“We had a records management system that was not user-friendly,” said Captain Jay Sumerlin, who is responsible for ensuring the department is properly trained and is using its available resources to become the best, most efficient department possible. “We would have to type in every class individually. It offered no starting point.”
The complicated process did not end with the department’s old and cumbersome computerized system. Sumerlin also had to manage various paper files the old-fashioned way, which was extremely difficult and time consuming.
“Some stuff was on paper, some was online,” said Sumerlin. “We were relying on two or three different platforms to track training records.”
With the training demands that are placed on fire departments at a national and state level, depending on numerous tracking methods to maintain compliance was becoming increasingly inefficient for West Pierce Fire & Rescue. Fortunately it found an affordable and viable option for increasing efficiencies and maintaining compliance in TargetSolutions in July of 2010.
“TargetSolutions gave us the ability to schedule classes for individuals and hold them accountable for training,” Sumerlin said. It is great for tracking exactly who did what and when they did it.
The first-hand experience of dealing with the difficulties of using multiple sources to track training and maintain compliance makes Sumerlin grateful that TargetSolutions provides a platform that brings everything together.
“The best part is that it puts everything in one place,” Sumerlin said.
Sumerlin also enjoys the overall functionality TargetSolutions offers. With tools like e-signatures, sending out documents and ensuring they have been read is simple.
“Whenever there’s a change to a policy, we send it out through TargetSolutions and each member can check the box that lets us know that they have read and accept the new policy – whereas before, we would have to set aside time in meetings to give them the new policy and then have them sign a piece of paper saying that they read it,” said Sumerlin. “With all of those paper files, who knows where they all ended up.”
West Pierce Fire & Rescue also takes advantage of Web Events, which is an additional service TargetSolutions offers for departments to conduct live training exercises without having to take personnel out of their stations for group sessions.
“We use Web Events to host online meetings that we broadcast live to all of our stations and then create courses that coincide with the lesson,” said Sumerlin. “This keeps everyone at their stations, which shortens response times and makes them that much closer to potentially saving lives.”
TargetSolutions is the leading provider of web-based technology solutions for fire and EMS departments. These solutions enable departments to maintain compliance, reduce losses, deliver curriculum, and track all station-level tasks, certifications and training activities.