February 1, 2023 3 min read
Lockport Township FPD Digitizes NFPA-based JPRs and Gains Better Live Skill Performance Data
Training Division Chief
Lockport Township Fire Protection District (LTFPD) is committed to keeping its 105 firefighters well-trained and prepared to meet the challenges of their jobs. As part of these efforts, LTFPD was looking for a way to improve their job performance evaluations.
“We wanted to make sure we were bettering ourselves,” said the Division Chief.
However, tracking and documenting performance evaluations was a time-consuming and paper-based process.
“When I first came into the training office, everything I did was on paper,” said the LTFPD Training Division Chief. “I was trying to get rid of paper in the office altogether.”
The Chief had been talking to a neighboring department about developing a program to track NFPA-based job performance requirements (JPR) reviews. Since the department was already using Vector’s training management system, adding the integrated live skills evaluations app, Vector Evaluations+, was easy and perfectly complemented LTFPD’s existing training processes.
Vector Solutions’ cloud-based skills assessment application made it easy for LTFPD to securely store and share evaluation data and videos, analyze their data, and track performance over time.
LTFPD would also be able to eliminate a significant amount of paper and filing cabinets, drastically reducing the time spent organizing and hunting for records. Plus, with the mobile app, officers conducting remote evaluations could complete assessments from the field, including photos and videos. All data is stored in the system and can easily be reviewed by leadership, evaluators, and the person being evaluated.
“It’s real-time information,” said the Training Division Chief. “When they’re out on the training ground doing evaluations, the officer doing the JPR can do it from a phone, and it transfers automatically.”
The ChangeOverall, LTFPD has been very satisfied with how Vector Solutions’ mobile assessment app has helped them improve their firefighters’ preparedness.
Using Vector Evaluations+, the LTFPD was able to provide objective documentation of evaluations and track progress over time, which helped improve the skill mastery and performance of the firefighters.
“It gives us a better view that they’re actually doing the drills and their true performance in the drill,” said the Division Chief. “But it’s a benefit to them as well as us. If you see the video, then it could change your opinion of how you performed the drill.”
Building Trust in Evaluations
Although some of the more seasoned firefighters initially questioned the need for digitally documented JPRs, the Division Chief repeatedly emphasized that evaluations would help them improve their skills and enable the department to analyze and document competencies more effectively. The department uses pass/fail grading and works with the firefighters until they pass.
Increasing Evaluation Efficiency
The time saved by using Vector’s live skill assessment app has also been beneficial for LTFPD. Going paperless has improved station autonomy and saved administrative time by allowing officers to do the evaluations. The mobile app has been a game-changer for the department.
“I used to be the only one doing these evaluations. Now I’m opening it up to where the officers at the station can do them,” said the Division Chief. “Evaluations+ has worked out really, really well.”
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