Burlington Fire Department and Mindflash

ldquo Mindflash does what every fire department in our province requires to keep track of training and the goal of 100 percent compliance. rdquo
Bill Hammond
Training Supervisor
Burlington Fire Department

About the Organization

The Burlington Fire Department is a municipal fire department that provides vital emergency response, prevention, and education services in order to increase community safety and quality of life in region of Burlington, Ontario Canada, which was named the best mid-sized city in Canada. The force strives to be a leader in service excellence, employee development, strategic alliances, advanced training, and use of technology.

Situation

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 on a regular basis. 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 less 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 staff has 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.

Solution

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 in order 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 it:

  • Is easy to use, both for the trainer and the trainees.
  • Is cost effective and didn’t require any upgrades to their system.
  • Ensures that every employee receives the same message at the same time.
  • Automatically converts any video format during uploading.
  • Provides instant results and great overall reporting.
  • Lets him add a completion certificate at the end of each program.
  • Can be accessed anywhere at any time.

Results

In the year that Hammond has been using Mindflash, he has created about 40 courses. The most recent course had 160 trainees enrolled. At any given moment, Bill can instantly see who has completed a course, who is currently taking it, and who hasn’t started. Further, he can filter it all by group, platoon, or station. Although the minimum pass rate is 70 per cent on the quizzes, almost all trainees get 100 percent. And for the first time in Burlington Fire history, he can say they’ve had 100 percent compliance–and he can prove it with course-by-course reports printed from Mindflash.