West Metro Fire Protection District Standardizes Training and Increases Efficiency

West Metro Fire Protection District Standardizes Training and Increases Efficiency
West Metro Fire Protection District

Agency Stats:

  • Area of coverage: 108 square miles
  • Population in coverage area: 325,000 residents
  • Fire Stations: 17
  • Staff: 385 uniform; 445 total
  • Implemented Vector Solutions LMS in 2015; Evaluations+ in 2021

West Metro Fire Protection District (CO) rolled out their Vector Solutions Learning Management System (LMS) in 2015. While they had a Records Management System (RMS) in place for incident reporting, most of the staff training, credentialing, policy management and reporting (including all their ISO documentation) was a paper-laden, manual process. Implementing the LMS has resulted “huge cost savings” and an improved training operation.

About West Metro Fire Protection District

West Metro FPD is comprised of 17 stations and oversees a region of 325,000 with a staff of 385 uniformed personnel and 60 additional staff. Division Chief, Dan Pfannenstiel, has been with the Colorado special district for 36 years. Needless to say, things have changed since he first started his career in firefighting and training.

However, what hasn’t changed is the importance of properly trained personnel – for both their safety and for the protection of the people and property in the community in which they serve.

Chief Pfannenstiel is responsible for all firefighter and EMS training within his district, which also includes training in areas such as succession planning and the recruitment academy, in which four other agencies participate.

Time and Cost Savings with Training Efficiency

“It used to take a full day to go through our CMCB certification accreditation audit process,” said Chief Pfannenstiel. “Now we can complete it in 60-90 minutes using the LMS and no longer need to drive to Colorado Springs with all our paperwork in hand. Every time we record a classroom lecture or drill-gound video, we save hours by delivering it through the LMS and not having to repeat it for 24 training groups. We’ve digitized all our task books so not only are they easier to manage in the LMS, but we’re also saving time and money on printing, waiting for interoffice mail deliveries, etc.”

“It’s a no brainer and a huge cost savings,” said Chief Pfannenstiel.

One key training tactic that has also saved a ton of time and helped prepare the trainees is sending out pre-coursework so that firefighters have better expectations of what will take place on the drill-ground  The online course delivery enables the staff to complete the training at their convenience and at their pace, and also keeps record or who has and hasn’t completed the coursework. It also makes the time spent at the drill ground more effective and efficient. 

Standardized Training Across District Departments

Vector Solutions

Several of the greater Denver metro departments are also using the Enterprise solution in the LMS to standardize training across the area. They’ve set up parent-child accounts so they can share courses like driver operator and fire officer training. Additionally, they can share files through the LMS, to ensure all stations received the same policies and follow the same procedures.

This Enterprise site also allows individual departments to still maintain their own unique policies and culture. With the flexibility to use the system, West Metro FPD can honor each department’s own functions while verifying that important training requirements are met.

The recent addition of Evaluations+ will enable training officers to complete evaluations, like their weekly recruitment academy and paramedic field ride evaluations. With this app, they can submit skill sheets from their iOS or Android mobile devices. Recruits can also complete their peer evaluations from the mobile phone app.

In his 36 years of working with public safety technology providers, Chief Pfannenstiel also understands the importance of customer service. He said out of all the technology vendors that he has worked with throughout his career, Vector Solutions is the only one that has done it right—”They have a great product and treat the customer right.”

For more training testimonials, please see our Success Stories.

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