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North Shore Fire Rescue Confident Its Training Records Are Accurate, Thanks to TargetSolutions

It doesn’t matter which fire department you analyze, how many personnel it employs, or how many citizens it serves – chances are the chiefs, captains and officers at that department are struggling to make sure personnel are completing mandatory training and compliance tasks on time. At least that is the case for departments doing things the old-fashioned way.

North Shore Fire Rescue (Wis.) was one of those departments until it found TargetSolutions, the industry’s leader in online training and records management, in January of 2012. Ever since, training management has become more efficient, according to Battalion Chief of Administration and Training Toby Carlson.

“Prior to launching TargetSolutions, we found it extremely challenging to effectively train 100 percent of our members, whether it was through practical drill, policy review or operational practices,” Carlson said. “Due to the staffing needs of our organization, some members rotate to multiple stations, which makes it even more difficult to connect with everyone from a training perspective. What TargetSolutions has allowed us to do is assign training to the entire department with the ability to electronically record when it has been completed.”

Not only has TargetSolutions helped North Shore effectively schedule and deliver assignments to members serving seven different communities across Northeast Milwaukee, but the department is maximizing the platform’s ability to track items and ensure accountability. One such area Carlson has seen drastic improvements, is in the tracking and reporting of ISO training.

“In the past, meeting ISO training hours was challenging – now, it is easier,” Carlson said. “It is still a significant amount of work, but we’re in a much better position to meet our goals. The training tracker application has become very valuable for us.”

With TargetSolutions’ pre-built fire department ISO compliance training solution – as well as the online system’s ready-to-go EMS recertification solution for the state of Wisconsin – Carlson’s department is operating at maximum efficiency. Carlson uses Target – Solutions’ LMS to deliver online EMS continuing education and “custom activities,” which are electronic tracking forms, to meet requirements for Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Life Support (ALS).

By recording live training sessions and delivering them with custom activities – plus the ability to store documents and policies and assign them requiring an e-signature – training management is simplified.

“Before TargetSolutions we had to do quite a bit of work manually documenting on a monthly training sheet who completed what training, then send in to the person managing the training bureau. They would manually compile and enter all the data – but that was archaic. Now, it’s almost effortless to not only record training, but to run the reports that confirm what has been done and what still needs to be done. That has been the biggest benefit, electronic storage and ease of compiling those records.”

Toby Carlson, Battalion Chief of Administration and Training

When Carlson looks at the overall benefits of the system, however, it comes back to effectively delivering and tracking training and other compliance items.

“North Shore Fire Rescue was doing a significant amount of training before, but unfortunately a lot of it fell through the cracks on the recording end,” Carlson said. “Now, with TargetSolutions, we have an accurate account of the hours our members devote to training, which is extremely important.”

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 Provides a Comprehensive Tool for Tracking, Reporting EMS Continuing Education

Did you know you can document both EMS continuing education and live training sessions for EMS recertification – all in one combined report with TargetSolutions? In addition to delivering, tracking, and recording EMS training, you can print out customized certificates after everything is completed.
TargetSolutions’ Activities Builder application provides the ability to document and record live EMS CEUs by creating electronic tracking forms called custom activities. Once training is completed, platform managers can add the custom activity to a corresponding credential, created with the powerful Manage Credentials tool, and fill in the necessary department name and CEU provider number.
This allows platform managers to pull a Credential Summary Report, which details the department’s EMS continuing education hours for EMS recertification. Additionally, basic-level users have the ability to pull this same report by themselves.
Departments can also distribute their own custom certificates, featuring watermarks, department patch or logo, CEU provider number, and digital signature, or any other necessary information, with TargetSolutions. The system auto-populates this information, as well as the name of the individual user and their corresponding EMS license number and completion date.
If you’re interested in learning more about TargetSolutions’ EMS recertification solution, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.

California’s Fire Departments Can Track JAC Training with TargetSolutions’ Powerful Online Fire Training System

With around 150 departments participating and nearly 6,000 active apprentices, the California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee (CFFJAC) is recognized as a model firefighter training reimbursement program. Departments participating in CFFJAC can track completed training using TargetSolutions’ online fire training system.
TargetSolutions’ JAC reporting solution offers the ability to automatically track JAC training codes for completed training and easily report monthly training records to CFFJAC.
“Utilizing TargetSolutions’ JAC application ensures departments accurately record all training hours for reimbursable dollars,” said TargetSolutions Account Manager Kegan Konrady. “This paired with the JAC monthly submission report allows a one-stop shop in reporting to JAC, creating a more thorough and efficient process.”
WATCH TARGETSOLUTIONS’ RECORDED WEBINAR: Track JAC Training with TargetSolutions
TargetSolutions recently hosted a webinar on best practices for tracking JAC. Please click here to view the webinar.
The webinar outlines how departments using TargetSolutions can access a JAC code builder under Reportable Components that allows them to easily assign custom JAC codes to custom activities. TargetSolutions courses also have a JAC code attached to them, which is automatically updated when a course is completed. The webinar details these steps, as well as how departments can pull data for JAC Monthly Submission reports to send to CFFJAC.
If you have any questions about TargetSolutions’ JAC Reporting capabilities, please view this fact sheet. And if you would like information on any of TargetSolutions’ other recordkeeping solutions for fire department ISO training, EMS recertification, or anything else, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.

TargetSolutions Prepares to Show Its Online Fire Training System at Fire-Rescue International in Dallas

Excitement is building at departments and businesses everywhere as the fire service’s largest conference, Fire-Rescue International, creeps closer and closer. If you’re heading to Dallas for the special event scheduled Aug. 15-16, you know the feeling.
TargetSolutions, the industry’s leader in online fire training and records management, will be presenting at No. 5508 in the expo hall. The opportunity to meet with members of the fire service, including hundreds of clients who attend the event, and show the system’s most engaging online fire training courses and innovative fire department software applications, is something TargetSolutions relishes each year.
“FRI is a premier event for the fire service,” said TargetSolutions Executive Vice President Thom Woodward. “We find it very valuable to be an exhibitor. The FRI Expo Hall allows our prospects and clients to experience what’s new from TargetSolutions. We present live demos, are available to talk one-on-one, and collect information about needs and interests.”
In addition to presenting the most robust online training catalog, with more than 250 hours of fire and EMS recertification training, TargetSolutions will present the 2014 Training Officer Recognition Award, alongside the IAFC’s Volunteer & Combination Officers Section.
The prestigious honor, delivered jointly by VCOS and TargetSolutions to acknowledge exemplary conduct befitting of a training officer, will be awarded to Captain Chip Everett of Oshtemo Township Fire Department (Mich.), during the VCOS annual section meeting on Aug. 14.
If you have any questions about TargetSolutions, please stop by the booth or give us a call at (800) 840-8048.
TargetSolutions will be presenting its online fire training system at Fire-Rescue International in Dallas. If you have any questions about the platform, please stop by booth No. 5508 and we’ll make sure you get the information you need.

 

 

Educate Your School District’s Personnel on How to Treat, Prevent Student Concussions

With student athletes suffering concussions more frequently than ever before, it is imperative school officials, including coaches and teachers, recognize signs and symptoms of a concussion. This video highlights TargetSolutions’ online training course, “Student Concussions,” which aims to educate personnel on how to treat harmful brain injuries and prevent student concussions.
“Student Concussions” is featured in TargetSolutions’ course catalog for school districts. The self-paced online safety training course has 10 learning modules and a multiple choice exam. It covers what constitutes a concussion, myths and symptoms about concussions, signs of a concussion, when to call 911, and much more.
If you have any questions about TargetSolutions’ computer-based training system, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.

Copy Credential Enhancement Simplifies Process for Updating, Reassigning Credentials

Copy Credential function will allow platform managers to copy their own credentials, as well as TargetSolutions’ Certified Credentials, and all associated information from inside the Manage Credentials application. It’s important to note that when a “Certified Credential” is copied, the copied version is no longer certified.

Customizing training and delivering it with ease are essential elements to effective training management. That’s why TargetSolutions’ soon to be released enhancement will be popular with platform managers.

The all-new Copy Credential function that will be released soon, will enable organizations to copy existing credentials, duplicate or edit components inside them, update alert notifications, and then reassign to select users. If you’ve ever wanted to make changes to a credential, but didn’t want to recreate it from scratch – whether it’s an ISO Training Tracker, a firefighter task book, a new-hire orientation package, or any other credential – you will be excited by this capability.
“This allows platform managers to copy, update, and reassign custom and certified credentials,” said Software Engineer Manager Dustyn Borghi. “It’s a really powerful time-saving tool. This provides more power to be able to control credentials how you want.”
Copy Credential Function’s Impact on TargetSolutions’ Fire Department ISO Training Tracker
Product Manager Misty Pratt anticipates the Copy Credential tool being deployed frequently by clients using TargetSolutions’ one-of-a-kind ISO Training Tracker.
“Some sites use yearly ISO credentials and Credential Summary reports to gather progress data,” Pratt said. “To use these reports and still be able to see the data for a previous year, they were not able to utilize the auto-renew capabilities for their users in order to ‘reset’ and begin a new cycle. They needed to recreate new identical credentials each year. Now they can do this on their own, without any assistance from TargetSolutions’ Client Services.”
Pratt also mentioned how fire department training task books, or job-specific learning tracks, are often organized into credentials, and how many of the credentials contain common elements. Platform managers can now copy over the bulk of the content, but make adjustments to requirements based on target audience.
TargetSolutions Is Always Listening to Clients to Improve the Platform
This enhancement originated with client feedback, Pratt said. Daniel Phillips, a captain with Plymouth Community Fire Department in Michigan, requested the update.
“I have yearly training built into credentials for fire training that is required each year by law,” Phillips said. “I would like for it to automatically update each year into a new credential. It would be easier on me and I wouldn’t have to redo it each time and hope I’m doing it accurately.”
Said Pratt: “We’re excited to be able to make the platform more efficient. That’s what we’re always looking to do. I think this enhancement will help our clients.”

Educate Employees on Back Safety with This Month’s Top Video Inside Community Resources

Considering how many different bones and muscles are connected to the human back, you understand why it is one of the body’s most susceptible areas to injury. And when these injuries happen, productive employees may miss valuable time that can hurt your organization’s bottom line.

If you would like to educate employees on back injury prevention, TargetSolutions offers several valuable resources. In addition to an online training course that educates employees on improving back safety – as well as a pre-built, customizable assessment that helps identify risks – this month’s top video inside Community Resources addresses this important issue.

“Back Safety” is a 20-minute video that teaches viewers necessary precautions for protecting their backs. After viewing this informative video, employees will learn how the back works, various types of back pains, and tips for preventing injuries through proper lifting techniques and ergonomics.

With back pain leading to 34 percent of lost workdays, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is critical your organization trains employees on ergonomics.

To view this video inside Community Resources, please log in to your organization’s TargetSolutions site and search “Back Safety” under the Community Resources tab. If you have any questions, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.

The video, which was posted in January of 2014 by the City of Roseville, Calif., and is currently being used by four different organizations, makes a key point that caring for the back is a 24/7 job that lasts a lifetime. Back injuries can result from various activities including improper heavy lifting and repetitive movements.

 

Recent Enhancement Simplifies Process for Updating Multiple Users’ Profile Information

User experience is at the forefront of every decision TargetSolutions makes. Even minor system enhancements are thoughtfully considered to ensure maximum benefit for users and platform managers alike. This is exemplified with a recent UX enhancement that seems minor in nature, but makes editing information inside Manage Users more efficient.
Platform managers can now right-click on a user’s name, after selecting it inside Manage Users, and select “open in a new tab” to edit that person’s profile in a new window. By enabling this cross-browser functionality, TargetSolutions has simplified the process for updating multiple users’ profile information. Now, changing numerous users’ employee IDs, ranks, etc., at the same time, is streamlined.
Manage Users gives platform managers the ability to edit, view and update their users’ profile information. The tool is easy-to-use and designed to give platform managers as much control of the system as possible. If you have any questions about the capabilities of Manage Users inside TargetSolutions’ computer-based training system, or this recent UX enhancement, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.
Platform managers can modify and edit details related to employees’ status, shift, job classification, supervisor access, credentials, etc. They can also create groups within their organization through this tool. 

TargetSolutions Provides Alcoa Fire Department with Powerful System for Tracking, Reporting ISO Training

Alcoa Fire Department in Tennessee may be a smaller-sized department, but it deals with the same larger issues other departments face. Questions such as, how are we going to keep personnel compliant? How are we going to make sure assignments are completed on time? How are we going to report training for our next ISO review? Those are the types of issues Deputy Fire Chief Jim Whaley was looking to answer.

As an early adopter to online technology, Alcoa began tracking training with a competing records management system back in 1998. The department still uses that system for incident reporting, but in 2011, Whaley’s team was ready for a more comprehensive tool built specifically for the nuances of tracking fire department training. It turned to TargetSolutions and hasn’t looked back.

Here are some of the ways Alcoa is effectively using TargetSolutions:

ISO Reporting: Alcoa customized TargetSolutions’ pre-built fire department ISO solution and delivered it to employees to cover training for driver, officer, hazmat, company and facilities requirements. Facing a review in May of 2014, Alcoa was able to compile completed training hours, generate detailed records, and report them exactly how ISO requested during the review.

“The TargetSolutions layout is right in line with the form needed for ISO audits. This made it easy to access everything they were looking for.”

Jim Whaley, Deputy Fire Chief with Alcoa Fire Department (Tenn.)

Generate Reports: Beyond ISO training, TargetSolutions has provided Alcoa with the ability to generate comprehensive reports on everything that is tracked — including overdue assignments, incomplete assignments, etc. — in an easy to digest manner.

“TargetSolutions’ reporting system provides us with a tool to determine how many assignments are overdue and how many are incomplete, so we can keep track of what is going on with training in the department,” Whaley said.

Alert Notifications: For all departments, big or small, it’s not easy managing expirations of licenses, certifications and credentials. However, TargetSolutions’ recordkeeping system features unique alerts to keep users and platform managers on top of deadlines. Whaley is thrilled with how TargetSolutions keeps stakeholders informed of personnel’s compliance.

“The course completion e-mails that notify us when employees have completed certain assignments are helpful,” Whaley said. “Notifications are also sent when deadlines for licenses and credentials are approaching to ensure we don’t let them go unnoticed.”

Custom Activities: With TargetSolutions’ Activities Builder, departments are able to deliver and document SOPs, policies, pre-training, or anything else it needs.

“Our department utilizes the application to schedule courses for individuals to review and complete the necessary pre-training for offsite training sessions,” Whaley said. “Another aspect we’ve found beneficial is if there’s a memo, SOG, or policy that we want to go out, we give it in an assignment and then require validation to know if there is anyone that didn’t read the policy.”

Thanks to a new approval in the state, Alcoa may look into using TargetSolutions for the Tennessee Educational Incentive Program. Departments are now able to use online training for 20 of the required 40 hours to meet their obligation. For now, however, Whaley is thrilled with the ability to track vital training.

“Thanks to the hard work of several members of our staff we have the system set up and the department is able to track training effectively,” Whaley said.

Revisiting NFPA 1403 Before Your Next Live Fire Training

If you missed Firehouse’s special webcast, “Revisiting NFPA 1403 Before Your Next Live Fire Training,” you can find a recording of the valuable presentation online at Firehouse.com.
On Tuesday, July 8, Glendale, Ariz. Fire Department Deputy Chief Chuck Montgomery delivered an important firefighter training presentation, which was sponsored by TargetSolutions. This webinar covered how departments can effectively apply the NFPA 1403 standard in their own live-fire training scenarios. Montgomery shared various lessons and instructions on how to implement safer live fire evolutions.
“With proper pre-planning and a detailed Incident Action Plan (IAP), 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. “As fire service leaders, the importance of setting the standards cannot be overemphasized.”
Montgomery said his department is able to assign TargetSolutions’ NFPA 1403 Live Fire Training Evolutions course, then track and report completions online.
“We use TargetSolutions to hold our members accountable for the training,” Montgomery said. “Members are required to complete TargetSolutions’ NFPA 1403 training course online. This guarantees that everyone involved has a full understanding of their individual responsibility and we have the documentation to confirm their participation.”