Start Your 2022 Training Program Off On The Right Foot

Start Your 2022 Training Program Off On The Right Foot

Whether it’s felt like it’s slogged along at a glacial pace or raced by in an instant, 2021 is coming to a close and it’s time to start preparing for 2022.

For fire departments, it’s also an especially busy season, particularly for urban departments. According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), the winter months are “the leading time of year for home fires,” and Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day are peak days for home cooking fires

Despite the seasonal uptick in home fires, fire departments must also prepare for the coming year. When it comes to training, now is the perfect time to finalize your 2022 curriculum.

However, the busy season and other challenges, including inefficient paper records and the difficulty of tracking each person’s training progress, can make it feel impossible, leading many departments to fly by the seat of their pants when the new year rolls around. 

In partnership with Firehouse, Vector Solutions recently sponsored a webinar on this very subject. The presentation, Best Practices for Igniting Your Fire Agency's Training Program in 2022, shared methods and strategies fire departments can utilize to set their training program up for success in 2022.

Plan Ahead and Track Progress

During the webinar, Robbi King, a solutions engineer at Vector Solutions with over 27 years in the fire service, suggested that fire departments should first look at “the big ticket items” when preparing their training plans for the coming year. These could include items like major changes to state training requirements or certification programs, as well as any significant changes at your department.

Robbi also suggested departments start looking at training progress and completion amongst personnel in October to ensure there is time for all training courses to be completed by every member of the department. 

“We expected everybody to be completed with all their big ticket items by November,” Robbi said. “We stacked things for the first 11 months so just in case someone went on military leave, had a vacation, whatever it might be, we would still be set for the entire year.”  

Peter Matthews, editor-in-chief of Firehouse, agreed.

“I spoke with somebody this week who said that close to 30% of their members had yet to complete their annual training and today is Dec. 1,” Peter said. “There’s hours and hours that need to be completed and people are taking time off because it’s the holidays so I think that’s a great goal to set as a training officer…make sure all your guys have everything completed by Nov. 1.”

Beyond helping your department complete training on time, by keeping track of training progress throughout the year, departments can also identify any specific areas of concern where additional training might be needed.

How Can Vector Solutions Help?

As shared by Robbi during the presentation, your tools can make or break your training program.

“Having an antiquated system made it really difficult to deliver on the training plan,” Robbi said of his time in the fire service. “There are so many things you have to look at to ensure you have enough hours to meet those requirements, all while taking care of business.”

To support your efforts, Vector Solutions offers comprehensive solutions to support and transform your training program. Vector LMS, a training management system, formerly known as TargetSolutions, is the most commonly used training management system in the fire service. Built with unique features and functionality to fit the training needs of the fire and EMS service industry, it provides one place for everything related to training—from assigning, tracking, and reporting on course completions, to tracking license and credential requirements, to identifying skill gaps. 

By utilizing Vector LMS, you can reduce risk and liability associated with incomplete training or inaccurate documentation, ensure your team is in compliance with training goals, and reduce the amount of time you spend on planning, executing, and evaluating your training program for 2022.

In addition to the previously mentioned benefits of Vector LMS, fire departments can also leverage:

  • Built-in tools and forms that make ISO compliance easy. Vector LMS also makes presenting this data to auditors simple. The data is pre-formatted to adhere to ISO standards and is easy to export and share as needed.  
  • An easy-to-use interface and extensive customization options that allow agencies to import their own training content to best suit the needs of their personnel and keep all training records in one place.
  • Tracking features that allow agencies to identify personnel that require additional hours in specific areas or who have credentials that will be expiring soon. 

Vector Solutions also offers its own library of training courses, with over 450 hours of training for fire departments based on National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) codes and standards, and 250 hours of accredited EMS continuing education. 

Solutions For Online and Live Skills Training

We’ve shared how Vector Solutions can support your online training needs, but what about live skills training?

By combining the power of Vector LMS with the additional functionality of Vector Evaluations+, an extension of the Vector LMS platform, fire departments can track, monitor, and share reports on live skills training, all with just a few taps on a mobile device. Best of all, training data, including evaluation forms and video footage of training events, can be stored within Vector LMS, keeping all training data in one place and simplifying the reporting process. 

Other key features of Vector Evaluations+ include:

  • Simple, always available, 24/7 access to live skills training results. 
  • Electronic signatures for both the evaluator and the personnel being evaluated, plus additional layers as needed. 
  • Additional functionality for ISO or state and federal compliance by offering an easy way to record hours spent on live skills training, simplifying the experience and providing an additional layer of training-related liability protection. 

Whether your department has 25 members or 1,000, Vector Solutions can help you plan for and deploy a comprehensive training program to meet any and all requirements, while also providing the accurate and thorough reporting you need to reduce liability in the event of an incident.

To learn more about the topics covered in the webinar we discussed above and watch it for yourself, please visit the Firehouse website. Please contact us today to request a demo or learn more about how Vector Solutions can support your 2022 training needs.

Want to Know More?

Reach out and a Vector Solutions representative will respond back to help answer any questions you might have.