Technology with a Purpose

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Get to Know TargetSolutions’ Account Specialist Jessyca Altenbach

Originally hired as a Client Services Representative last August, Jessyca was recently promoted to Account Specialist. After graduating from Cal State San Marcos in 2015, Jessyca is now focused on assisting TargetSolutions’ clients with implementation and utilization.

“There are so many different personalities and stories within this office,” Jessyca said when asked about life at TargetSolutions. “On top of that I get to work with clients, who also come from all kinds of backgrounds. It’s very rewarding being able to build relationships with so many great people.”

When not in the office, Jessyca enjoys catching up on her favorite TV shows, baking, taking her Bengal cat, Dexter, for walks, and looking forward to prospective traveling opportunities. She’s already circled Portland, Ore. as her next target, she said.

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

What is your favorite food?

My hands down ultimate favorite food would be Italian; more specifically, lasagna with a side salad and breadsticks.

What are your three favorite movies and why?

Bridesmaids, Big Daddy, and Bad Boys. Why? Because those are the three movies that I can actually quote lines from, and that’s how I know I love them. Plus, old school Adam Sandler was the best.

Which bands/artists/genres of music do you listen to?

I bounce around with music. One day I might be listening to Michael Buble and Frank Sinatra, and the next day I have Jay-Z and Drake playing.

You just discovered the ability to time travel. Where would you go first and why?

Take me to 200 years from now. I’m very curious to see what life will be like for the generations coming up. We already have cars that can navigate themselves, and an Apple Watch can time travel to show you what’s coming up in your day. What else is going to be built, and how is that going to change the way we live our daily lives? 

You just won an all-expenses paid vacation to anywhere on the planet. Where are you going and why?

Bora Bora! I would need at least five cans of 100+ SPF so I don’t get burnt, but even if I did … it would be worth it. Between the crystal-clear water you can snorkel in and the gorgeous bungalows, it looks like paradise.  

What’s a saying or motto that you go by every day?

Whatever you do, make sure it makes you happy.


TargetSolutions’ Confined Space Entry Training Course Undergoes Updates

TargetSolutions’ Confined Space Entry training course touches on hazard evaluation, personal protective equipment, and entry supervision.

TargetSolutions recently updated its Confined Space Entry training course with enhanced interactive content and multimedia. The 14-module course from the NFPA 1500 Series covers standards established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), permit requirements, and hazard control.

Other courses in the NFPA 1500 series include Bloodborne Pathogens Safety, HAZMAT Spill Prevention & control, Hazard Communication, and four modules of Advanced HAZWOPER Awareness.

TargetSolutions’ Confined Space Entry Training course is a one hour course featuring a 10 question exam. After successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Recognize a confined space and the hazards associated with confined space entry work.
  • Understand the respective roles and responsibilities of authorized entrants, attendants, entry supervisors, and rescue personnel.
  • Understand the elements of the confined space permit system.
  • Understand the equipment selection, calibration, use, and maintenance of specialized equipment and instrumentation necessary to identify and work within confined spaces.

This course is offered online and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This course is self‐paced online training. Review exercises and case studies reinforce the content, and students are evaluated with a multiple choice exam. Upon completion, students are prompted to submit a course evaluation.

To learn more about TargetSolutions’ NFPA training courses, please click here or contact us today.

TargetSolutions Presents Awards, Gives Thanks at Networking & Training Workshop

TargetSolutions hosted its annual Networking & Training Workshop on Feb. 2 during Firehouse World in San Diego. The event was highlighted by the presentation of three awards for clients.

SAN DIEGO – TargetSolutions hosts a special event each year during Firehouse World to thank clients for their valuable contributions. And each year, TargetSolutions has more and more reasons to express gratitude.

The opportunity to say thank you came Feb. 2 when account members packed the house atop the Marriott Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego. Attendees mingled with TargetSolutions’ employees and networked with peers, as two fire agencies and one long-time platform manager were honored with prestigious awards.

Stuart Sprung of the Oceanside Fire Department (Calif.) was given the Helping Hand Award, presented each year to someone who goes above and beyond to help TargetSolutions improve its fire department training system. Two other agencies, West Metro Fire Protection District from Colorado and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue from Oregon, were recognized with the Vanguard and Technology Achievement Awards, respectively.

Attendees gathered to ask questions, learn tips and tricks, and offer platform suggestions.

“This is really all about you, the customers. We really want you to know we wouldn’t be here without you.”

Kegan Konrady, Regional Sales Manager

Here is a breakdown of the awards presented by TargetSolutions:

The Vanguard Award
West Metro Fire Protection District (Colo.) is a cutting-edge department constantly looking to maximize its training resources. After economic reasons led to a re-organization, the District was forced to find more efficient, cost-effective ways for managing training and compliance.

“It was out of necessity, really,” said Division Chief Dan Pfannenstiel. “We lost some people in training and we needed a new delivery model. That’s why we decided to blaze the trail with TargetSolutions.”

The District signed on with TargetSolutions in May of 2012 and has worked hard to exploit the platform’s capabilities and communicate those capabilities to other agencies in the area, making West Metro a clear choice for the Vanguard Award.

“West Metro is one of the most respected agencies in the Denver area and all of Colorado,” said TargetSolutions’ Regional Sales Director Phil Coons. “It’s a progressive agency that is looking to be at the forefront of innovation and that explains why they are experiencing such significant success utilizing the platform.”

The Technology Achievement Award
Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue (Ore.) was not able to attend the event in San Diego, but was given the Technology Achievement Award. The Oregon-based department has shown remarkable ingenuity in its implementation of the system, said Coons.

Having signed on less than two years ago, the department has quickly mastered the platform’s capabilities and is continuously pushing the envelope to achieve departmental efficiencies.

“Tualatin fully grasps the concept of customization with the platform and is finding ways to make TargetSolutions work for the specific needs of the department,” said Coons.

The Helping Hand Award
Sprung, who serves as Oceanside’s Fire Training Specialist, was a slam dunk for the Helping Hand Award because he consistently works with TargetSolutions to improve the platform’s capabilities. Sprung takes time to provide feedback, troubleshoot issues, and work with his neighbors looking to make the most of TargetSolutions.

Regional Sales Manager Kegan Konrady (left) presents Oceanside’s Stuart Sprung with the Helping Hand Award. Please click here to watch video of Sprung receiving the award.

“This is a really nice gesture by TargetSolutions, but it’s really recognizing the work of all of us collectively who are trying to find training improvements,” said Sprung, who works closely with members of the North Zone, a group of fire departments in San Diego’s North County who collaborate to maximize TargetSolutions.

“We might all have common issues and we’re collectively working to find solutions,” said Sprung. “I think I was kind of designated as the (chief liaison) for TargetSolutions. The one thing I’ve always loved about TargetSolutions is it’s always looking for feedback. It’s always been responsive to ideas.”

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 to manage training.


TargetSolutions Optimizes Two Online Training Courses for Water Professionals

TargetSolutions has made exciting upgrades to two courses in its online water and wastewater training catalog.

Two of TargetSolutions’ training courses for water industry professionals, Mathematics Basics and Maintenance on Pumps, Motors, and Circuits, have received major enhancements. The updates include a fresh design with newly optimized content, as well as activities that provide an interactive learning experience. Both courses are approved for recertification in select states.

“It has a new style, there are way more interactions. It was very static in nature prior to the revisions,” said TargetSolutions Director of Content Jeremy Lynch. “The content is all new.”

Special emphasis was placed on Mathematics Basics, which aims to engage the course-taker rather than tread along traditional textbook learning methods.

“I think what we’ve done to make them really attention-grabbing is the interactivity and the engagement,” said Multimedia Designer Paul Heresa. “They’re going to sit down and read and actually click-through interactions and attention-grabbing visuals. They’re going to consume and remember the information going forward.”

Please click here to learn more about TargetSolutions’ online training for water and wastewater professionals.


Get to Know Your Account Manager: Julie Blosch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Tim Riley, Product Specialist, TargetSolutions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Reduce Workplace Injuries with TargetSolutions’ Essential Ergonomics Solution

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Otay Water District Simplifies Continuing Education with TargetSolutions

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Top Courses from 2015

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

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

New Accreditations and Accomplishments in 2015Law Enforcement Advisory Board

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

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

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

All-New Reports Application Released in 2015

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

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

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

Misty Pratt, Product Manager, TargetSolutions

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

Memorable Events from 2015

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

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

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

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

Amy Albanese, Account Manager, TargetSolutions

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