Learn How Columbia Fire Department Simplified Firefighter Training with TargetSolutions

In a year and a half since implementing TargetSolutions, Columbia Fire Department has simplified firefighter training, streamlined event planning, and is currently working toward earning the top ISO classification.

Ensuring that its cadre of 118 uniformed men and women were on the same page when it came to training was a challenge for the Columbia Fire Department (MO). How do you maintain consistent standards and ensure that training requirements are being met when there’s no surefire way to police or oversee anything?

Since implementing TargetSolutions, Columbia Fire Department has simplified firefighter training en route to becoming a power user.

That’s when the department switched to TargetSolutions. Implementing the powerful records management system in May of 2016 didn’t just streamline their training; it completely reinvigorated it. Consisting of nine stations that serve a population of over 100,000, the Columbia Fire Department has become one of the most highly utilized sites in the state of Missouri as well as the entire Midwest United States. Always on the hunt for new tips and tricks, the department is a regular representative at regional TargetSolutions user groups where they continue to maximize their usage of the platform.

When asked about what training was like prior to becoming a power user, Deputy Fire Chief Kyle Fansler pointed to the outdated recordkeeping methods and how they lent little credence to accuracy. “The most difficult part was ensuring that we were getting valid data,” recalled Fansler. “Prior to this when we were recording training hours in our RMS, there was no way to measure how accurate those figures were.”

“I didn’t have to do anything else. I was just entering unverified numbers into another system so there was no way to manage the training.”

Today the department takes full advantage of TargetSolutions’ arsenal of features to meet and exceed their training requirements. Planning live firefighter training events with the Events Manager and tracking license renewals (drivers, EMS) and custom task books with the Manage Credentials application consolidates what used to be monumental tasks. Custom Activities has been an especially useful tool when developing training and establishing a clear plan for what is expected from the fire companies. “This is what’s assigned to you each month and this is what needs to be completed,” said Fansler. “It’s really easy for the individuals because you just need to clear your screen in a month’s time.”

Setting their sights sky high, the ultimate goal of the Columbia Fire Department is to achieve the storied Class 1 ISO rating. To accomplish this, the department is using TargetSolutions’ ISO Training Tracker, a complete solution built specifically to meet ISO’s standards.

“We just went through an ISO audit and once I figured out which report the ISO fellow wanted to see, it was simple."

Deputy Fire Chief Kyle Fansler, Columbia Fire Department (MO)

“They (ISO) want to know the number of certified officers and instructors so with the credentials built, you give them one report for the whole package. We have that all in one place. In a little bit of time you can have that out and run with it.”

Implementing a learning management system (LMS) can seem like as much of a colossal task as managing training in a brick-and-mortar fashion, but it’s not. Quite the opposite, and TargetSolutions offers world class customer service that is eager to help every step of the way. As Fansler pointed out, “We’ve had really good technical support. We can reach out and get help when we need it. The staff has been good to work with and helpful in every way.”

To learn more about how simplified firefighter training can become a reality for your department, please contact TargetSolutions today at (800) 840-8048.

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