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Manage Credentials Application Enhancements Make Platform Even More Versatile

Earlier this year, TargetSolutions released the Auto Renewal for Credentials enhancement, which included several enhancements that make the application even more versatile for tracking firefighter training.

Platform managers can now utilize several additional filtering options that adjust how credentials are viewed by users. They can make credentials viewable from their users’ My Credentials page, eliminating unnecessary clutter on the home page, or they can have it show or be pinned on the home page.

Other enhancements include the ability to allow users to edit within an assigned credential. Previously, it had been an “all-or-nothing” feature, but now platform managers can enable users to individually edit items, including start and expiration dates, credential numbers and add attachments. This feature is valuable to organizations looking to allow users to attach files – such as scanned driver’s licenses and EMT cards – while limiting them from making any additional edits.

At the heart of the Credentials Options page is the ability to automatically renew credentials, which was a monumental upgrade for this tool. When all required training has been completed, platform managers can choose to have a credential renew on the credential’s completion date, on its expiration date, or to not automatically renew.

The Manage Credentials application enables departments to track training in an efficient manner – including fire department ISO training hours – and is considered one of TargetSolutions’ most powerful fire department software applications.

“The entire Auto Renewal for Credentials enhancement project as a whole was huge,” said Product Manager Misty Pratt. “It was probably the most important and biggest thing we did in 2013.”

For more information on the Auto Renewal for Credentials enhancements, please click here.

Auto Renewal for Credentials Enhancements

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Platform managers can allow their users to edit various portions of a credential, including start and expiration dates, with the Credentials Options functionality.

Users Can Update Their Own Profile Information, Including Passwords

Basic-level users can easily update their own personal information in profile settings of TargetSolutions’ online training system. The My Profile link in the upper right-hand corner of the platform has simplified the editing process, saving platform managers’ time by making the platform easier for everyone to operate.
The My Profile link empowers users to change their personal information, including password, email preferences, and security questions. Platform managers can also allow users to edit their own username, but must contact an account manager with TargetSolutions to activate this functionality.
In addition to account information, users can view organizational information inside profile settings. The Organization selection allows users to update information related to groups set up by the site’s platform manager.
With TargetSolutions’ user-friendly interface, users have the ability to update their own profile information at their own discretion, ensuring information is accurate and up-to-date.
My Profile Link

TargetSolutions Revamped Environmental Emergencies Course for EMT Continuing Education

TargetSolutions has completely revamped its Environmental Emergencies (Basic) course in its online EMS training catalog. The newly revised offering has been redesigned to feature new references and updated content to enhance users’ learning experiences during the EMS recertification process.
To make the course more compelling, TargetSolutions’ team of subject experts interviewed EMT personnel to incorporate real-world case study scenarios. In addition to injecting these new authentic experiences, TargetSolutions overhauled the course’s design elements, making it one of the most engaging EMT continuing education courses in the company’s online EMS training library.
“Keeping our catalog current is a daily challenge,” said TargetSolutions’ Content Architect Jeremy Lynch. “Standards and protocols are basically living, breathing things. They are evolving, changing, and updating constantly. We owe it to our clients to keep up so they are better equipped with the information they need to save lives.”
The revamped course discusses how environmental emergencies include exposure to heat and cold. Regulation of body temperature, which is an important physiological function, can be impaired under temperature extremes and result in heat- or cold-related illness. The key to effective management is recognizing the signs and symptoms, and providing prompt emergency medical care.
The accredited online EMS training course, which counts for one hour of EMT refresher training in most states for First Responders, EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate and Paramedic (check your state for more information), also features new pictures and an increased amount of user-required interactions.

Planning Next Year’s Training Program? Now Is the Time to Analyze the Year’s Employee Training Records and Make Plans for 2014

With the calendar winding down, you might be ramping up your department’s end-of-year firefighter training reports. With TargetSolutions’ online fire training system’s Generate Reports tool, platform managers are able to easily gather various types of data, including completions, incomplete assignments, credentials, and much more.

“Assessing yearly training activity is critical for every department,” said Client Services Manager Jennifer Antinone. “These reports provide insight into what types of training were completed and any areas that may need improvement. Discoveries made when analyzing the results often play a role in building the following year’s training curriculum.”

With TargetSolutions’ powerful fire department software, capturing specific information takes just a few simple clicks. Here are some of the most popular employee training records that are collected with TargetSolutions’ powerful records and information management system:

Aggregate Completions: This report gives platform managers the total number of training hours that were completed by the department’s personnel.

Credential Summary: Popular with the ISO tracking solution, among other credentials, this report delivers a snapshot of users’ overall training compliance with assigned credentials.

Aggregate Components: This report breaks down the number of courses users have completed within each component (e.g., airway, forcible entry, ladders, etc.)

Completions: Every online training course completed by a department’s personnel can be found here. This report also displays the test score that each user received after completing the course.

The days of spending hours manually tracking down information to run reports are history with TargetSolutions’ online fire training system. In a few short minutes detailed reports can be built that will determine how many training hours your department compiled this year, which standards were met, and how many members became certified (or recertified) for particular credentials. Once the report begins automation, your part is finished as the computer-based training system will generate the comprehensive report.

“This year we focused on optimizing our reports and making sure they run in a timely manner,” said Software Engineer Manager Dustyn Borghi. “With all the information TargetSolutions contains for our users, we want to make sure the power is in their hands to retrieve that information when and how they want it.

“Being able to track and maintain training records, certifications, personal information, etc., is great. We take pride in the amount of things that can be done through our platform. But having the ability to abstract that information within a report is truly what brings great value to our clients.”

With TargetSolutions’ Generate Reports application, platform managers can run detailed spreadsheets on their personnel’s completed assignments, incomplete assignments, credentials, and much more.

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 needs.

Major Metro Department Signed Up for Online EMS Recertification Training, Now Uses Powerful Tracking Tools

Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department looks to TargetSolutions to help track personnel’s ISO training hours.

Like most clients, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department originally signed up with TargetSolutions for online EMS recertification training. The only difference is Jacksonville was quicker to the game. The forward-thinking department began using TargetSolutions’ innovative online fire training technology in 2003 because it saw an easier, more efficient way for achieving compliance.

Jacksonville Fire and Rescue DepartmentAs one of the longest-tenured clients, Jacksonville has watched TargetSolutions’ online fire training course catalog swell to more than 160 hours of continuing education for online EMS recertification training and paramedic training. That valuable training is a huge benefit for any metro department looking to ensure personnel meet mandated training requirements.

Equally valuable, however, are TargetSolutions’ recordkeeping applications for fire department training – which Jacksonville wasn’t fully capitalizing on until more recently. According to Battalion Chief Billy Roland, it took an ISO inspection in 2011 for the department to realize the power of TargetSolutions.

“We got dinged good on our field training records by ISO,” Roland said. “We were doing the training every day, but the tracking wasn’t perfect. Some of it was being tracked (outside of TargetSolutions) with paper (with the city’s legacy system). We weren’t using one source for tracking training. But ISO liked the part of training that was documented with TargetSolutions. Now that we’ve implemented TargetSolutions’ ISO tracking, when ISO returns foor another review, we shouldn’t have any issues with the required documentation.”

With its fire department ISO training records now in order, JFRD and Roland can rest confidently knowing the department’s rating will be improving. Beyond that, the department is using the web-based online fire training system to its fullest capabilities, Roland said. Anything that needs to be reported is managed through TargetSolutions.

“Everything we do related to training is documented and saved in TargetSolutions. We also use it for delivering bulletins, SOPs, announcements, etc. TargetSolutions has become the official place to find everything. It has improved our ability to reach all of our firefighters. Things that are mandated to be read can be delivered and people can be held accountable.”
Billy Roland, Battalion Chief, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department

For a department as large as Jacksonville (1,200 emergency responders), the ability to easily deliver information to personnel is critical. TargetSolutions gives Jacksonville an agile tool for disseminating training and communicating important fire department SOGs. The fact it is readily available online 24 hours a day, seven days a week makes it even more valuable, Roland said.

“TargetSolutions is available on a smartphone, an iPad, a laptop. Everyone can access it with ease. It’s a web-based solution that is secure with a username and password, everyone can get to it online.”

Billy Roland, Battalion Chief

The ease of use doesn’t stop there. TargetSolutions simplifies the entire employee training records reporting process for departments in the state of Florida. TargetSolutions’ electronic system reports EMS recertification completions on a daily basis to CE Broker and Fire recertification completions quarterly to the Florida State Fire College. This automated technology makes things less complicated for departments in the Sunshine State.

“That is a huge factor for us,” Roland said. “TargetSolutions makes it so we don’t have to go and report. It’s all done automatically. That is one of the best things TargetSolutions does – it simplifies reporting.”

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 needs.

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.”