Press Releases

    July 22, 2020

    Karl Neubecker of Ellington Fire Department Selected as 2020 Training Officer Recognition Award Winner


    Law EnforcementPublic Safety


    Law EnforcementOnline Training

    SAN DIEGO – TargetSolutions, a Vector Solutions brand offering the leading training and operations management software for the fire service, and the International Association of Fire Chief’s (IAFC) Volunteer & Combination Officers Section (VCOS) are proud to announce Karl Neubecker of the Ellington Fire Department (CT) as the recipient of the 2020 VCOS Training Officer Recognition Award.

    “Seeing the need to educate and train the community in active shooter incidents, he led an effort for himself and several members of our department to teach both the American College of Surgeon’s Stop the Bleed course and FEMA’s version, Before Help Arrives,” said Michael Varney, past Ellington Fire Department Chief and 2007 IAFC Volunteer Chief of the Year. “He has taught this multiple times to town residents as well as to local community groups, hoping to create a framework of people willing to help in case of emergencies.”

    Working with Connecticut State Police and local law enforcement, Neubecker was able to lead specialty training for regional fire service agencies in their response to active shooter incidents – creating one of the first Rescue Task Force (RTF) teams in the area.

    As the pandemic suspended all in-person training in March 2020, Neubecker facilitated a creative solution to bring training to his department’s members.

    “During this time, we once again utilized TargetSolutions, assigning members relevant classes to our training program,” Varney said. “Neubecker also reached out to several FDIC instructors and though the use of Zoom, brought them virtually into the firehouses and homes of not just our members, but also our mutual aid departments as well.”

    “We had a strong response to COVID-19 and modified our response to calls, staffing and training,” Neubecker said. “The pandemic created a challenge to maintain training proficiency. We used TargetSolutions to supplement NFPA 1021 officer training, NFPA 1001 firefighting skills, NFPA 1500 safety topics, etc.”

    Then Neubecker explained he contacted instructors he knew from FDIC to host virtual training sessions through Zoom. In addition to offering this free training to his department, he was able to fill the virtual classroom with surrounding department members.

    This year marks the seventh consecutive year TargetSolutions and the VCOS have partnered to present this award. Neubecker joins a group of leaders in the fire service industry who have been recognized for their excellence: Chief Whitner of South Adams County (Colo.) Fire Department (2019), Captain Chip Everett of Oshtemo Township (Mich.) Fire Department (2018), Assistant Chief Brad Pinsky of Manlius (N.Y.) Fire Department (2017), Deputy Chief Steve Malone of the Manhattan (Ill.) Fire Protection District (2016), Michael Accardo III of the St. Tammany (La.) Fire District 9 (2015), and Josh Blum of Loveland-Symmes (Ohio) Fire Department (2014).

    About TargetSolutions

    TargetSolutions, a Vector Solutions brand, delivers award-winning, real-time training and record-keeping solutions to the fire services, emergency medical services, risk pools, cities and municipalities, law enforcement and public works industries. The company provides engaging, accredited, online training courses, cutting-edge software applications and dynamic performance-management solutions to help make organizations safer, more capable and more compliant. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @TargetSolutions and on Facebook at

    About Vector Solutions

    Vector Solutions, a leader in eLearning and performance support, provides award-winning SaaS solutions for the architecture, engineering, construction (AEC), industrial, facilities management, public safety, IT and education fields. Its brands, RedVector-Convergence Training, TargetSolutions and Scenario Learning, deliver continuing education (CE), training, technology and performance-management solutions using the latest innovations in learning technology to create safer, more capable, more compliant organizations. Its extensive online and mobile learning library exceeds more than 5,000 courses written by 200 subject matter experts and reaches over 5 million professionals worldwide. The company was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Tampa, Florida.

    For more information, visit

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    About IAFC’s VCOS

    The VCOS mission is to provide chiefs and chief officers who manage volunteers within a volunteer or combination fire, rescue or EMS delivery system with information, education, services and representation to enhance their professionalism. The VCOS vision is to represent the interests of all volunteer and combination fire/rescue/EMS agencies. We are a dynamic organization, characterized by our integrity, customer focus and membership development, with value placed on people and the superior utilization of technology. We will continue to excel by creating educational programs through unrivaled networking and helping VCOS members further their success and reach their potential. For more information, check online at