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Meet Strategic Risk Management Account Manager: Ashley Cole

Ashley hails from Santa Maria, Calif. and attended college at San Diego State University where she majored in Television, Film, and News Media. Ashley married her husband, Jeffrey Cole, an engineer with the Poway Fire Department (Calif.) in May of 2012.

Ashley loves to laugh and plays a variety of different sports. She enjoys being near the water and considers herself a “beach bum.”

Here is a Q&A from a recent conversation with Ashley.

What is your guilty pleasure? 
I have to admit, I have two. Watching the Bachelor and making cakes. However, in order to make up for the brain cells lost watching the Bachelor, I recharge with answering intelligent questions watching Jeopardy.

If you had to spend a day without technology, what would you do?
If I had to spend a day without technology, it would be fine because that means I could head to the beach a lot more and paddle board. 

What is your New Year’s resolution? 
To be an even better me than I was the year before.

What is the first thing you remember purchasing with your own money? 
My camera. I LOVE my camera!

If you could pick any age to go back to, what would it be? Why? 
I would say the age I most appropriately should go back to is 24. Why you ask, well the year I graduated college and the adventure began.

What has been the most memorable/fulfilling moment in your position at TargetSolutions? 
I would say the most fulfilling moment, working with my clients. Specifically, Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA) and Auxiliary Organizations Risk Management Alliance (AROMA). I enjoy hearing their creative ideas and helping implement them into the TargetSolutions platform.

Four Clients Honored at TargetSolutions’ Customer Appreciation & User Group Workshop

SAN DIEGO  A few blocks from the Firehouse World conference, TargetSolutions held its own special event for members of the fire service on Jan. 27. Leaders from four different fire departments were honored with awards during TargetSolutions’ Customer Appreciation & User Group Workshop at the Marriott Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego.

Cheryl Roberts of Rancho Cucamonga Fire District (Calif.), Christine Boozer of Fresno Fire Department (Calif.), Mike Heikes of Lacey Fire District 3 (Wash.), and Dan Froelich of San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (Calif.) received accolades for their exceptional contributions to TargetSolutions.

The packed house was there to learn more about the industry’s leading online fire training management system and to provide TargetSolutions with valuable feedback on the firefighter training and tracking platform.

Here is a breakdown of the awards presented by TargetSolutions:

 

The Fire Starter Award
Battalion Chief Cheryl Roberts of Rancho Cucamonga was the choice for this inaugural honor created to recognize innovation in firefighter training. Roberts has displayed tremendous tenacity while increasing her department’s utilization of TargetSolutions. As a client since 2006, Roberts has promoted the platform in her region and coordinated various events to bring multiple agencies in San Bernardino County together to learn more about TargetSolutions.

“There was a whole team of us that kind of put (on events) together, so I am honored that I was given the opportunity to be the face of that,” Roberts said. “Hopefully, it can continue to grow in other areas. … The more we are in (TargetSolutions), the more we can share and the more we can help each other.”

The Vanguard Award 
Training Division Coordinator Christine Boozer of Fresno was this year’s Vanguard Award winner, another new honor created to recognize Boozer for her dedication to outstanding firefighter training. Boozer has displayed tremendous determination for delivering exceptional training and pioneering the way for utilization of TargetSolutions.

“Christine Boozer taught me that TargetSolutions was a training mechanism, not just a list of courses,” said TargetSolutions Regional Sales Manager Andrew Lynch.

Boozer’s department has been a client since 2006 and over that time she has played a crucial role in advocating TargetSolutions. Boozer has worked to help departments implement the platform with her in-depth knowledge on how to maximize TargetSolutions for firefighter training.

“A lot of agencies come to me and want to replicate our system, but it’s more about what do they need? What do they face? What are their exposures? What do people need to learn? What do they need to report? And TargetSolutions can do that. It is the technology that can do that. But first you have to decide what you need.”
Christine Boozer, Fresno Fire Department 

The Helping Hand Award 
The Helping Hand Award is given to an individual who goes above and beyond in assisting TargetSolutions in the improvement of the platform. This year it was awarded to Battalion Chief Mike Heikes of Lacey Fire District 3, which has been a client of TargetSolutions since 2012.

Heikes’ dedication to Thurston County’s training – and helping his neighboring departments maximize TargetSolutions – has been remarkable, said TargetSolutions’ Regional Sales Director Phil Coons.

“Mike Heikes is a huge advocate for our platform,” Coons said. “He informs other departments that he (used to) send four guys out to train and would receive reports back in four different ways. With TargetSolutions, he can send those same guys out and get reports back the same way.”

Before receiving the award, Heikes said he was “humbled” by the honor. He cited TargetSolutions’ firefighter tracking and reporting tools as the reason why he has been such a huge advocate of the platform.

The Lifetime Achievement Award  
The final award went to Assistant Fire Chief Ken Barnes and Battalion Chief Dan Froelich of San Diego Fire-Rescue Department for fostering outstanding utilization of the TargetSolutions platform at his department.

Leadership at SDFD has worked to maximize TargetSolutions to its fullest capability. In fact, the department, which has had more than 1,800 users on TargetSolutions since 2009, logs around 50,000 completed training assignments and compliance tasks each month, Lynch said.

Please Click Here to Watch TargetSolutions’ Andy Lynch Deliver the Lifetime Achievement Award to SDFD’s Dan Froelich.

About TargetSolutions
TargetSolutions delivers cutting-edge software applications, engaging online training courses, and world-class customer service. The company was founded in 1999 and today there are more than 2,000 organizations across the country using TargetSolutions’ innovative technology to solve their training challenges.

 

 

TargetSolutions Ready to Show How Risk Managers Can Deliver Online Safety Training for Employees at PARMA

Are you heading to Anaheim’s Disney Hotel Feb. 8-11 for PARMA’s 41st Annual Risk Manager’s Conference Membership Meeting? If so, make sure to stop by booth No. 330 to meet with TargetSolutions’ representatives.

The annual event is a tremendous opportunity for TargetSolutions to educate potential users and existing clients on how the online training management system works to reduce liability in the workplace.

TargetSolutions’ Business Development Specialist Claire Miller and National Sales Executive Jason Finley will be demonstrating how the industry’s leading risk-management platform helps government agencies across the country. TargetSolutions’ powerful online training and records management platform is designed to help organizations prevent losses with online safety training for employees.

“PARMA is a great opportunity to have all the risk managers from across the nation in one place. We are looking forward to getting the TargetSoultions product in the hands of risk management companies and showing them how they can increase operational efficiencies.”  

Jason Finley, TargetSolutions

Have You Heard How TargetSolutions Streamlines Training Management? 
Click here for more information on how pools across the nation are using TargetSolutions to reduce their members’ risk.

“TargetSolutions offers tremendous value for our members. It’s a key component of CSAC-EIA’s loss prevention and risk management services. Our members have embraced the platform because it helps them educate their employees, reduce workers’ compensation claims and improve overall productivity.”

Charles Williams, CSAC Excess Insurance Authority Loss

The Games of Heroes: Fairfax 2015 World Police & Fire Games

This summer, Fairfax County in Virginia will be hosting the 2015 World Police & Fire Games (June 26 to July 5). The games were established in 1985 by the non-profit Californian Police Athletics Federation and today they are an international sporting event, offered to police officers, firefighters, and correction officers from around the world.
With more than 12,000 athletes from more than 70 countries expected to compete in more than 1,600 events at 61 venues, the World Police & Fire Games present an amazing opportunity for the community to honor and celebrate the heroes who serve us every day. It’s also a tremendous opportunity for one of TargetSolutions’ clients, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, to deliver outstanding support.
“For Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to not only host the event in our county, but to host these countries in a location with a close proximity to our nation’s capital in Washington D.C.”
Robert Konczal, Captain, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department  
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue recently signed on with TargetSolutions to ensure its personnel are in total training compliance. By managing training with the industry’s leading online training and tracking system for firefighters, Konczal is confident his department will also be up for the challenge at the World Police & Fire Games.
“As we get closer to the games, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue will utilize TargetSolutions’ online training to help prepare and sharpen certain skills to set expectations required to manage specific events at the games,” Konczal said. “Also, during the event, we plan to broadcast daily messages utilizing the platform.”
Want to Be a Part of the 2015 World Police & Fire Games? 
Fairfax County is looking for people to get involved, as a volunteer, competitor, or spectator at this special event. Check inside TargetSolutions’ Community Resources application, and search “Fairfax World Police & Fire Games 2015” to watch the event’s overview video to learn more.

Reduce Costly Claims with TargetSolutions’ Claim-to-Course Guide

 

TargetSolutions features engaging health & safety training online courses built to address workplace safety. These courses are proven to reduce claims and increase productivity.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 3 million nonfatal workplace accidents occurred in 2012. Nearly 95 percent of these cases involved occupational injuries.

Back injuries, slips, trips and falls, and driving accidents are some of the most frequent mishaps. With preventable workplace injuries continually occurring, it is important organizations prevent these costly incidents from happening.

TargetSolutions’ Claim-to-Course Guide allows organizations to target certain injuries or risks with online training created specifically to prevent workplace accidents. Using a comprehensive catalog of health & safety training online courses – including OSHA, Human Resources, Employment Practices for Supervisors, and Driver Safety – TargetSolutions works to implement strategies that can reduce claims in the most troublesome and frequent areas within an organization.

 

With TargetSolutions’ powerful applications, including the Claim-to-Course Guide, organizations like Shasta County have reduced claims and saved money. If you have any questions regarding TargetSolutions, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048.

The Innovation Continues: TargetSolutions’ Web-Based Platform Makes Advancements in 2014

In 2014, TargetSolutions continued to build out its existing applications and is looking to take its online training management system even further in 2015.
Another year is in the books and TargetSolutions’ team of talented developers made significant improvements to the platform during 2014. Many of the projects completed were a result of customer feedback, which has always been a critical component to TargetSolutions’ success.
“We realize our online system wouldn’t be what it is today if not for the recommendations of our clients,” said TargetSolutions’ Alex Day, who is vice president of operations. “TargetSolutions is committed to delivering the most powerful, user-friendly online training management system imaginable.”
Here are some of TargetSolutions’ most notable technical accomplishments from 2014:
New Test Builder Reports: TargetSolutions’ Test Completions and Test Analysis inside Generate Reports enhancements enable platform managers to gather results for individual test completions, as well as retrieve a comprehensive analysis of any question answered by users in a test built with Test Builder. Learn More>
File Upload Tool: Improvement was made to the File Upload tool inside the File Center. With the upload tool no longer flash-based, it is now compatible with mobile devices like the iPhone. Learn More>
Add SCORM Courses to Certified Credentials: Enhancements enabled the ability to add SCROM courses to certified credentials. After uploading SCORM courses and attaching them to a certified credential, platform managers can add a CE provider name and number to custom courses. Learn More>
TargetSolutions Academy: Whether an organization is looking for basic utilization tips or a comprehensive overview on how to implement TargetSolutions at the highest level, the TargetSolutions Academy webpage can help clients succeed. Learn More>
New Pre-Made Activities to Import: More than 40 new activities were imported for organizations to schedule, deliver and track with the Activities Builder application. Activities can be customized, or assigned as-is to personnel. Learn More>
New Overdue Assignment Report: This report was built to make it easier to run data on overdue assignments, eliminating the hassle of using the Incomplete Assignment report to find information on late assignments. Learn More>
Copy Credentials Enhancement: The all-new Copy Credential tool enables organizations to copy existing credentials, duplicate or edit components inside them, update alert notifications, and then reassign to select users. Learn More>
Easier Articulate Upload: This update made it possible for organizations to upload an Articulate presentation into the File Center and assign it to users with Activities Builder. Learn More>
EMT Course Chat Feature: With certified EMTs on staff, TargetSolutions offers an “Ask an Instructor” feature. Users can ask questions about courses while taking them and TargetSolutions’ staff of EMTs is logged in, ready to answer. Learn More>

More Than 1.4 Million Online Safety Training Courses Completed in 2014 by TargetSolutions’ Users

From the very beginning, TargetSolutions has strived to provide exceptional online safety training courses that educate employees, provide valuable continuing education units, and reduce organizational liability. Based on the number of course completions, that goal is being met.
Every year, the number of total completions jumps higher than the year before and 2014 was no different. More than 1.4 million online safety courses were completed last year, which was a 20 percent increase from 2013.
Here is a list of the top 10 online safety courses completed in 2014:
Sexual Harassment Awareness: Designed to help prevent incidents of sexual harassment in the workplace, TargetSolutions’ most popular course provides guidelines on what to do if such an incident occurs.
Bloodborne Pathogens Safety: This course explains requirements for complying with standards such as NFPA 1500 and the 2001 OSHA revision standard to comply with the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act.
Back Injury Prevention: With back injuries ranking as one of the top occupational work injuries, this course highlights techniques for protecting and strengthening the back.
First Responder Operations Level Refresher (Modules 1-4): This course provides four modules for personnel responsible for mitigating hazardous materials incidents. These courses are based on the information and competencies outlined by OSHA’s HAZWOPER Standard (29 CFR 1910.120) and NFPA 472.
EMS Infectious Disease Control: This course provides an overview of the risks and realities of infectious disease exposure incidents in the pre-hospital environment.
EMS Airway Management Basic: When the airway is obstructed, EMS professionals must clear it as soon as possible using methods outlined in this training course.
Workplace Diversity: This course provides an education on discrimination laws, as well as helpful information about creating a positive work atmosphere.
Reporting Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation of Children: This course details what to do if you suspect a child is being abused. TargetSolutions created this course to assist users in understanding what they must do to protect children and the steps that must be taken to report abuse.
Hearing Conservation: Unprotected exposure to loud noise can damage ears and result in permanent hearing loss. This course outlines requirements for organizations with a hearing conservation program.
NFPA 1001 Building Construction: Covering the basic elements of building construction and related hazards, this course breaks down characteristics of a building to significantly reduce risks and prevent error during fire suppression.
“At TargetSolutions, our online training courses are the backbone of our service. We are thrilled to see a steady, dramatic growth in the number of course completions throughout the years!” 
Alex Day, Vice President of Operations, TargetSolutions
TargetSolutions’ online training management system features more than 250 hours of Fire and EMS continuing education, as well as hundreds of other courses for government agencies and private businesses, including OSHA, Human Resources, and much more. If you have any questions about TargetSolutions’ course catalog, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.

NFPA 1403 Webinar Educates Firefighters on How to Make Live-Fire Training Safer

Fire Engineering hosted a webinar last July titled, “Revisiting NFPA 1403 Before Your Next Live-Fire Training.” A recorded version is now available inside Community Resources.
Training is vital to every fire department, but if not done properly, it can result in unnecessary injuries, and even death. In the last decade, more than 100 firefighters died during training activities and live-fire training was a leading cause.
Chuck Montgomery
Last July, Deputy Chief Chuck Montgomery of Glendale Fire Department in Arizona delivered an important firefighter training presentation for Fire Engineering titled, “Revisiting NFPA 1403 Before Your Next Live Fire Training.” The webinar covered how departments can effectively apply the NFPA 1403 standard in their own live-fire training scenarios and Montgomery shared various lessons and instructions on how to implement safer evolutions.
A recorded version of the webinar, which has been selected as TargetSolutions’ Resource of the Month, is now available inside Community Resources for departments to assign to users.
“With proper pre-planning and a detailed Incident Action Plan, as well as a focus on safety, live-fire training can be a valuable tool for the fire service and the dangers can be greatly reduced or completely eliminated,” Montgomery said during the 56-minute overview.
In addition, TargetSolutions’ offers an online firefighter training course, “NFPA 1403 Live Fire Training Evolutions,” which reviews live-burn evolutions and emphasizes the importance of safety. Departments are able to deliver TargetSolutions’ NFPA 1403 training course, as well as this month’s top resource presented by Montgomery, and track completions.
To view this webinar or other NFPA 1403 related documents, please log in to your organization’s TargetSolutions site and search “NFPA 1403” within the Community Resources tab. If you have questions about Community Resources, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.

TargetSolutions’ Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Helps Organizations Educate Employees

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates more than $1 billion is lost each year due to sexual harassment. 
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there was a decline in the number of sexual harassment charges filled from 2010 to 2013. However, harassment charges filed by men have risen to 17.6 percent in recent years.
Clearly, there is need for training and TargetSolutions is making a difference for organizations employing the computer-based training system.
“Sexual harassment is a serious problem in the workplace. These incidents can have a significant impact on both the victim and the organization,” said TargetSolutions’ Strategic Risk Management Business Unit Manager Kelly Zielinski.
“The best way to deal with sexual harassment is to prevent it from ever happening, and that’s what TargetSolutions aims to do. Our harassment training offers organizations a way to deliver valuable training to employees on what qualifies as harassment and what to do if an incident occurs.”
Since 1999, TargetSolutions’ collection of harassment courses have been completed more than 250,000 times. These courses, which include Sexual Harassment Awareness, Sexual Harassment for Supervisors, and Sexual Harassment Awareness (Spanish), among others, educate employees on how to prevent harassment, as well as guidelines on what to do if such an incident occurs.
In California, supervisors working for an organization with more than 50 employees are required to complete a two-hour sexual harassment course every two years. In late 2014, TargetSolutions updated its Sexual Harassment for Supervisors (AB 1825) course to be compliant with the new Assembly Bill 2053, which amends AB 1825 to include specific training on abusive conduct – often referred to as bullying.
These courses have proven to be well received by TargetSolutions’ clients. An anonymous user recently wrote in one of the harassment course’s comments section, “great course!” and another member of the Maine School Management Association commented, “the content was very helpful and easy to follow.”
If you would like more information on TargetSolutions’ training for sexual harassment prevention, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.

Martinsville Fire & EMS Upgrades Its ISO Rating with TargetSolutions’ Firefighter Tracking Software

Martinsville Fire & EMS is responsible for protecting the Virginia city’s 13,000-plus residents. But that responsibility doesn’t stop with emergency services  it also protects taxpayers.
The department recently completed a Public Protection Classification survey with the Insurance Services Office, which saw Martinsville improve its grade from a Class 04 to Class 03, effective Dec. 1, 2014.
While there are many factors in a department’s ISO rating, Deputy Chief Kris Shrader believes the biggest reason for Martinsville’s upgrade was the department’s comprehensive training records. Shrader says the department has always completed the necessary training, but after implementing TargetSolutions in January of 2013, it finally had the tool it needed to document everything accurately.
Shrader recently sat down with TargetSolutions to discuss the new ISO rating and how it impacts the city.
Congratulations on the improved ISO rating! When did the ISO audit take place? 
“The review took place in January of 2014 and it looked at the previous three years. For training, the ISO’s focus was on 2013. This was our first review under the new ISO grading scale. Our last review was in 2007, I believe. I was a captain at the time, so this was my first time going through and really being involved in the process.” 
Please talk a little bit about your experience. How do you think you wound up with an improved rating?
“I think the new ISO grading schedule is a little bit kinder and gentler. In the past, these types of evaluations would take days, but for us, it only took three hours. I think the fact we were able to produce the training records with TargetSolutions really made a big difference. In years past, all of that data would have needed to be recorded by hand and somebody on the staff would have had to manually calculate everything – like how many hours per person for officer training, how many hours for company training, etc. It would have been miserable, if not for TargetSolutions.”
So in your estimation, Martinsville’s improved training records were the biggest reason for the improved ISO rating?
“Yes, I think so. From our last audit, we were a strong Class 04 department and we were able to show improvement. We didn’t add any trucks, or any staff. I think the improvement was a result of our training records, enough to push us over the edge and earn class 03 status.”
Besides TargetSolutions, there isn’t anything else that might have improved your ISO rating?
“No, not really. We were a class 04 department and now we are a class 03 and besides the new grading scale, the only thing that really changed was adding TargetSolutions to track training.”
You became a client in January of 2013, one year before your ISO review. Did you find it difficult to implement TargetSolutions so quickly before your review?
“We implemented TargetSolutions right away and it was easy. We just had to train our staff on how to enter training. It was actually pretty painless.”
Was tracking ISO the reason you chose TargetSolutions as your online training management software?
“It was definitely a contributing factor, but I wouldn’t say it was the biggest reason. We were just looking for a better way to track everything and we knew it would benefit our ISO score, too. We mainly just wanted a better way to manage records. When the person from ISO came and sat in my office and asked for my records, it only took three or four clicks on the keyboard and two minutes later I had the report in my hand. I was able to give them exactly what they needed for company training, officer training, and everything else.”
What does this improved rating mean for insurance rates in the city of Martinsville?
“For residential home owners, it’s not a huge impact. Everything above a Class 05 rating is pretty much graded the same. But for commercial property owners and businesses, they can see a reduction in their insurance rates. We put out a press release to let people know they can notify their insurance carrier to let them know the rating has been improved. I think local businesses can take advantage of this.”
It sounds like you credit a great deal of this to TargetSolutions. Is this a product you would recommend to other departments looking to improve their ISO rating?
“I would definitely recommend TargetSolutions for tracking ISO, without a doubt. It’s the simplest way to manage records. If you are doing what you are supposed to be doing, your ISO rating will take care of itself. But TargetSolutions makes tracking it all so much easier. The platform is outstanding.”
Has your department recently undergone an ISO review? Did TargetSolutions help your department achieve a better ISO score? Contact us today through e-mail and we’ll be in touch to feature you and your department in our next Department Spotlight.