Georgina Fire and Rescue Services composite department in Ontario, Canada, has three stations providing 24/7 coverage for various services, including fire suppression, medical aid response, hazardous materials response, and ice and water rescue response. With 40 full-time and 60 volunteer firefighters, having Vector Solutions' Learning Management System (LMS) to deliver, track and report mission-critical training and Vector Check It to manage their inventory and apparatus checks has been valuable for keeping the department running smoothly.
Deputy Chief Michael Rozario, Training Officer Jeff Attwell, and Jackelyn, Administrative Assistant for Fire Prevention and Training, shared how they leverage Vector Solutions technology to improve accuracy and efficiency at Georgina Fire and Rescue Services.
Implementing Vector LMS and Vector Check It at the same time in late 2019 boosted Georgina Fire and Rescue Services' ability to better meet their department's training and asset checks needs. "With Vector LMS, we like the graphics, the dashboard capability, and ease of use. It's customizable. So, we decided to try it."
Georgina Fire and Rescue Services uses the LMS to assign, track, and report on all training for recruits, probationary, full-time, and volunteer firefighters.
There are four training plans firefighters are placed on at Georgina Fire and Rescue Services, depending on their availability, relevant education, and experience:
With so many firefighters with different training needs, using Vector LMS to deliver courses to meet training requirements, track progress, and run progress and completion reports by group has been a great help.
"It's nice that we're able to track firefighter progress and recruit progress through the various courses and notices. It's a very good way to communicate with the entire staff on changes through notifications."
Training Officer Jeff Attwell
Officer Jeff Attwell shared Deputy Rozario's sentiment towards the LMS's customization. He said, "For me, developing SCORM courses for online and blended learning, especially right now with COVID protocols in place in the province, it's been very beneficial." By uploading custom SCORM content, including courses, presentations, tests, and other interactive materials into the LMS, Georgina Fire and Rescue Services can easily create credentials that track progress and trigger notifications as needed when deadlines are approaching.
Jackelyn elaborated on how SCORM credentials are used to track required training. "There are two components to tracking credentials. We're tracking what firefighters are completing throughout the year, six months, or annually, depending on what we're hoping to accomplish and when. We're also tracking Ontario Fire Marshal certifications to ensure various individuals are meeting their certain standards."
Because Ontario Fire Code legislation has its own building code and fire code, Georgina Fire and Rescue Services needed to design their own custom content for their department, which they can easily assign and track with Vector LMS.
Georgina Fire and Rescue Services utilizes many of the built-in features of the LMS to deliver, track, and report on firefighter trainings, including:
Deputy Rozario shared how Georgina Fire and Rescue Services is using the Check It mobile app to meet requirements for vehicle checks, inspections, etc. "We use Check It to track when people are completing inspections because we get a timestamped notification when it is complete. We also use it for work orders. We've allowed our service vendors access to our system, so when there's a repair, they can see it on the mobile app and go in and make notes right in the system as they complete work," he stated.
“Tracking apparatus, vehicle, and inventory repairs through the app,” Deputy Rozario added, “has ensured the department maintains industry standards for its SCBAs and other essential equipment. For example, all SCBAs have been loaded into Check It and firefighters can record their checks and the department can track current and historical records.”
With a multitude of tankers, pumpers, aerials, and vehicles across the department's three stations, the recordkeeping functionality of the app has helped significantly. "It's great because each one of our trucks at our three stations has a tablet, so the firefighter can just grab the tablet and complete their required checks. That's been a huge bonus going from a paper-based system to digital. It was a massive improvement," remarked Jackelyn.