Technology with a Purpose

All posts in Company Blog

How to Operate TargetSolutions More Effectively: A Guide to the Platform

Those seeking to enhance their knowledge of the TargetSolutions platform will find a great deal of information in this overview guide, “Tech Talk: Your Technical Information Guide to TargetSolutions.”

Distributed to attendees at the inaugural Risk Summit in early November, Tech Talk covers the far reaches of the platform, including site implementation, troubleshooting, and managing user data. The brochure is meant to serve as an administrator’s guide featuring tips on how to effectively operate TargetSolutions’ online training management system.

Divided into five chapters, plus a glossary, the topics discussed in the Tech Talk document are designed for administrators across numerous industries.

Please click here to download the entire Tech Talk document and get the most out of your platform today!

TargetSolutions’ Top 10 Training Courses for HR Issues

TargetSolutions’ online training library features valuable courses to educate employees on critical workplace topics.

TargetSolutions’ Human Resources courses are designed to supplement the course catalog by providing training that is relevant and essential to all employees of all industries. No matter what profession an employee holds, HR training is critical for reducing liability and improving productivity.

Employment Practices for Supervisors courses cover issues encountered in the workplace for individuals tasked with making employment decisions, including issues of harassment, hiring and termination, discrimination, evaluation and documentation.

TargetSolutions offers several courses that are mandated by the state of California, including Sexual Harassment for Supervisors (California AB 1825).

Here are TargetSolutions’ top 10 HR courses, based on the total number of completions:

  • Sexual Harassment Awareness
  • Workplace Diversity
  • Workplace Violence
  • Alcohol-Free Workplace
  • Drug-Free Workplace
  • General HIPAA Awareness
  • Customer Service
  • Workplace Stress
  • Diet & Nutrition
  • Computer Security Awareness

For more information on TargetSolutions’ online safety training, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.


Get to Know Your Account Manager: Colleen Marchesano

When arriving at the fork in the road, Colleen Marchesano definitely took the road less traveled. Marchesano was a middle school science teacher residing in Huntington Beach, Calif. prior to her arrival to TargetSolutions in August of 2010.

Upon receiving word of a vacant position at the company, she jumped at the opportunity to pack up her bags and relocate to sunny San Diego for an all-new adventure. After serving in several different roles, Colleen is now working as an account manager with fire departments in the Pacific Northwest, as well as Alaska, California and Hawaii.

A devout mother and wife with a keen sense for the outdoors, Marchesano says her favorite thing about her job is having the opportunity to serve such a respectable industry every day.

“If I can help make the life of a training officer easier, then I can go home happy,” she said.

Here is more about Colleen from a recent Q-and-A:

What are some of your hobbies outside of work?

Anything outdoors. I hike a lot with my husband and son in the hills behind our home. Bike rides, beach days…we are the happiest outside!

What is your favorite and least favorite food?

I happily eat almost ANYTHING! But, I do tend to crave Mexican food every day. There’s only one food I can think of that I hate and its baby corn. They taste like dirt and I just can’t do it.

If you could relive any point in your life for just one day, what would it be?

Meeting my son for the first time. Everything about that day was heaven on earth. I don’t think I ever could have anticipated what that moment would be like and I don’t know how anything else can ever compare.

What is something that you’re most proud of?

Surviving motherhood for one whole year! In all honesty I am proud of the mom that I am. I have dreamt of being a mother for so long and have loved everything about it so far. The challenges that come along with motherhood are some of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to face, but overcoming them is the most rewarding feeling.

If you could time travel to any era, when and where would you go?

If I could live in any era I would LOVE to be able to experience the 20s in Chicago. It was a time of such artistic explosion and industrial growth and not to mention woman suffrage! I can just picture myself at jazz lounges dancing the night away in a flapper dress … man, that sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

What is something about you that others may not know?

In middle school, one of our PE units was archery. I was, and still am, the only female to ever get three bullseyes in a row, which earned me a Golden Arrow award (I still have it; it’s an actual arrow that is painted gold) and a spot in the yearbook. We’re talking about a school that is over 50 years old! Impressive, right? The one thing people do already know about me is I am super competitive so obviously you can see why I am still proud of this little known fact about me.

Summit’s Keynote Speaker Encourages Safety Managers to ‘Trust the Process,’ Create Safety Culture

Safety expert Kevin Burns delivered the special keynote presentation at the Risk Summit on Nov. 2 at Maderas Golf Club in Poway, Calif. Burns covered his philosophy on how organizations can build an engaged culture of safety in the workplace.

For safety expert Kevin Burns, workplace safety comes down to three key words: Trust the process.

Burns believes safety will always be an evolving part of an organization’s operational effectiveness. With this in mind, safety and training managers need to instill a process that educates employees on how to be safer in the workplace and create a culture of safety. Burns shared his outlook during a special keynote presentation at the Risk Summit on Nov. 2.

“We don’t want people to have to be exposed to death and destruction before they get safety,” said Burns. “So my philosophy is let’s teach people that safety is a process. Where we are in safety today is very different than 20 years ago, 30 years ago, or even back in 1970 when the Occupational Health and Safety Act first came in to existence through Richard Nixon signing it into law. It is a process. It continues to evolve. There will always be new rules, new processes, new procedures, the longer we go. It’s an ever-evolving process.”

During the presentation, Burns laid out 10 safety attitude strategies that organizations need to ensure a safer culture. The eighth rule states “your actions determine your outcome.” This is a key point because it stresses how workplace safety is the result of a series of smart decisions being made that lead to safer outcomes. By making safe actions, they will have safe results, Burns said.

Burns says a great deal of responsibility is on safety managers to not just teach safety, but provide safety leadership. Training is key for everyone in an organization, including safety managers, he said.

“If you want your people to embrace safety and embrace the training, somebody has got to lead,” said Burns. “That’s up to the safety manager to say, ‘no, I’m with you. I’m taking these courses too. I’m learning, I’m getting better in the same way I expect you to do the same thing.’ And it’s a leadership philosophy … Training is the key component. Having the training doesn’t necessarily mean they will make the right decision, but they have the ability to make the right decision.

“The challenge we find for safety managers, they have folks in the field that they know have been trained properly, but can’t be guaranteed they are going to make the right choice, based on the set of circumstances that are unfolding. So the more that we repeat, the more repetitive it becomes, the more we’re exposed considerable amount of training that is going to be involved, and keep our skills fresh, there is a much better likelihood that somebody in field faced with an uncertain situation is going to make the right choice.”

For more information on what happened at the 2015 Risk Summit, please click here. If you were unable to attend the event, but would like to learn more about utilizing TargetSolutions, please contact support for more information.


Inaugural Risk Summit Provides Platform Managers with In-Depth Training Event

TargetSolutions’ inaugural Risk Summit was held the first week of November at Maderas Golf Club in Poway, Calif. The three-day training workshop gave clients an opportunity to attend platform training sessions and a live presentation of the TS Academy.

Platform managers looking for hands-on instruction on how to operate TargetSolutions’ online training management system gathered during the first week of November at the Maderas Golf Club in San Diego’s suburb of Poway, Calif.

The 2015 Risk Summit was a three-day training workshop featuring engaging speakers, platform training sessions, one-on-one tutorials, and a live presentation of the TS Academy. For TargetSolutions, the inaugural event offered up a fantastic opportunity to meet face-to-face with platform managers.

“The TargetSolutions Risk Summit is great opportunity to meet with our clients and get feedback. It’s a big part of our development process to make our applications better, more user friendly, and it also gives our clients an opportunity to meet with each other.”

Alex Day, General Manager, TargetSolutions

One of the best things about gathering clients together from different organizations is how they can network and learn from each other about utilizing TargetSolutions.

“The key to success with any training platform, especially TargetSolutions, is collaboration,” said attendee Rick Vogt of the Escondido Fire Department. “So the ability to talk with not just our account managers, but other departments that are using the system in ways that we might not have even thought of, that’s a huge benefit to getting together.”

In addition to the comprehensive training for platform managers, 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. Otay has been using TargetSolutions for 15 years. Also, safety expert Kevin Burns presented a special keynote presentation on how to create a safer workplace culture.

“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,” said TargetSolutions Account Manager Amy Albanese. “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.”

If you were unable to attend the Risk Summit, but would like to learn more about maximizing the TargetSolutions platform, please e-mail us today for more information. TargetSolutions will be offering more training sessions and webinars in the coming months.


Learn the Different Types of Building Construction with TargetSolutions’ Firefighter Training System

TargetSolutions’ Building Construction online training course highlights five different types of construction and their related hazards.

No two buildings are alike, which means no two fires are ever alike. A solid understanding of the different types of building construction and their related hazards can not only help firefighters during emergencies, but also save lives.

Other essential factors for firefighters to understand include construction materials, the age and use of the building, and how remodeling can change the makeup of a building.

Upon successful completion of this one-hour course, students will be able to:

• Identify and differentiate the five types of building construction
• Understand how each type of building is affected by fire
• Recognize the accompanying hazards of each type of building construction

References for this course include NFPA 220: Standard on Types of Building Construction (2012 Edition), NFPA 1011: Standard for Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications (2008 Edition), and NFPA 5000: Building Construction and Safety Codes (2012 Edition), among others.

To learn more about this course or others in TargetSolutions’ online firefighter training library, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.


Firefighter Cancer Support Information Available Inside Community Resources

With a growing number of firefighters falling victim to cancer, the need for a broader understanding and prevention of the disease is more critical than ever before. Due to an increased need for awareness, the Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN) has provided TargetSolutions with 45 valuable articles that have been uploaded into Community Resources.

TargetSolutions features 45 valuable documents produced by the Firefighter Cancer Support Network to educate firefighters on the cancer epidemic inside the fire service. These items are available inside Community Resources.

“Statistically speaking, 1 in 3 firefighters are diagnosed with cancer,” said Bryan Frieders, president of the FCSN.  “The network is an organization that comes alongside firefighters and their immediate families who have been diagnosed and provides them with a toolbox of materials to help them, the most important part being we provide a mentor.”

With a network of more than 150 mentors across the United States and Canada, the FCSN aims to connect recently diagnosed individuals with someone who went through a similar diagnosis and treatment.

“It takes away the fear of the unknown,” Frieders said. “It’s the fundamental reason why we took the job in the fire service: to help others.”

The documents currently available through the TargetSolutions’ Community Resources application highlight the necessary safety precautions for firefighters on the job, as well as the studies and investigations that illuminate the vastness of the cancer epidemic.

Frieders cites a 2013 study published by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which revealed a relation between firefighters and cancer and the 1-in-3 claim. Causes of this statistic could be an increased amount of composite materials and chemicals that are now commonplace in household products of homes that catch on fire. Other correlations point to a lack of cleanliness.

“A lot of traditions we’ve placed over the last 100 years are imposing the awning for cancer,” Frieders said. “It used to be that wearing dirty sooty gear was a badge of courage, but what it comes down to is the dirty gear that you’re wearing is actually posing a hazard to you and your colleagues.”

In addition to cleanliness, Frieders places emphasis on stronger leadership to enforce safety standards and cancer prevention, utilizing proper protective gear, and avoiding all tobacco products.

“Personally speaking, I think cancer is the most contemporary and prevalent issue in the fire service today.”

Bryan Frieders, President, Firefighter Cancer Support Network

Jenny Fergason, TargetSolutions’ Director of Client Services, adds “Firefighters are more likely to develop certain types of cancers than workers in other fields. The Firefighter Support Cancer Network provides great resources and support both for firefighters and for family members who are dealing with career related cancers.”

To view these resources provided by the FCSN, please log in to TargetSolutions, access Community Resources, and search “Firefighter Cancer Support Network.” If you have any questions, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.

Get to Know Steve Walsh, TargetSolutions’ New Account Specialist

When Steve Walsh reflects on his journey from Greenacres, Wash. to San Diego, he describes it as a “very long story with lots of miles travelled.”

Indeed, TargetSolutions’ new account specialist had quite a trek with many twists and turns – but now that he’s here, it feels like home.

Before arriving at TargetSolutions, Steve served as a volunteer firefighter with the Airway Heights Fire Department (Wash.) where he also became a certified EMT. From there he enjoyed a lengthy career refereeing hockey games in numerous professional leagues across the country, including the Western Hockey League, USA Hockey, and the East Coast Hockey League.

TargetSolutions entered the picture in July when Steve befriended fellow employee Eric Kile on the golf course and was informed of the account specialist position. With Steve’s history as a firefighter and EMT, the position seemed like a natural fit.

“There’s a lot more opportunity here in terms of business and growth,” said Steve. “So far I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Here is more about Steve from a recent Q-and-A:

What are some of your hobbies?

Golf of course; and wine tasting is a lot of fun for my girlfriend and I. Another hobby, though, I haven’t played in a while, is racquetball. I used to play in a league and play on a daily basis when I lived in South Carolina. Aside from that, probably collecting memorabilia from my hockey experiences. I have hundreds of pucks from every building I’ve ever been to. I’ve kept things that have been thrown at me when I was officiating like a rubber duck and a big stack of beer cups.

Favorite and least favorite food?

My absolute favorite food in the entire world – and it’s a rare occasion when I get to eat it – but I’d go with lobster tail. Least favorite: Brussels sprouts.

If you could live out any movie, what would it be?

Gotta go with “Star Wars.” I’m a huge fan. I own all the movies and I’ve seen them multiple times. I’m excited for the new one.

If you were to go anywhere on the planet right now, with no restrictions, where would you go and why?

Australia/New Zealand! Everything I’ve ever seen makes it look like an amazing place. I’ve always been interested in wildlife, so I’d like to go to the outback and go on a safari.

Who do you consider to be a hero or role model?

My Dad. He’s been a hard-working guy my entire life and doesn’t complain about anything.

If you won the lottery, what would you buy first?

Probably buy a house. It would be on the water, preferably the ocean.

What’s something about yourself that most people may not know?

I made it to the state championships in the discus toss in high school.

Oceanside Tracks Its Firefighter Training Records with TargetSolutions

The Oceanside Fire Department has found success managing its training records with TargetSolutions’ online system.

Like all fire departments, Oceanside Fire Department has a critical need to make sure its firefighter training records are accurate. That need came into focus not too long ago when the ISO came to audit the Southern California agency’s training records.

“After finding out specifically what they (ISO) were looking for, I generated a report and that was the last I heard from them,” Oceanside’s Fire Training Specialist Stuart Sprung said of TargetSolutions’ ISO fire department tracking capabilities. “When they evaluated us on our training, we got top marks on everything because our documentation was on point.”

firefighter training recordsIn addition to effective recordkeeping, the department has seen its total number of training hours skyrocket since implementing TargetSolutions.

“Our guys are training all the time, but if you make it harder for them to enter and record it, then they won’t because they’re busy,” Sprung said of how the agency tracked firefighter training records. “We usually have an over-abundance of training recorded that definitely satisfies.”

When asked whether or not the implementation of TargetSolutions makes his job easier, Sprung was quick and to the point: “TargetSolutions absolutely makes my job easier. It gives me the freedom to be untethered from my office.”

Would you like to learn more about the TargetSolutions fire department training system? Please click here to watch a demo video. If you have any questions, contact us today at (800) 840-8048.

TargetSolutions’ Top 8 Training Courses for Motor Vehicle Safety

TargetSolutions’ Motor Vehicle Safety training catalog features valuable courses on driver safety, emergency vehicle operator training, large vehicle operations, and supervisor training.

TargetSolutions’ Motor Vehicle Safety training catalog offers organizations online courses proven to educate employees and reduce motor vehicle losses. TargetSolutions’ courses for drivers are designed to change unsafe behaviors and reinforce critical safety concepts.

Specific courses are tailored to meet the needs of drivers of various automobiles, including large trucks and passenger vans, as well as emergency vehicle operators. Supervisor curriculum provides supervisors with the training information they need to maintain a staff of safe and capable drivers.

Here are TargetSolutions’ top 8 Motor Vehicle Training courses based on the total number of completions.

  • Defensive Driving Strategies
  • Distracted Driving
  • Dangers of Speeding for Emergency Vehicle Operators
  • Defensive Driving Strategies for Emergency Vehicle Operators
  • Adjusting to Changing Conditions for Emergency Vehicle Operators
  • Accidents & Emergencies for Emergency Vehicle Operators
  • Emergency Vehicle Operations
  • Emergency Vehicle Characteristics

For more information on TargetSolutions’ online safety training, please contact us at (800) 840-8048.