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Chesterfield Fire & EMS Solves Its Training Challenges with TargetSolutions

The Chesterfield Fire and EMS Department, located in Virginia, is a combo department comprised of 487 career staff (including 207 ALS Providers) and 300 volunteer personnel, all of whom are, at a minimum, certified as EMT-Basics. Serving an area of 426-square miles, and a population of more than 323,000 citizens, the agency provides fire and EMS services, as well as Technical Rescue, HazMat and a paramedic staff for the Virginia State Police’s medevac helicopter program.

Faced with a growing demand for service, and a growing organization, Chesterfield began to see difficulties with finding both the time and means to provide education to its varied personnel base and track a wide variety of certifications – critical to maintaining fire department ISO compliance. Brick-and-mortar training, long the standard in public safety, required vehicles and crews to be taken out of service, which simply became unacceptable as the area’s population grew 21 percent over a 10-year period ending in 2010.

To meet the department’s needs, Battalion Chief Chris Basdikis was tasked to examine fire department training solutions on the market to find one that had the muscle and reliability to handle Chesterfield’s broadly diverse set of needs and personnel specialties. Several online fire training platforms were piloted and put through their paces before TargetSolutions was selected.

“It was the product suite which best suited our organization’s needs to have both a Records Management System and a Learning Management System,” says Basdikis, allowing seamless integration between the delivery of online firefighter training and the tracking and accountability of that delivery.

Additionally, the online fire training system offered the flexibility to allow Chesterfield to custom-build modules with relative ease, important for several reasons: first, it allowed the agency to build in tracking of employee training records for state and federal requirements, such as OSHA requirements. Second, since the agency recovers revenue through billing for EMS service, it provided the capability to prove conclusively that providers were up-to-date with certifications – especially difficult with volunteer personnel who may only do a few shifts each month. Finally, the system was configured to send out reminders on an automated basis to personnel whose certifications are expiring in the near future.

TargetSolutions was implemented over a three-year period with some funding from Federal grants. This allowed Chesterfield to build the infrastructure of the system out gradually, and roll out different features in stages, beginning with ALS continuing education and tracking of contact hours (including sessions attended). The department was then able to monitor all aspects of its program when it came to education and certification, along with additional functionality, including a communications hub to deliver important information such as medical protocol updates. As might have been expected in any public safety agency, there was some initial resistance from personnel. Thanks to a short learning curve, and a user-friendly interface, Chief Basdikis says that was quickly put aside, and the system is now globally well-received and utilized.

For the agency, the changes in efficiency have been nothing short of remarkable. The system allows the department to pre-load didactic education materials before personnel arrive at one of the agency’s dedicated training centers, maximizing the actual contact time personnel have in terms of educational hours as personnel are able to download materials ahead of time.

In addition, the fire department ISO reviewing process has become easier, especially in terms of tracking target hazards within the community and ensuring personnel are addressing appropriate training. The online fire training system has allowed Chesterfield to consistently deliver high quality training to personnel of all ranks and specialties. With so many different hats worn, from the volunteer rescue squad member, to the Hazmat response team member, to the flight paramedic in the air, this was previously a daunting process.

By effectively tracking training, Chesterfield is now in a responsible position and is leading efforts to ensure personnel are prepared for when the unthinkable happens to a citizen and they pick up the phone to call for help.

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

Use an RMS Code to Upload Completions Data Into Third-Party Software with TargetSolutions

TargetSolutions has taken steps to improve its integration capabilities with third-party records management systems. TargetSolutions’ new RMS Code is an API solution that enables departments to upload completion data into other systems. This is done by adding a custom field into the Activities Builder and Course Library applications to capture a secondary course identification number.
This update eliminates TargetSolutions’ previous API’s need to create a “look-up table” that corresponded between assignments and the third-party RMS software. In the past, this aspect presented a challenge to departments because activities can be created at any time, meaning course IDs needed to be continuously added to the client-maintained “look-up table.”
The new field eliminates the challenge of performing manual maintenance on an otherwise automatic process. Departments looking to export completion data into a pre-existing system structure will no longer need to change how they name, organize and utilize activities inside the platform. This reduces the amount of programming needed on the client’s end, saving time and money.
“Our platform is receptive to integration,” said Alex Day, Vice President of Operations. “We pride ourselves on building solutions that are flexible. Our system is extremely user friendly and features powerful tools created to meet the fire industry’s needs.”
In order to start associating an RMS Code to upload completions of a course or activity, platform managers need to contact TargetSolutions to add the code’s entry field into the Course Library or Activities Builder applications.
If you’d like more information on TargetSolutions’ RMS Code solution, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048.
Clients of TargetSolutions are able to enter RMS Code to integrate training data with third-party software.
Clients of TargetSolutions are able to enter RMS Code to integrate training data with third-party software.

Enhancements Being Made to TargetSolutions’ NFPA Training Course Catalog

TargetSolutions features more than 60 hours of NFPA training, including Bloodborne Pathogens Safety.
Fire departments using TargetSolutions online fire training system to supplement their hands-on, drill-yard activities will be thrilled to learn about recent upgrades to TargetSolutions’ NFPA training course catalog.

TargetSolutions is implementing new, engaging elements into its NFPA 1500 Series, as well as many other titles in its expanding catalog. These new updates include compelling interactions and reference buttons that reinforce learning.

Several popular course titles from TargetSolutions’ NFPA training catalog, including Bloodborne Pathogens Safety and Driving Safety, have already been updated to reflect the new features. These fire department training courses now have dynamic functionality that provides feedback to incorrectly answered questions during end-of-lesson quiz interactions, definitions for keywords, and a helpful reference tool that alerts users to critical information related to specific NFPA standards.

“We hope that incorporating the actual verbiage from the NFPA standards will help bridge the relevance of the course to a firefighters work in the field,” said Lauren Hardcastle, Content and Compliance Manager for TargetSolutions.

TargetSolutions course catalog delivers more than 250 hours of Fire and EMS recertification courses for emergency responders. More than 60 of those hours are from TargetSolutions’ NFPA 1001 (Firefighter I & II), NFPA 1021 (Company Officer) and NFPA 1500 Series titles.

All of TargetSolutions’ NFPA courses are based on the NFPA codes and standards. Courses in the 1500 series were developed in conjunction with the NFPA as content experts at the NFPA participated in their creation. Here is a list of TargetSolutions courses in the NFPA 1500 Series:

  • Advanced HAZWOPER Awareness (Modules 14)
  • Bloodborne Pathogens Safety
  • Combustible & Flammable Liquids
  • Compressed Gas Safety
  • Confined Space Entry
  • CPR Academic
  • Driving Safety
  • HAZMAT Spill Prevention & Control
  • HAZMAT Transportation
  • Laboratory Safety
  • Materials Handling, Storage, Use & Disposal
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Respiratory Protection
  • Right to Know (Hazard Communication)
  • Welding Safety

TargetSolutions has a complete library of NFPA 1001 training covering Firefighter I & II awareness and refresher-level courses based on NFPA codes and standards. Here is a list of courses in the NFPA 1001 Series:

  • Building Construction
  • Fire Behavior
  • Fire Control
  • Fire Department Communications
  • Fire Detection, Alarm & Suppression Systems
  • Fire Hose
  • Fire Prevention and Public Education
  • Fire Streams
  • Firefighter Orientation and Safety
  • Firefighter Personal Protective Equipment
  • Firefighting Foams
  • Forcible Entry into a Structure
  • Ground Ladders
  • Loss Control
  • Portable Extinguishers
  • Protection of Evidence of Fire Origin & Cause
  • Rescue and Extrication
  • Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus
  • Vehicle Extrication
  • Ventilation
  • Water Supply

In addition to NFPA 1500 and NFPA 1001, TargetSolutions has also developed a complete line of company officer awareness and refresher-level courses to meet NFPA 1021’s codes and standards. Here is a list of courses in the NFPA 1021 Series:

  • Action Plan Implementation
  • Assuming the Role ofCompany Officer
  • Budgeting
  • Community Awareness
  • Company-Level Training
  • Elements of Supervision and Management
  • Fire and Life Safety Inspections
  • Fire Department Communications
  • Fire Department Structure
  • Fire Investigation
  • Firefighter Safety and Health
  • Government Structure
  • Incident Response Safety
  • Incident Scene Communications
  • Incident Scene Management
  • Information Management
  • Labor Relations
  • Leadership as a Group Influence
  • Legal Responsibilities and Liabilities
  • Pre-Incident Planning
  • Professional Ethics
  • Public Education Programs

In addition to NFPA 1001, 1021 and 1500 Series, TargetSolutions features two more NFPA online fire training courses: NFPA 1584 Firefighter Rehabilitation and NFPA 1403 Live Fire Training Evolutions. 

If you have any questions about TargetSolutions online training course catalog, or courses specific to NFPA codes and standards, please contact us today at (800) 840-8048.


About TargetSolutions
TargetSolutions is the leading provider of web-based technology solutions for fire and EMS organizations. These solutions enable organizations to maintain compliance, reduce losses, deliver curriculum, and track all station-level tasks, certifications and training activities.

Easily Upload Files into Records Management System

Did you know users can upload files into the TargetSolutions records management system? The Request a File component enables platform managers to retrieve certificates of completion from outside sources. This is especially helpful when tracking training completed offline outside of TargetSolutions in which a certificate was received.

The first step for platform managers is to create an activity with the Activities Builder application. Make sure to select the Request a file component, which allows users completing an activity to submit a file into their completion record. While completing the activity, the user will receive instructions explaining what type of file is needed. From there they will be able to select the file from their computer.

Platform managers are able to access the uploaded files by running completions through the Generate Reports application. This process saves platform managers from having to round-up each certificate the old-fashioned way. Easy file uploads is just another example of how organizations are simplifying records and information management with TargetSolutions.

If you have any questions about TargetSolutions online training or how to upload files into the records management system, please contact us today at (800) 840.8048.

Departments Find Success Using TargetSolutions as Pre-Training Preparation for Hands-On Training

Some might think an online training platform is intended to replace hands-on training. But that could not be further from the truth, TargetSolutions’ clients say. In fact, TargetSolutions’ web-based pre-training activities are designed to enhance offline training activities.

TargetSolutions allows departments to pre-load didactic education materials before personnel arrive at one of the agency’s designated training centers. The idea is for personnel to complete pre-training activities ahead of time, maximizing time spent in the field.

“We use TargetSolutions to allow our crews to review didactic course information before we do hands-on training,” said Brian Carlson, who is an assistant chief with the Burnsville Fire Department in Minn., which has been a client of TargetSolutions since October of 2011. “When (personnel) arrive at training, they know all the background information and we can jump right in.”

Michael Baker, who serves as the director of EMS for the Tulsa Fire Department, has seen increased efficiency in hands-on training when it is preceded by TargetSolutions’ online coursework.

“We ask our members to review an online TargetSolutions PowerPoint and video embedded presentation, and take a test afterward to prepare themselves for when they arrive at an in-service or a training event, to do the skills portion,” said Baker. “This has allowed us to take something that would normally be two hours long and condense it down into an hour.”

Eddie Buchanan, who previously served as president of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors, believes online training as a complement to hands-on training is the way of the future. After all, technology is going to continue evolving and improving the way education can be distributed to students, including those in the fire service.

“What used to be homework is now pre-work,” Buchanan said in an article for TargetSolutions. “Before the class session, a student can do pre-work at home, which is now the lecture, and the technology is the vehicle to get that information to them before they go to the classroom. Now, when the student physically shows up, they can focus on discussion or hands-on application of the new material.”


TargetSolutions to Attend CAJPA’s Annual Conference in Lake Tahoe

The CAJPA Annual Fall Conference & Training Seminar will be held Sept. 10-13 in Lake Tahoe. If you’re attending, please stop by booth No. 418 and say hello to representatives from TargetSolutions. This conference offers a great opportunity to learn more about TargetSolutions online training management platform.

In fact, this year’s conference is focused on innovation, so if you have any questions on how your organization can more effectively use TargetSolutions powerful loss prevention tools and technology, this is a great opportunity to learn more.

“Every year we are really excited to attend CAJPA,” said Kelly Zielinski, Business Unit Manager for TargetSolutions. “This conference provides a wonderful opportunity to spend time with clients, as well as meet new pools and partners. We love to explain what is new with our training management platform and how it can help organizations reduce risks.”

In addition to the conference, TargetSolutions will also be hosting a hole-in-one contest on Sept. 10 during CAJPA’s Annual Frank James Invitational Golf Tournament.

Well see you on the links! And if you have any questions about TargetSolutions, please contact us today!

Changes Made to Credentials to Reflect Florida’s New Recertification Requirements

The state of Florida recently released its EMS and Fire updated recertification requirements. As a result, clients in the sunshine state may notice TargetSolutions has updated its certified credentials topics to reflect these changes.

For EMS credentials, the state of Florida has eliminated the HIV Awareness requirement and reduced the number of required hours to 30. TargetSolutions has removed the HIV Awareness topic and moved the HIV Awareness course into General Requirements, ensuring users will still get credit for completing it.

The state has also altered its requirements for Fire recertification. Most notably, the recertification hours for the Firesafety Inspector I credential has increased from 40 hours to 54 hours.

Additionally, the Firesafety Inspector I and the Instructor certifications have all changed from a three-year recertification cycle to a four-year recertification cycle.

Please keep in mind, for both the Inspector and Instructor credentials, platform administrators will need to change the expiration dates for their users in order to reflect the cycle change.

If you would like information on how to make these changes to your departments credentials, please check the help system, or contact TargetSolutions today.

TargetSolutions Honored to Support Country Cares Concert in Prescott, Ariz.

TargetSolutions helped support the Country Cares concert in Prescott, Arizona. The concert raised money for the families of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who lost their lives in the Yarnell Fire.

Country music stars Dierks Bentley, The Band Perry, Randy Houser, and David Nail performed at the concert that raised more than $400,000 dollars for the families. The event included a special bag pipe-intro version of Dierks’ song, “Home,” which was performed by the Rural Metro Pipe and Drum Corp.

TargetSolutions and MES were honored to provide tickets for firefighters and their families from the Prescott area.

“This was really a memorable evening and it was our privilege to support these firefighters and their families,” said Regional Sales Director Phil Coons.

After the Country Cares concert, Coons and Account Manager Colleen Daughton of TargetSolutions attended the Desert Southwest Fire & EMS Expo at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. They were thrilled to have the opportunity to visit with clients during the Expo, Coons said.

Tulsa Fire Department Finds TargetSolutions ‘Hands Above the Competition’ for Firefighter Training

Tulsa Fire Department has benefited from the ability to easily distribute customizable material, including EMS continuing education, to its metro agency’s personnel.

Tulsa Fire Department’s impressive history dates back to the turn of the 20th century. The metro-sized department was once a small-time operation that served a community of around 1,000 people. Immense growth in the city’s population has been mirrored by the department’s expansion. Now, with a team of 724 employees, the 30-station department responds to more than 54,000 incidents each year, while serving nearly 400,000 citizens over 201-square miles.

With such a large metro fire department, communication across stations about training was not easy. Gathering large numbers of personnel and booking classrooms for training was unfeasible. The implementation of TargetSolutions in 2007 helped Tulsa’s leadership effectively disseminate training to the entire department.

“The biggest thing that TargetSolutions has done to help us with our training needs is offer an alternative to the classroom,” said Tulsa’s Director of EMS Michael Baker. “We have fire stations all over the city and we have to be able reach our firefighters at any time. TargetSolutions allows us to distribute education rapidly and lets us post our own custom developed content for our personnel and it gives us a great feedback mechanism to monitor it.”

The ability to distribute customizable material has benefitted Tulsa tremendously. TargetSolutions’ powerful online training management system enables departments to reach personnel on their level, at their time and at their pace. This has allowed the department to create online coursework that complements hands-on training in order to make the overall process more effective and efficient.


“We have fire stations all over the city and we have to be able to reach our firefighters at any time. TargetSolutions allows us to distribute education rapidly.”
Michael Baker, Director of EMS, Tulsa Fire Department


“We ask our members to review an online TargetSolutions PowerPoint and video embedded presentation, and take a test afterward to prepare themselves for when they arrive at an in-service or a training event to do the skills portion,” said Baker. “This has allowed us to take something that would normally be two hours long and condense it down into an hour.”

TargetSolutions has the ability to transform a department’s training productivity through engaging online courses, pre-training assignments called custom activities, and post-training tracking capabilities. Some might think web-based training software is too difficult and unpopular with personnel, but Baker believes adapting to technology is easier than you might imagine.

“TargetSolutions offers a great dashboard of performance and its easy to read, the icons are easy to access, and the members generally find their way quite nicely throughout the system,” he said. The system has proven to be beneficial for Tulsa and when it comes to customizing and delivering content, Baker says the department has found TargetSolutions to be “hands above the competition.”

About TargetSolutions
TargetSolutions is the leading provider of web-based technology solutions for fire and EMS organizations. These solutions enable organizations to maintain compliance, reduce losses, deliver curriculum, and track all station-level tasks, certifications and training activities.

TargetSolutions’ ISO Training Tracker Makes ISO Compliance Easier Than Ever


TargetSolutions ISO Training Tracker Allows for a Broad Variety of Functions, Condensed into a Central Reporting and Tracking System.


One of the most challenging times for training officers and fire administration officials comes when an Insurance Services Office (ISO) review is looming on the horizon. The ritual of the gathering-of-the-records begins, followed shortly thereafter by the intensive effort required to prepare the records, including those that need to be located or redone.

The end result is often hundreds of hours worth of personnel time.In the past, these have mostly been manual processes, but lets take a minute to talk about a relatively new solution that can automate the reporting of ISO requirements, as well as the delivery, tracking, and accountability of training required for various classes of personnel within ISO’s standards: TargetSolutions’ ISO Training Tracker. The primary component of this system, and the heart of the improvement it brings about, is the ISO Training Tracker. More than just the name implies, this application allows for a broad variety of functions, condensed into a central reporting and tracking system.

The ISO Training Tracker pulls together credentials, “tagging” capabilities (where training courses, also delivered and tracked by the TargetSolutions suite, can be marked as meeting compliance for a given standard), and “custom activities” (trackable assignments built specifically for a particular agencys requirements using the powerful built-in course creation tool), the ISO Training Tracker allows for at-a-glance updates on demand at any time.

The system also includes many ready-made training assignments covering ISO Driver Training, ISO Officer Training, ISO Hazmat Training, ISO Company Training and ISO Facilities Training.

Training requirements, arranged into convenient “buckets” (online training courses, combined with customized, instructor-led and drill-yard training activities) that were designed from the get-go to meet ISO requirements for each class.Assigning and tracking this training to your members is simple and intuitive, cutting down on the time and effort required to get “butts in seats” in terms of your contact hours for training.

With custom reporting capabilities, when the time comes to present your agency for certification or recertification, pulling together all of your records is as simple as a few clicks of the mouse. The Training Tracker also has reports created strictly for ISO requirements that are built-in.This helps to ensure a seamless audit, with much less time (if any) spent looking for additional required records during the process.And, since the training assignments are already available to assign to your members and have been constructed specifically for ISO compliance, you wont have to worry if your educational contact hours meet the necessary criterion for approval.

By bringing together an intuitive, user-friendly interface for both administrators and personnel alike, TargetSolutions Records Management System and Learning Management System, with the built-in powerful ISO Training Tracker, can streamline your training and records management expenses, ensuring high-quality, consistent training that can be brought to your personnel wherever and whenever they have time. This enables your agency to spend more of its time, budget, and personnel hours on the primary mission of serving the citizens of your community.



Free Trial Now Available!
Are you interested in test driving the industrys leading online training and records management system? If so, TargetSolutions is offering a free trial to FireRescue1s readers.

If you would like more information about how TargetSolutions can help your department, please click here.


About TargetSolutions
TargetSolutions is the leading provider of web-based technology solutions for fire and EMS organizations. These solutions enable organizations to maintain compliance, reduce losses, deliver curriculum, and track all station-level tasks, certifications and training activities.