In western Texas sits the city of El Paso practically at the intersection of Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico. El Paso's nearly 700,000 residents in the city's roughly 260 square miles rely on the El Paso Fire Department to provide fire protection and emergency medical services around the clock, 365 days a year.
Lieutenant Tim Beghtel, with 15 years at the El Paso Fire Department, works to ensure the department's 900 full-time firefighters meet their fire and EMS training requirements with the help of Vector Solutions' online training platform, Vector LMS.
Adopting Vector LMS in 2011, the El Paso Fire Department utilizes the platform to manage all its fire and EMS training—from tracking probationary firefighter training and activities to maintaining DSHS licensing requirements and meeting ISO training benchmarks (holds ISO Class 1 rating).
Responding to nearly 100,000 emergency medical calls per year alone, the El Paso Fire Department leverages the content and convenience of Vector LMS to supplement in-person training with anywhere, anytime online training that firefighters can complete at their own pace. With so many firefighters spread across 34 stations, providing members with structured, standardized training is essential to ensuring everyone stays on track without compromising coverage.
Lt. Beghtel shared how the department uses a combination of custom-created courses and activities and Vector content, including Fire (NFPA, Fleet, etc.), CAPCE-accredited EMS continuing education, and other built-in content, to develop a training program that meets its needs. He said, "We design a lot of our own courses. We use a combination of our content and Vector content. We recently developed a course on water supply based on the Texas Commission of Fire Protection requirements and delivered it through Vector Solutions to track and document completions."
Accountability is a big focus of the El Paso Fire Department, Lt. Beghtel emphasized. With Vector LMS, the department is easily able to hold individuals accountable with electronic training records detailing when and what training was completed.
"When we have a training, we'll send out assignments ahead of time for members to become familiar with the materials. It holds them accountable. If they log that a specific training has been completed, they have no excuse later."
Lieutenant Tim Beghtel, El Paso Fire Department
The El Paso Fire Department also used Vector LMS to track professional development. Activities are built in the Activities Builder detailing what is required to achieve a specific position. Firefighters can self-assign the activity of the position they're interested in and use it as a requirements guide. Firefighters are held accountable for completing the requirements outlined in the activity to advance to the next level.
Tracking company drills through Vector LMS is another way the department holds its firefighters accountable. Lt. Beghtel shared how a recent company drill around properly cleaning PPE gear was delivered through the training platform to capture time-stamped eSignatures as proof of completion, ensuring everyone clearly understands how to perform the task properly.