The Burlington Fire Department runs eight fire stations and employs roughly 300 people, including career and volunteer firefighters, dispatchers, mechanics, trainers, inspectors, investigators, and a public educator. The department responds to a variety of emergencies within the municipality, from fires and car accidents to water rescue and chemical spills. All of the staff must complete mandatory training regularly. Additionally, Training Supervisor Bill Hammond creates special interest training for outside agencies such as the regional police force (for example, how to utilize extrication tools for forcible entry).
Training is especially important due to the dangerous nature of the work–the more skilled the workforce, the fewer people get hurt. As such, Hammond’s main goal with training is 100 percent compliance, meaning he can prove to an outside agency that 100 percent of the staff have taken a specific training program. The challenge is ensuring that every person is trained at the same level, with the same content, and within the same time period. It’s critical that everyone receives an identical message, and that Hammond has accurate documentation of training. The in-house program that was created for the department did not allow him to deliver a consistent message, and it didn’t track completion or scoring on training courses.
The Burlington Fire Department searched for an eLearning solution and chose Mindflash due to its ease of use and breadth of features. Hammond uses interactive PowerPoint presentations, PDF documents, and videos to create courses, each of which is concluded with a test. For mandatory training, he sets a time frame (usually 21 days) within which employees must complete the course. Additionally, trainees must achieve a certain percentage on the test to pass training. Special interest courses are generally presented on a big screen by the captains, with trainees taking the tests at their leisure, independently.
Hammond likes Mindflash because:
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