On Nov. 3, Vector Solutions’ Matt Shronts and Tim Riley presented a webinar covering training "best practices" for fire agencies to meet their annual training and recertification requirements. More than 400 people registered for the webinar with Fire Engineering as Shronts and Riley outlined six tips for better training results.
Here is a breakdown of those tips. If you would like to watch the full webinar presentation, “Fire Department Training Best Practices: How to Improve Performance with Vector Solutions,” please click here.
Stop searching through filing cabinets, spreadsheets, and other siloed systems to find what you need. Leverage a training management system (TMS) built for the fire service to create digital training templates (or Credentials) for the core components of your training program. Leverage these credentials to automate training administration tasks and identify the training and certification status for each member of your crew across every type of training and standard that your department tracks.
For example, with a TMS built for the fire service, you can create digital templates that save manual administration time and can be easily reused for:
More and more states are offering grant funding for staffing shortages that includes training reimbursement and other funding, however the grant application often requires comprehensive training data in order to be awarded the funds. A TMS built for the fire service is crucial in providing the data you need to be awarded grant funding. In fact, an investment in a purpose-built TMS often more than pays for itself in time savings and grant awards.
How confident are you that you can supply all the training and compliance information needed for a citizen FOIA request, an after-action review, a media inquiry, or a district attorney request? When an incident "goes bad" the first question will be "was it an equipment failure?" The second question will be "was it a training failure?" A TMS easily and quickly enables training supervisors to access training documentation that shows how many hours of training an officer received, along with what was covered, the curriculum, and the performance evaluations (including videos of live skill training), which might be difference between a costly lawsuit and a non-issue.
By engaging multiple forms of knowledge and skill acquisition, your training program will be more effective for multiple types of learners. While today's digital natives are familiar with online learning, the hands-on skills required in the fire service profession obviously cannot be replaced. However, by leveraging a TMS that delivers online courses in advance of your in-person training, the learners will come better prepared with a conceptual understanding of the rationale and execution of the skills to be covered in your hands-on training drills. An integrated live-skills app with your TMS simplifies performance documentation, as well as offers additional learning aids, like photo and live video capture. Improve your personnel proficiency by leveraging a TMS that can deliver an integrated training program.
By leveraging a TMS calendar, you can easily communicate training events, enable self-enrollment, notify instructors of registration counts for resource planning, and deliver any pre-course requirements. Leverage the TMS calendar to plan out the month, the quarter, or even your entire year of training so that everyone comes better prepared and informed.
The most important outcome of any training program is ensuring your crew has mastered the knowledge and skills to return safely at the end of their shift. A TMS that makes it easy to capture every training instance, along with comprehensive performance data, will help leaders better evaluate the effectiveness of their program as well as identify opportunities for improvement. With a TMS that makes it easy to deliver, track, and report your training in one system, you can be more confident that your troops are getting what they need to stay safe and be successful.
With a glanceable dashboard that shows progress for each person's recert and training requirements, training supervisors and personnel can more easily meet benchmarks to stay compliant and ensure each person is getting the training they need.