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Thread: Training Hours

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    Default Training Hours

    Does anyone have a program that they use to keep up training hours other than excel. any information would be greatly appreciated.


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    Forum Member mtg55's Avatar
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    The NIFRS reporting program has a training section that is pretty good. We just started using that part of the program, you can list certification and IFSAC number for each individual FF. You can also track hours per person and do all kinds of fancy stuff. We're still figuring out all the things you can do with it, but if you use NIFRS its a great tool. Seems to be working well compared to excel and the filing system we had.
    Last edited by mtg55; 02-25-2010 at 10:43 AM.
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    Forum Member Doorbreaker's Avatar
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    For you folks using Excel did you make simple sheets? I am looking at this currently. Our current system has each member in one file using word and it is a PIA to use. YOu have to open each members folder, then the file then edit.

    I would love a small program that just had a list of FF names, click on the name you want and have it show past training, and a simple box to enter the current training into.

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    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    We use Firehouse software for our NFIRS reporting, personnel records, training tracking, and some of our equipment records. It takes a while to populate all the data fields and learn how to work it, but once you have the hang of it it works great. You can pull reports about a million different ways. For example you can have it list members with a summary of their call attendance and training hours, or list training classes for the year with a roster of who attended, or even get a breakdown of training in a given category (say, officer training or driver/operator training, for example). It's very versatile.

    The downside is that it's also pretty expensive. You have to pay an annual maintenance fee but for that you get all the upgrades when they come out and tech support.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
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    Have you tried MS Access?

    I wrote a program for our department several years ago and we are still using it. I have since upgraded the db to SQL but the initial design stages started out in Access. The User interface is still Access.

    I keep track of all of our training, personnel, maintenance, runs, repairs, inventory and testing (hose, scba) in the program. I wrote it because Firehouse was not really available then plus it is expensive. I have not had much time to work on it recently but I am working on getting it to interface with NFIRS and to pull data from the Firehouse files that are created from our dispatch CAD software.

    The training section is simply what you said. Everything is pull down menus, firefighters, training officer, officer in charge, course, Delmar lesson, Delmar section, state training codes, apparatus used and etc. There are sections for notes and a description of the course.

    The other sections are pretty much the same thing.

    The data in the database can be manipulated to report what you want with access. The report wizard function in Access is alright for the kind of reporting you want.

    If your Excel spreadsheets are in good order you could even pull the data from them and import into Access.

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    We use Emergency Reporting. It covers everything we need.

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    We use Firehouse software as well. As with any program it is only as good as you make it. You have to make sure all the information is being entered into it.

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    Forum Member GTRider245's Avatar
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    Like others have said, pretty much all of the NFIRS programs has a training and/or personnel section. We use Firehouse at my paid department and Fire Programs with the volunteer department. Both keep track of training just fine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BSFD9302 View Post
    Have you tried MS Access?

    I wrote a program for our department several years ago and we are still using it. I have since upgraded the db to SQL but the initial design stages started out in Access. The User interface is still Access.

    I keep track of all of our training, personnel, maintenance, runs, repairs, inventory and testing (hose, scba) in the program. I wrote it because Firehouse was not really available then plus it is expensive. I have not had much time to work on it recently but I am working on getting it to interface with NFIRS and to pull data from the Firehouse files that are created from our dispatch CAD software.

    The training section is simply what you said. Everything is pull down menus, firefighters, training officer, officer in charge, course, Delmar lesson, Delmar section, state training codes, apparatus used and etc. There are sections for notes and a description of the course.

    The other sections are pretty much the same thing.

    The data in the database can be manipulated to report what you want with access. The report wizard function in Access is alright for the kind of reporting you want.

    If your Excel spreadsheets are in good order you could even pull the data from them and import into Access.
    I wish MS Access was more user friendly...
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    I wish MS Access was more user friendly...
    Amen to that...

    That was my first reaction to that suggestion.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

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    Thanks for all the info, I'll take it back to the chief and see which one he likes. I looked at the Emergency Reporting and really like that one.

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    I have been tossing around the idea of using the Open Office version of access to put our information together.
    For the NFIRS reports to the state and county we use the online NY reporting system.

    Most of our in house stuff is still manual entry....

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    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    I wish MS Access was more user friendly...
    I feel the exact same way about Firehouse software.

    I'm pretty convinced that Firehouse can keep up and track absolutely anything you want it to. However, you have to make it work for you. The more you know about databases and writing expressions, the more powerful it becomes. If you don't have anyone with a clue about such things, you're leaving money on the table with Firehouse.

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    [QUOTE=Doorbreaker;1151326]I have been tossing around the idea of using the Open Office version of access to put our information together.
    For the NFIRS reports to the state and county we use the online NY reporting system.

    Most of our in house stuff is still manual entry....

    I'll go look at that and try it, because the school system my mom works in uses open office, they don't want to pay for microsoft.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cozmosis View Post
    I feel the exact same way about Firehouse software.

    I'm pretty convinced that Firehouse can keep up and track absolutely anything you want it to. However, you have to make it work for you. The more you know about databases and writing expressions, the more powerful it becomes. If you don't have anyone with a clue about such things, you're leaving money on the table with Firehouse.
    Firehouse does take time to get used to. You pretty much have to just sit down for a few hours and explore the different features. Kind of a learn as you go type deal.
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    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    I wish MS Access was more user friendly...
    Well, I suppose I can see your point. The thing is once you get started it comes to you easier. Considering what I do and that I started with early versions of access, I am definitely not new to it. Also as I stated I am running a SQL backend now. It does well for me.

    Plus access is a combination of VB and SQL languages. If someone has some background in those Access should not be so difficult.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BSFD9302 View Post
    Plus access is a combination of VB and SQL languages. If someone has some background in those Access should not be so difficult.
    That's easy for you to say. When I tried to set up some computer lab time at a local school for my department to do a couple of on-line courses, it was pointedly brought up that some people don't do well with computers...

    Of course, it's easy for me to say, too, because I do do computers...

    The lab session didn't fly, by the way.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    That's easy for you to say. When I tried to set up some computer lab time at a local school for my department to do a couple of on-line courses, it was pointedly brought up that some people don't do well with computers...

    Of course, it's easy for me to say, too, because I do do computers...

    The lab session didn't fly, by the way.
    Your right. I am an IT Director now. I handle an industry that for the most part the employees have never turned computers on none the less work on one. This is something that WILL change over time as the newer generations start in the service. Even trades that seem far way from the computer world, such as my companies, are using computers now. The fire service is no exception. For example look at some of the high end pumpers out there now. That being said, computers are not the answer for everything. There is nothing wrong with keeping paperwork instead of computer records. Most auditors do not care if you have a computer record of activities. They are more concerned with the paperwork. Even with the program I wrote there is a paperwork trail that is first created because our training auditors and ISO auditors want the paper records. The program is more of a tool for us and noone else.

    This maybe getting a little off from this forum and probably should be on the Technology and Fire Service forum.

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    We use Fire Station.

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