“We wanted a Learning Management System (LMS) that could grow with us,” said John White, Apex Fire Department Training Captain. “One that made it easier to follow the rating schedule and provide a true capture of all our completed training. We wanted a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all our training and documentation needs. Vector Solutions LMS (called TargetSolutions when we purchased it) provided all that and more.”
The Apex Fire Department, located about 15 miles west of Raleigh, is comprised of five stations and just over 100 career personnel, all EMTs with rescue certifications as well. The department has worked hard to improve their training documentation and processes and recently received the top Office of State Fire Marshal rating for their city services. “Vector LMS follows the rating scale which makes things so much easier,” said Captain White. “The LMS makes it easy to track all our training. With other programs you have to enter things three times but in the Vector LMS, you only have to enter it once. The system also helps us classify the training to the right category so that every training hour gets counted.”
While State Fire Marshal is primarily focused on structural responses, the agency personnel also completes administrative, technical, and other types of training, all of which is assigned and tracked in the LMS. Captain White said that they use the Vector training courses and content to enhance their EMT-B training and have also used it to develop their probationary program.
“With the LMS, it’s hard to NOT know where you’re at,” explained Captain White. “It’s right on the home page when you login. And as an administrator, I can run a report to see who is missing which classes to make sure we stay on track. With the LMS, we definitely have much better documentation than we used to.”
Using the LMS Events module, Apex Fire Department can post things like in-house specialty classes and enable personnel to enroll right from within the LMS. “I can see the number of students that have pre-registered and let Wake Tech, our community college affiliate, know if the minimum number needed for the class has been met or not,” said Captain White. “During COVID-19 we used more online training. We were able to load up videos and create tests for content from our Wake EMS partner to make it easy for the staff to take advantage of the training and not to get behind during the social distancing period.”
Captain White said he is looking forward to further integration between Vector’s Scheduling and LMS to create additional value, such as the ability to see who is on shift to record training completions and if a staffing change happens in the Scheduling program, it is automatically reflected in the LMS as well.