As one of the main entry points into Arizona from California and home to a growing number of industries and facilities, Goodyear, AZ, has experienced a significant swell in population over the last few years and expects it to continue. To keep up with the emergency services needs for a rapidly growing population, Goodyear Fire Department plans to add 20% to the department over the next year. That's a lot of required training for recruits on top of the existing 110 sworn firefighters and non-sworn staff under the department's responsibility. Thankfully, Goodyear Fire Department has been using Vector Solutions' online learning management system (Vector LMS) since 2011 as their one-stop-shop for all things training.
Battalion Chief Darrin Green and Captain Craig Artrip shared how they keep the training division running smoothly with the help of Vector LMS to deliver, track, and report all training and certifications, which includes EMS, HAZMAT, and other specialties.
Chief Green was the training captain when Vector LMS (known as TargetSolutions at the time) was adopted and recalled how the department was using notepads, spreadsheets, and local files to track their training. After looking into what other departments in the region were using and researching Vector LMS for one year, Goodyear Fire confidently selected the web-based platform as their training management system. "What I liked about this program was the growth ability for where we were going and what we're doing," said Chief Green.
In fact the department was using the system so successfully that the city of Goodyear asked what they were doing because they were no longer having to source required training like HIPAA, bloodborne pathogens, and diversity training; they already had it in the LMS. Seeing the fire department's success, the city of Goodyear and the Goodyear Police Department also adopted Vector Solutions.
Because the Phoenix metro area operates under automatic aid, the Goodyear Fire Department responds to calls across the 32 area cities, which are dispatched through Phoenix Fire Department with automatic vehicle locators. And since they all use the same response SOPs, everyone is on the same page. The consortium’s Vector LMS Enterprise account enables valuable sharing of mission-critical materials across departments on the platform to ensure consistent service throughout the region.
Goodyear firefighters have little excuse for falling behind on their training with the platform's automatic email notifications and a user-friendly dashboard. Through the Vector LMS My Credentials feature, firefighters can easily see when credentials are due and quickly determine their progress with the completion indicator bar.
From a trainer's perspective, the credential feature on the platform has been particularly helpful for ensuring firefighters complete more than just online learning. Chief Green reported that when they recognized PPE inspections weren't being completed, they were added to the quarterly requirements credentials where they could not be missed. Another great compliance function Goodyear Fire has utilized is assigning policy updates as required training, which records read receipts with eSignatures.
Enabling busy firefighters with the ability to complete required training from their device when it fits their schedule has been crucial for meeting the department's demands.
"We don't have to pull people or crews off the trucks. They can do it from the station. Plus, if they catch a call in the middle, they can come back and finish it, which has been a huge benefit to us from an efficiency standpoint."
Battalion Chief Darrin Green, Goodyear Fire Department
Firefighters are frequently exposed to potentially dangerous chemicals and materials while performing their duties. Because Goodyear Fire has personally experienced loss to cancer, they have implemented a process to better track critical exposure details that could be crucial for future reference.
The department has set up a self-assignable Exposure Reporting Form for possible toxic material or chemical incidents (not EMS related). "We're really bad at documenting our exposures. We're firefighters. This [Vector LMS] keeps us accountable" Chief Green remarked. The form, which is conveniently linked right on the Vector LMS Bulletin Board, documents when the firefighter was exposed, where they were, what PPE was used, which chemicals/materials they were exposed to, related symptoms, and other important details. Now, Goodyear Fire is able to provide overwhelming proof of what they've been exposed to, which is an important employee safety measure in Fire Services.
In addition to documenting exposures, the department uses a combination of catalog courses and in-house courses, like a DECON video, to deliver additional support to their firefighters, all through Vector LMS.