Not every fire department incorporates the NFPA’s 1401 standard into its training program. Many agencies, in fact, might not understand or even know about the NFPA’s recommended practice for documenting fire service training records.
Hanover Fire & EMS in Richmond, Va. is not one of those departments.
Division Chief Eddie Buchanan believes ignorance to the 1401 is a risky proposition. Not recording training to the NFPA’s benchmark can have devastating consequences. As a member of the NFPA’s Technical Committee on Fire Service Training, Buchanan recognizes why it’s critically important to track training information.
“It's all good until somebody gets hurt,” said Buchanan. “If there is ever a significant injury or death, they are going to look at every record. PPE training records, SCBA records … you want to make sure you have a good baseline of these records because they all have the appropriate minimal qualifications.
“The old adage is if it’s not documented, it didn't happen. If there is no documentation, there is no way to prove the training took place. That’s why we pay attention to it.”
Buchanan says the 1401 sets the foundation for what a fire department’s training records should look like. But the 1401 does not say what the training should be. For that, Hanover uses the International Society for Fire Service Instructors’ Tools on firefighter training. And to track it all, the agency relies on TargetSolutions, the industry’s leading online training management system.
When Hanover first signed on with TargetSolutions in September of 2015, it was to manage its officers’ development. It didn’t take long for Buchanan to realize this incredibly powerful technology could simplify everything for the larger-sized agency with approximately 160 career members, 370 volunteer responders and 100 auxiliary members.
“What you’re able to do with TargetSolutions for documenting training is light years ahead of what’s needed for the minimum for (NFPA) 1401.”
Eddie Buchanan, Division Chief, Hanover Fire & EMS
“With TargetSolutions we’re able to capture all of the training that we’re doing at the user level,” Buchanan said. “Just last week we started building (digital) assignments for tracking (NFPA) 1410 evolutions. We’re also doing ISO requirements for company drills. With all of these members, it was difficult to keep it all straight before TargetSolutions.”
By utilizing TargetSolutions’ ground-breaking records management system, including the Activities Builder and the Manage Credentials applications, Hanover is able to efficiently and effectively track records. Whether it’s the volunteer personnel’s PPE records, the ongoing 1410 drills, or mandatory ISO training hours, it’s all possible with TargetSolutions.
In addition to the recordkeeping capabilities, Buchanan said he is impressed by the online training content inside TargetSolutions, which includes more than 250 hours of Fire and EMS continuing education. The Commonwealth of Virginia requires that state-approved courses be accredited by Continuing Education Coordinating Board for Emergency Medical Services (CECBEMS) and TargetSolutions is organizationally accredited by CECBEMS.
“Having that content available right out of the gate and the integration with the state’s EMS agency is nice,” Buchanan said. “You can pretty darn near recertify through the TargetSolutions system.”
But best of all, Buchanan can sleep soundly knowing Hanover’s training records are complete and the department is in compliance with the NFPA’s 1401 standard.
For more information on how TargetSolutions can help your department track training, please contact us today at (800) 840-8046.