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Why Computer-Based Training Systems Make Sense for Fire Departments of All Sizes

No matter the department size, all fire departments are faced with hundreds of hours of mandated training that simply cannot be managed solely with traditional training and recordkeeping methods. Implementing a web-based Learning Management System (LMS) improves a department’s ability to deliver, track and report all training types.

Metro Fire Department Online Training

TargetSolutions is at the forefront of online training for fire departments and offers a cost-effective, powerful solution for departments ranging from metro-sized fire departments to smaller volunteer agencies.

TargetSolutions fulfills the basic training needs of all fire departments with a robust course library of more than 450 hours of firefighter training and 160 hours of accredited EMS continuing education. However, as each department has unique challenges, TargetSolutions includes user-friendly, innovative applications for a customizable training experience that is specific to the needs of personnel.

Find out why TargetSolutions is the right choice for every fire department:

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Get to Know TargetSolutions Client Services Representative: Eric Helton

Meet the Team Eric HeltonEric Helton was welcomed into TargetSolutions as a Client Services Representative last August. Born and raised in sunny San Diego, Eric grew up playing sports outdoors and continues to love basketball and football.

Before becoming a TargetSolutions team member, Eric worked with clients one-on-one as a Satellite Technician for DirecTV. His initial interest in TargetSolutions stemmed from his background in Criminal Justice, which he studied at Miramar College and San Diego State University. He appreciated the ability to help professionals train to protect communities across the country.

After working at TargetSolutions for a few months, Eric discussed how he enjoys coming into work and collaborating with the client services team to help customers. “It’s an honor to be a part of something bigger and serve those who serve,” he remarked.

Get to know Eric Helton better with this Q-and-A:

What is your favorite food?

I like pretty much anything but if I had to pick a favorite, steak!

What is your favorite movie?

It’s a tossup between Gladiator and Troy. Depends on how I feel that day.

What is your favorite genre of music?

Hip-hop/rap.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I’ve always wanted to go to Italy.

What is your idea of a perfect weekend?

Grabbing a drink with my friends and enjoying some good food!

Do you prefer cats or dogs?

Dogs by far (I’m allergic to cats)

What is your favorite sports team?

Dallas, Mavericks.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

I love Oreo!

What is your favorite type of weather?

I actually like cold and gloomy weather. Probably because it’s never gloomy in San Diego.

Do you have any pets?

I have 3 dogs. A pitbull, french bulldog and a boston terrier.

Fun fact about yourself:

I can speak Vietnamese.

ISO Updates Require Simple Adjustments to Your ISO Credential in TargetSolutions

By making these simple updates to your ISO credential, your department will be current with changing ISO requirements and ready for its next training review. 

Is your department using TargetSolutions to track ISO training hours? Updates in ISO training criteria and new courses in the TargetSolutions’ platform require simple adjustments to your department’s ISO credential. These easy updates will help your team prepare for its next ISO audit.

The most recent ISO credential updates include:

  • Daily SCBA / PPE Checks Removal from ISO
  • Updated Community Risk Reduction Training Qualifications (Inspector, Investigator, Life Safety Educator)
  • Addition of New Courses from RedVector
  • Inclusion of New NFPA and RT-130 Content from 2017
  • Organization of LearnSmart Courses (should not be used in ISO credential)

Daily SCBA/PPE Checks Removal

As Daily Apparatus Checks were removed from ISO training standards in 2013, daily SCBA and PPE checks no longer count toward ISO training. While these routine checks are critical to the safety and effectiveness of fire departments, they do not qualify as a training activity. These checks should be removed from your ISO credential to keep your mandatory training bundles organized.

Updated Community Risk Reduction Training Qualifications

When tracking training for Community Risk Reduction Training requirements (Fire Inspector, Fire Investigator and Fire Life Safety Educator), it’s important to note that a course or activity cannot count toward more than one qualification. “Double dipping” is not be accepted by the ISO when analyzing your department’s training hours. Therefore, to ensure your personnel are fulfilling the appropriate number of hours for their certifications, make sure to organize your “buckets” in the ISO credential.

Addition of New RedVector Courses  

TargetSolutions received 34 new courses from RedVector, which like TargetSolutions is a brand under Vector Solutions. These courses provide a refreshing training experience with online lessons new to your department’s personnel. Incorporating new courses into your ISO credential keeps annual training from becoming routine and monotonous. To add these courses, simply tag them according to the appropriate category and add them to your credential in Manage Credentials.

Inclusion of 2017 NFPA Content and RT-130 Wildland Refresher Training 

In 2017, TargetSolutions added a new video-driven training series to highlight key learning objectives for fire departments. These courses written to NFPA standards include the NFPA 1410 series, which received silver honors for the Brandon Hall Group Excellence in Learning Award. While your company may have already completed these courses, it’s important to add and sort them into your ISO credential “buckets” to receive ISO training credit.

Organization of LearnSmart Courses

While TargetSolutions’ courses for IT & Security, Business Skills and Office Productivity certainly deliver value to your administration team, they do not count toward ISO training. To keep your ISO credential as simple as possible, refrain from adding LearnSmart courses to company officer buckets and remove any existing courses. Rather than cluttering your ISO credential, perhaps create a separate credential with LearnSmart content for career pathing purposes.

For more information on TargetSolutions’ ISO Training Tracker, please check our online help system.

 

 

TargetSolutions Revises Water Industry Advanced HAZWOPER Awareness Training Series

TargetSolutions’ four-part series, Advanced HAZWOPER Awareness, uses video-driven content and engaging imagery to help water industry professionals review crucial procedures for handling hazardous materials.

When it comes to working with hazardous substances or being exposed to other health or safety risks, organizations need a Hazardous Waste Operations (HAZWOPER) training program that can be easily delivered and renewed on an annual basis.  TargetSolutions’ 4-part Water Industry Advanced HAZWOPER Awareness series, in the water and wastewater training catalog, addresses the specific requirements for water industry professionals with an eight-hour refresher training. With a fully updated interface and new content upgrade, employees taking the modules are more engaged and can better understand procedures.

Advanced HAZWOPER Awareness is now delivered in a video-driven format with a course host to guide learners through each lesson. To maximize retention of the courses, the modules’ images and text were also updated with all-new material with the assistance of subject matter experts.

Upon completing the eight-hour series, employees will have completed the following objectives:

  • Review Hazardous Substances and Regulations
  • Gain an understanding of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
  • Recognize how hazardous substances are labeled, placarded, and identified
  • Gain an understanding of the health effects of dealing with Hazardous Materials and Waste
  • Review basic toxicology and the routes of exposure into the human body
  • Understand how to control exposures using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Review the emergency responder’s role
  • Review the Incident Command structure

“In the water industry, proper safety measures around hazardous materials protect both employees and the public. TargetSolutions’ newly revised advanced HAZWOPER series is led by an instructor and is designed for water industry personnel and the hazardous situations they frequently encounter.”

Bryan Fitzgerald, Content Manager, TargetSolutions

As employees progress through the objectives, in-course quizzes check for comprehension and an end of course exam with a minimum passing score proves competency in the subject. In addition to TargetSolutions’ Water Industry Advanced HAZWOPER Awareness series, an assessment of the hands-on performance of work tasks is also necessary and should be procured through your management or training coordinator.

For questions about TargetSolutions’ updated HAZWOPER series, please contact us today (800) 840-8048!

Help Center Revamped with Platform Best Practices for Setting Up TargetSolutions

As the leading Software as a Service (SaaS) training management system for public entities, TargetSolutions is focused on continuously improving its powerful applications to help agencies streamline training and track compliance.

Five new videos were recently added to TargetSolutions’ Help System. These videos cover best practices on how to maximize TargetSolutions’ most utilized training tools. The HD-quality videos provide tips and tricks for scheduling, delivering and tracking training.

Here’s an overview of each video lesson:

CredentialsBest Practices for TargetSolutions Platform

With TargetSolutions’ Credentials application, you can deliver important assignments as a bundle. By building credentials for mandatory training, platform managers and users can easily track training progress and stay ahead of expiring licenses or certifications.

Watch Video >

Reportable Components

Reportable Components allow platform managers to record the training information you need for activities. Track training data with customizable features and simplify the reporting process with drop-down menus and other automated answers.

Watch Video >

Activities Builder

When creating and naming activities inside the Activities Builder application, consistency is key to staying organized. Develop a naming structure that makes sense for your organTargetSolutions Platform Best Practicesization, create broad categories and make subfolders for specific activities.

Watch Video >

File Center

As the resource library for your organization’s training, you should establish an organized system with broad folders and subfolders to keep access simple. Additionally, limit access to the File Center to ensure the integrity of your records.

Watch Video >

Setting Up Supervisors

Setting up supervisors helps administrators maintain training records and manage users’ training progress. When selecting supervisors, be sure to keep access simple and train them on their responsibilities before implementing TargetSolutions to the whole organization.

Watch Video >

For questions about TargetSolutions’ online training management system, please visit our Help System or contact us today (800) 840-8048!

Why You Should Attend One of TargetSolutions’ Upcoming User Group Training Workshops


TargetSolutions’ special user group training workshops present invaluable opportunities for attendees to meet with peers to exchange knowledge and learn new platform utilization tricks.

When exploring the vast frontier of learning management systems, chances are good at some point you will be invited to attend a user group. But what is a user group and what can it do for you?

A user group can be defined as a collection of people who meet to exchange information and views on a piece of software or technology. User groups occur every day around the world for every piece of technology imaginable, including video games, software, computers, and in this case, TargetSolutions’ online training and records management system.

2018-ts-firehouse-workshop-logo-digitalFor example, TargetSolutions holds a user group in downtown San Diego during the annual Firehouse World convention. This year’s event, which is now open for registration, will be hosted on Tuesday, March 6 at the Marriot Gaslamp Quarter, will connect TargetSolutions’ account managers with users of the platform in an opportune presentation of tips and tricks to demonstrate the system’s full potential.

Typically, user groups take on the form of specialty workshops composed of stations set up for users and account managers to engage in specialized one-on-one training and demonstrations. From coast to coast, more than 4,000 organizations using TargetSolutions communicate via phone or e-mail, so personalized face-to-face interaction is easily one of the most compelling benefits of such a workshop.

For those who have participated in past user groups, the takeaway is simple: such events enhance relationships and help to build new ones. TargetSolutions’ Regional Sales Manager Kegan Konrady, who is regularly in attendance for company-sponsored user groups, expressed such collaboration in even simpler terms: “It’s always good to be able to put a name with the face.”

An equally invaluable benefit for platform users at these events is the opportunity to interact with other attendees to learn how they use the system for their own organization. For example, the City of Roseville (Calif.) may use TargetSolutions’ online training management system differently than Oklahoma City Fire Department (Okla.).

However, bringing these two agencies together in the same room could undoubtedly reveal capabilities of the platform the other didn’t realize was possible. TargetSolutions is fully customizable and every agency will use it differently, hence why these types of events are the perfect outlet for organizations to learn how to maximize their technology.

Phil Coons, TargetSolutions’ Director of Sales (West), took it one step further by focusing the importance of the events to learn what matters the most to agencies based on geographic needs.

“They bring our clients together and we not only show best practices, but we can learn regionally what matters to the group and allows for cross-education in a peer-to-peer environment,” said Coons. “If there are individuals in attendance who are considering TargetSolutions for their own agency, they get a deeper understanding of TargetSolutions and how their peers are using the platform.”

Indeed, if a friend whose opinions you value recommends a movie, you may be more inclined to watch it. Likewise, if a neighboring fire department or city or government agency has been able to streamline their training with one consolidated online system and offers their stamp of approval, you may be more inclined to take their recommendation.

For more information on TargetSolutions’ training workshops, please contact us today at (800) 840-8046.

Testimonial Video: How TargetSolutions Helps Public Agencies Streamline Training


Agencies using TargetSolutions from across the country discussed eLearning best practices and the future of online training management during Vector Solutions’ 2017 Client Summit.

Agencies from across the country that are using TargetSolutions were recently interviewed by our team about their experiences with TargetSolutions’ online training management platform. Coming from backgrounds in firefighting, training, and administration, each agency not only appreciated TargetSolutions’ robust course library but also valued the platform’s ability to deliver, track and report all training types.

Division Chief of Training, Dan Pfannenstiel, highlighted the options to customize pre-training activities for the West Metro Fire Protection District’s hands-on training. Pfannenstiel praised TargetSolutions’ online activities as an “opportunity for us to help prime people for when they come down so that training is more valid and useful, and they get a chance, through customized content, to see it done right in our own environment.”

TargetSolutions has also enabled these agencies to streamline credentials and records management with a single, centralized location for important training data. Lynn Adgett, Program Assistant of City of Reno, discussed how TargetSolutions helps her team document training hours and track expiring licenses and certifications. She remarked, “we can now maintain (credentials) and we can stay on top of things”.

The 2017 Client Summit covered eLearning best practices and the future of online training. Using attendees’ input, Vector Solutions has worked to introduce new strategies to continue innovative training approaches that closely connect knowledge and performance for a safer, more effective workforce.

If you would like what other training leaders who have implemented TargetSolutions have to say, please view these Success Stories.

Federal Grant Program Allows Fire Departments to Seek Out New Training Opportunities

Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is now accepting applications for the annual Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. Up to 2,500 grants will be awarded in 2018 for first responders in need of equipment, training, or other essential resources to their mission.

Fire departments experiencing budgetary hardships have an opportunity to infuse their organizations with new life through a federally funded grant program. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program offers aid to first responders to obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other necessary resources to achieve their department’s mission.

fema-button-grant-programThe grants are broken down into sub-categories designed to help organizations seeking aid with specific operational goals. The available grants are as follows:

  • Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG): Offers departments funding for critically needed resources to equip and train firefighters in operational efficiency and to support community resilience.
  • Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants (SAFER): Provides funding to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help increase the number of trained “frontline” firefighters available in their communities.
  • Fire Prevention & Safety Grants (FP&S): Supports projects that enhance public safety and firefighters from fire and related hazards.

Developed in 2001 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the mission of the program is to “strengthen national preparedness and resilience.” Focusing on eligible fire departments, non-affiliated emergency medical service (EMS) organizations, and State Fire Training Academies (SFTA), the program annually projects to award as many as 2,500 grants to approved organizations.

Award sizes are determined by the populations of the jurisdictions served. Applicants should be prepared to provide documentation and background information on their department’s specific needs and goals:

  • Organization and the Community Served: Discuss your organization and the special needs or hazards faced by your community and how they impact your department.
  • Financial Need: Why does your organization need financial assistance and what types of budgetary distress are you currently experiencing?
  • Project Description and Budget Justification: Explain some of your department’s projects and how they impact your budget.
  • Operations/Cost Benefit: How will a grant benefit your organization and impact your operational costs?
  • Statement of Effect: How will this grant positively impact your mission and the community your department serves?

Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program

For organizations that are seeking out new training opportunities, TargetSolutions offers an affordable all-in-one solution designed to streamline department training and records management. Schedule, track, and deliver award-winning firefighter and EMS continuing education anytime, anywhere. Utilized by more than 4,000 organizations nationwide, TargetSolutions is the undisputed leader in online training for the fire service.

Please note, the application period closes Feb. 2.

The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program is currently accepting applications. Restrictions apply. Please visit FEMA’s website for more information at: https://www.fema.gov/welcome-assistance-firefighters-grant-program

TargetSolutions’ EDU Course Catalog Receives Significant Enhancements

A 10-course bundle of school district training courses is just the beginning of what is going to be a complete overhaul of TargetSolutions’ EDU course catalog.

Exciting changes have arrived to TargetSolutions’ EDU course catalog. A freshly released 10-course bundle of brand new training courses offers a peek into the long-term plans to enhance our vast library of lessons for school districts. Produced with a healthy blend of audio and video, these courses offer instructor-led presentations, voiceover narration tracks, engaging graphics, and interactive multimedia for an immersive learning experience. With each course clocking in with a 30 to 90-minute runtime, this collection will cover a wide range of education topics designed to help schools meet their training needs.

Titles included in this new bundle of school district training are:

  • Managing Difficult Behaviors: Enables school staff to identify and provide positive correction techniques to various types of student misbehaviors.
  • Safe Use of Utility Carts: Features general information about utility carts including their features, safe operation, and proper maintenance.
  • Preventing Cyberbullying: Defines cyberbullying and discusses its prevalence and harmful side effects as well as what you can do to stop it.
  • Liability in Sports: Outlines the risks associated with physical activities, primarily sports, and how to ensure student safety.
  • Evacuating Students with Disabilities: Informs bus drivers and attendants who work with special needs students the basics of an effective evacuation policy and strategy.

When asked about the new direction of the EDU course catalog, TargetSolutions’ Content Manager Bryan Fitzgerald noted that this new bundle is just a glimpse into the future of the library:

“We have a comprehensive plan to completely overhaul the EDU catalog with more interactive lessons. 2018 is going to be a big year when it comes to training and school districts.”

Bryan Fitzgerald, Content Manager, TargetSolutions.

With these 10 new courses currently available, 2018 is already shaping up to be a productive year for enhancements and new releases. Upcoming releases will use a mix of narrated teaching, graphics, unique interactions and focused learning objectives to deliver a world-class training experience.

For more information about school district training, please contact TargetSolutions today at (800) 840-8048.   

TargetSolutions’ Online Police Training Courses Meet Continuing Education Requirements in Various States

Police Training Requirements by State | Police Training Online
With TargetSolutions you can schedule, deliver and track online police training covering high-risk, low-frequency topics. The compelling content has proven to keep law enforcement officers prepared and is accepted in numerous states across the country. See below for the status of your state.

Online Police Training Options by State: 2018 Edition

TargetSolutions offers more than 240 online law enforcement training courses and videos to help police agencies educate personnel, achieve compliance and reduce liability. Covering highrisk, low-frequency events, TargetSolutions’ police training courses are created by subject matter experts and feature real-life scenarios, dynamic interactions, and mobile compatibility.

There are 12 states that require state approval, and TargetSolutions is approved in those states: Alaska, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas.

18 states require continuing education (CE) without approvals and are free to utilize TargetSolutions: Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Organizations That Accept Online Police Training by TargetSolutions

In addition to the state approvals, here are the organizations that accept online police training courses offered by TargetSolutions:

Alabama: Alabama POST


Alaska: DPS Alaska Police Standards Council


Arkansas: Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training


Colorado: Colorado POST


Florida: Florida Division of Criminal Justice


Georgia: Georgia POST


Indiana: Indiana Law Enforcement Academy


Iowa: Iowa Law Enforcement Academy


Kansas: Kansas Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training (KS•CPOST)


Louisiana: Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement (LCLE)


Massachusetts: The Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC)


Michigan: Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES)


Missouri: Missouri POST


Nebraska: Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center


Nevada: Nevada POST


New Jersey: New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice


New Mexico: New Mexico Department of Public Safety


New York: New York State Division of Criminal Justice Service


North Dakota: North Dakota POST


Ohio: Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy


Oklahoma: Oklahoma Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training


Oregon: Department of Public Safety Standards and Training


South Carolina: South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy


South Dakota: Law Enforcement Training, Division of Criminal Investigation


Texas: Texas Commission on Law Enforcement


Utah: Utah Department of Public Safety


Vermont: Criminal Justice Training Council


Virginia: Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS)


Washington: Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission


West Virginia: Division of Justice & Community Services


Wisconsin: Wisconsin Department of Justice Training & Standards Bureau


Wyoming: Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy


TargetSolutions’ online police training catalog features courses covering high-risk, low-frequency events, as well as other topics germane to law enforcement professionals. Course categories include Corrections, Dispatch, Driver Training for Police, Homeland Security, Investigation, Officer Survival and Patrol.
TargetSolutions also features OSHA & Compliance training and Human Resources training, including mandatory sexual harassment training and other valuable courses for supervisors. These courses are aimed to educate public safety officers, mitigate risk and reduce workplace claims.
Check back often as many states are in the approval process for online police training.
If you would like more information about your state’s accreditation status for online police training, please contact us at (800) 840-8048 or via e-mail at TSaccreditations@targetsolutions.com