, Officer, Hazmat, Company, Facilities), Barnes was able to organize his department’s training without any hassle.

“I knew I hit the mark on each of those categories,” said Barnes. “I was anticipating a much more rigorous type of review but I think based off of the pre-built TargetSolutions categories, I was able to give specific hours for those categories and it helped a tremendous amount.”

Barnes recently accepted the Vanguard Award, which goes each year to someone who exemplifies dedication in the delivery of fire department training. Boasting a decade’s worth of experience maximizing the platform, Barnes was an ideal choice.

Below is a Q-and-A with Barnes conducted during TargetSolutions’ annual Networking & Training Workshop.

How did TargetSolutions help with your ISO review?

“It helped me when I did all the analysis and the data push to ISO by all the categories that TargetSolutions has, the five categories, the facilities, HAZMAT, company training, officer training, driver training. TargetSolutions helped me organize those training categories so I knew I hit the mark on each of those categories per ISO. It was actually pretty easy and not stressful at all. They basically took my information and said ‘thank you’ so it was pretty easy. I was anticipating a much more rigorous type of review but I think based off of the pre-built TargetSolutions categories, I was able to give specific hours for those categories and it helped a tremendous amount.”

What are your goals with TargetSolutions?

“My whole goal was to make that experience for firefighters to log in as quickly as possible, document their training as quickly as possible and then get out. The next goal was how can I provide a means for firefighters that are in the firehouse on the slower days or if they want to access some sort of training documentation? How can I organize a platform for them to access it? So I used TargetSolutions in the File Center as well as really as getting involved in building custom activities and that’s where I really liked the TargetSolutions piece where I could go in, get all the programmatic information, reading articles, those things. Build a course activity and then the firefighter could go in and log in and go through that course activity through a pretty systematic routine. It made it easier for them to access the information as well as document it.”

Are you using TargetSolutions for pre-training?

“Ten years ago, we would have a battalion drill where we would pull in multiple companies and the expectation from the crews is they wanted us to provide them with some sort of PowerPoint presentation, basically tell them what we’re going to teach them prior to going out on the drill ground and performing the function. And I said, ‘well, there’s gotta be a better way to do this.’ So we’re not taking companies out of service for four or five hours. We can take them out of service for an hour, give them the pre-course work, give them the opportunity to train in their own firehouses without any stress of anybody watching them except for their companies and their peers and allow them to prepare themselves for when we do the battalion drill and then they can just go out and perform the physical activity, throwing ladders, pulling hose lines, rescue search, those kinds of things. The people that did take that information excelled on the battalion drills because they had all the information, they had an ample amount of time to review it, study it, ask questions, call me, do whatever they needed to do so they could become proficient at the skill that they were being expected to perform in a group setting.”

 Why is training so important to your department?

“I come from a family of two parents that were professors in college, so lifelong learning has always been a desire of mine and in our profession, the old adage says that the only day that was the same was yesterday. The fire service changes and evolves on a daily basis and the only way to stay current is through research and going out and performing skills and based off of the information that you’ve gathered and learning from the past. We’ve had some significant near misses in our organization, we’ve had two line of duty deaths in our organization due to health, so training is very, very near and dear to me. I think it’s the fabric of what makes someone become a good proficient performing individual in the fire service.”

Canadian Agency Delivers SimsUshare’s Fire Simulator App Training with TargetSolutions

sarnia fire rescueSarnia Fire Rescue Services answers more than 3,000 calls each year for the city of Sarnia in Ontario, Canada. This career department, which also serves Port Huron, Mich. due to a mutual aid agreement, consists of five stations that provide emergency services to urban, rural, and heavy industrial areas.

For the past three years, Sarnia has utilized TargetSolutions to train personnel on its core services, which include industrial firefighting, hazardous materials, shore/marine rescue, and heavy vehicle extraction.

While Sarnia has been using TargetSolutions since 2014, the department recently incorporated SimsUshare’s 3D fire simulator app technology to its training program. SimsUshare enhances firefighter training with realistic computer-based scenarios for response in high-risk situations. Sarnia delivers and tracks SimsUshare’s courses for house fires, commercial structure fires, and Big Box cases with TargetSolutions.

“SimsUshare is a great program for creating a plan of action,” said Sarnia Fire Rescue Services Safety and Training Officer Russ Lloyd. “Firefighters can interact with the simulation, and the situation changes as they make decisions.”

Delivering Custom and Third-Party Content with TargetSolutions

The ability to deliver custom content, as well as some third-party content like SimsUshare, is one of the strengths of TargetSolutions’ flexible training management system. When it comes to effective training, “one system doesn’t replace the other,” Lloyd said. “I’ve even recorded SimsUshare sessions and uploaded them to TargetSolutions as customized courses.”

While TargetSolutions’ compatibility with SimsUshare makes dynamic training morsimsusharee
convenient, the online platform is revolutionizing how Sarnia logs training hours. Paperless recordkeeping has improved the agency’s organization, Lloyd said. Firefighters can now track their credentials by uploading certificates directly into the system.

“If anyone needs to check a firefighter’s training hours, I can just look it up right away,” Lloyd says.

Powerful Applications for Documenting Training Hours

Before incorporating eLearning, Sarnia solely relied on instructor-led training to meet requirements. This meant binders of training documents and long paper trails. Going digital simplified recordkeeping and gave firefighters more flexibility with their training.

“TargetSolutions is firefighter-friendly,” Lloyd said. “The platform’s simple navigation and design are easy for everyone to use – even firefighters who aren’t as tech-savvy.”

TargetSolutions and SimsUshare have modernized Sarnia’s training program, Lloyd said. The simplicity and functionality of these systems help prepare the department to answer the various types of calls within the agency’s 165 square-kilometer region.

 “Sarnia utilizes all aspects of the TargetSolutions platform. The system optimizes their training, record tracking, and tasks such as vehicle inspections.”

Judy Smith, Account Manager, Global Risk Innovations

Fire Up Your Training: TargetSolutions Releases All-New NFPA 1410 Training Series on Fireground Evolutions 

TargetSolutions is excited to announce the release of 14 new training courses illustrating the most commonly practiced fireground evolutions. These video-based courses are written to the NFPA firefighter training standard.

The National Fire Protection Agency estimates that of the 33 million calls answered by emergency responders in 2015, only 4 percent were for working fires.

This statistic follows a noticeable trend over the last four decades: Fires are declining across the country. That doesn’t mean firefighters are any safer, however. Many believe the current landscape is just as dangerous due to a lack of real-life experiences.

nfpa firefighter training standardsThis accentuates the need for quality pre-training and hands-on training that educates firefighters and makes time on the drill-yard even more productive. That’s where TargetSolutions and its new 14-course bundle written to the NFPA 1410 firefighter training standard can make a difference.

Fireground evolutions are complex mechanisms. Although considered basic skill sets, maintaining an expert level of competence with these drills is a challenge when they’re not practiced with regularity.

TargetSolutions’ new training courses, each an hour in length, beautifully highlight the process of each evolution, including a thorough explanation on the required timing and positional expectations. Hosted by subject matter expert Paul Costello, who serves as a training officer at Hillsborough County Fire Rescue in Tampa, Fla., each HD-quality course features a fully-narrated, step-by-step demonstration.

“Having everyday access to a course library of these company evolutions is going to greatly broaden the horizons for the daily company and multi-company training that we do in the fire service,” said Costello, who supervised the production of the evolutions at St. Charles Fire Department’s training facility in Missouri.

“These are drills that fire companies should practice on and master because they’re the bread and butter of what we do on the fireground…From what I have seen over the years, I’ve never seen courses of such high quality. That by itself makes these completely unique. It’s a very well thought out production from start to finish.”

Paul Costello, Training Officer, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue

Please note, these courses are still going through the accreditation process in states that accept online training for firefighter recertification. For more information on TargetSolutions’ online training for fire departments, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.

North Bay Schools Insurance Authority Stays Ahead of California’s Legislative Changes with TargetSolutions

North Bay Schools Insurance Authority initially envisioned TargetSolutions as a backup safety training resource. It’s turned into something far more critical to the risk pool’s overall compliance.

At first, NBSIA’s Member Services Manager Suzanne Dillman thought TargetSolutions would be a luxury for the 15 school districts under its membership in Northern California. Call it an added value that would provide training convenience.What’s happened since the pool first signed on in 2010, has surprised Dillman, she said. By helping NBSIA stay abreast of critical legislative changes, TargetSolutions’ dedicated account management team has gone above and beyond to earn Dillman’s respect.

North Bay Schools Insurance Authority “As new legislation develops, we need to be able to react and address the change in requirements and TargetSolutions has helped us do that,” Dillman said. “Originally we entered into an agreement with TargetSolutions to provide compliance safety training. The need we were looking to meet was mostly the mandatory sexual harassment training for supervisors. But when new laws are introduced, like mandatory pesticides training, we can work directly with TargetSolutions to make sure the new training is easily accessible and accomplished. This is more convenient than if we did it through the state and it provides members with online tracking.”

When legislation goes out, TargetSolutions is on top of the news and is quick to communicate with its pools. This is critical in California, where new laws are introduced and training updates are required.

“We’ve worked with TargetSolutions on the mandated reporter training,” Dillman said. “There is a new law in California that requires teachers to take it. Now all school employees are required to take that training. Also, Assembly Bill 2246 on Pupil Suicide Prevention, which is a new law and something TargetSolutions brought to our attention. That service has really been valuable for us.”

This isn’t to say TargetSolutions hasn’t delivered on its initial promises to NBSIA. The pool’s members have found value in the ability to schedule, deliver and track safety training. TargetSolutions offers an easy-to-use learning management system and more than 50 hours of engaging web-based training for school districts.

“Reducing claims, keeping our school districts in compliance, and reducing their exposure was the goal and TargetSolutions helps us achieve that goal.”

Suzanne Dillman, NBSIA Member Services Manager

“We have benefited from the ability to have new employees and substitute teachers in the school districts get the training they wouldn’t always be able to receive”, Dillman said.
“Some of our districts are tracking live training through TargetSolutions for things that are required by law under Cal OSHA,” Dillman said. “They require you to train employees on certain subjects at certain times and keep track of training. This is a good tool for managing all of that.”

At the end of the day, the ability to ensure safety training is available provides peace of mind to NBSIA’s pool and convenience to its districts. Ensuring all mandatory training is documented is the bow on top for the pool, she said.

If you have any questions about TargetSolutions, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048.

PBS Documentary Features Miami-Dade Fire Rescue While Providing Behind the Scenes Look at Vector Solutions

In this video, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department’s Fire Chief Dave Downey explains the value of eLearning and TargetSolutions. This behind-the-scenes look by PBS shows how Vector Solutions works to change the world through revolutionary training solutions that save lives, inspire professionals, and elevate performance.

Vector Solutions, the parent company of RedVector, LearnSmart, Scenario Learning and TargetSolutions, is featured in a short-form documentary called “Behind the Scenes” hosted by James Earl Jones and airing on PBS stations across the country.

vector-solutionsThe education segment of the series features ground-breaking institutions of learning and significant organizations of merit. The piece on Vector Solutions looks at how technology is changing the way workplace professionals in public safety and other industries receive training.

The behind-the-scenes look shows how Vector Solutions is working to change the world through revolutionary training solutions that save lives, inspire professionals, and elevate performance.

“We have the privilege of serving heroes of society every day,” Chief Executive Officer Jeff Gordon says during the seven-minute, 30-second video. “It’s not just a job, it’s a passion for us.”

Vector Solutions now offers more than 5,000 courses, many of which can be used for continuing education and regulatory requirements. The video highlights how the web-based training management software company sets the standard for excellence in training for a broad range of industries, including architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) sectors, as well as industrial, facilities management, public safety, and information technology fields.

During the video, Fire Chief Dave Downey of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department describes how his agency utilizes TargetSolutions, the industry’s leading provider of online fire department training, to streamline fire and EMS training compliance.

“The training is quality. It’s a much more efficient way of delivering the training to our personnel,” Downey said. He goes on to say that eLearning “allows us to implement it [training] in a more timely fashion where we can deliver it to all our members virtually at the same time…To implement anything took 6 to 8 months to be able to deliver instructor-led training.”

Today’s increasingly young and mobile workforce is demanding more innovative and engaging eLearning content. Vector Solutions is working to address these concerns by consistently innovating new features that provide dynamic training experiences. Vector Solutions has a laser focus on the future of computer-based training.

“Training won’t just be a box you check. It will be triggered by metrics that identify a need.”

Vicki Zambito, Senior VP of Product, Content and Communications for Vector Solutions

Fleet Courses Receive Updates, Including 3D Simulations

TargetSolutions has made updates to a bundle of Motor Vehicle Safety training courses, including beautiful 3D simulations and new interactions.

Over the last five years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that more than 6 million crashes were the result of distracted driving.

That number translates to an annual price tag of more than $160 billion in total damages, according to a federal study that attributed $40 billion in economic costs and another $120 billion in societal harm.

As staggering as those numbers are, they don’t even include changes in weather or large vehicle considerations. Given all these variables, there’s a tremendous amount to look out for on the roadways at any given time. That’s why TargetSolutions has made important updates to a bundle of courses in the Motor Vehicle Safety training catalog. These updates aim to educate drivers, help personnel employ safer driving practices, and reduce overall liability.

Several courses in the fleet series have received their own custom enhancements, including a selection of stunning 3D simulations, updated interactions and content, voiceover narration, and a restyled look. Here are the four courses that have been updated:

  • Distracted Driving for Emergency Vehicle Operators
  • Safe Backing for Large Vehicle Drivers (3D simulation)
  • Distracted Driving
  • Adjusting to Changing Conditions (3D simulation)

For more information about TargetSolutions’ online training catalog, please contact TargetSolutions today at (800) 840-8048.


Updates to TargetSolutions’ Water System and Water Treatment Courses

Two updated courses in TargetSolutions’ water industry catalog explore water system safety for water and wastewater professionals.

Two courses in TargetSolutions’ online course catalog for water and wastewater, Water Industry Coagulation, Flocculation and Sedimentation and Backflow Prevention Overview, were recently updated with new content and engaging multimedia.

These courses help water professionals follow procedures more effectively and ensure water system safety.

The Coagulation, Flocculation and Sedimentation course reviews common chemicals and techniques used during the water treatment process. In addition to explaining coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, and filtration, content also covers the Jar Test, Tertiary Treatment, and Short Circuits.

The Backflow Prevention Overview course helps create and implement a backflow prevention program by illustrating different causes of backflow in water systems and how to mitigate risks of contamination.

If you have any questions about these courses or others inside TargetSolutions’ online training catalog for water and wastewater, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048.