Josh Blum of Loveland-Symmes (OH) Fire Department Selected for 2018 Training Officer Recognition Award


TargetSolutions, a Vector Solutions brand offering the leading operations and training management software for the fire service, and the International Association of Fire Chief’s (IAFC) Volunteer & Combination Officers Section (VCOS) are proud to announce Deputy Chief Josh Blum, of Loveland-Symmes (OH) Fire Department (LSFD), as the recipient of the 2018 VCOS Training Officer Recognition Award.

Blum will be recognized with this award at the annual VCOS meeting on Aug. 9 during the 2018 Fire-Rescue International (FRI) in Dallas.

Chief Blum is receiving this honor, which aims to honor exemplary conduct befitting of a training officer, for his outstanding work since joining the department nine years ago. His commitment to continuously improving training processes and streamlining communication made Blum the clear choice for this award. He was nominated by LSFD’s Deputy Chief Billy Goldfeder, who also serves as the international director of the Safety, Health and Survival Section of the IAFC.

“In a five or so year period, LSFD has gone from a good department (specifically related to training) to an excellent department where training is a part of everything we do,” stated Goldfeder when making his nomination. “It happens daily, regardless of the shift – as well as our volunteer members – and is something that has become the fabric of our department.”

In addition to enhancing LSFD’s training curriculum by connecting learning content to hands-on components, Blum developed plans and managed the construction of a Class A training facility. When taking on this task, Blum kept the future in mind and chose designs that can be quickly built upon and improved.

Previously, LSFD and the nearby 3-5 station departments outside of Cincinnati had to drive into the city to access a facility for training exercises. Building this new facility enabled LSFD to optimize resources for drills, more easily coordinate multi-company activities and create a training yard for neighboring departments to utilize.

To enhance communication across the department, Blum initiated daily video conference calls with all stations and all personnel on duty. Rather than spending time and resources on physically driving to each station, video discussions enable LSFD to come together to assess the day’s conditions, go over upcoming training activities and provide the opportunity to discuss ideas or concerns.

Beyond day-to-day communication, Blum also implemented a post-incident review process to standardize how personnel analyze and learn from past calls. Crucial details, such as the day, time, number of personnel present and response time, are assessed by the department to improve job performance and avoid past mistakes.

“I’m very humbled for Chief Goldfeder to have nominated me. I live by these words: Good is not good enough,” Blum said. “We need to train every day like someone’s life depends on it – because it does.”

This marks the fifth consecutive year TargetSolutions and the VCOS have teamed up to present this award, which is given each year to an individual who goes above and beyond in demonstrate innovation in firefighter training. Blum joins Captain Chip Everett of Oshtemo Township (Michigan) Fire Department, Assistant Chief Brad Pinsky of Manlius (New York) Fire Department, Deputy Chief Steve Malone of the Manhattan (Illinois) Fire Protection District and Michael Accardo III of the St. Tammany (Louisiana) Fire District 9, who won the award in previous years.

Blum will receive an expenses-paid trip to Dallas to attend FRI Aug. 8-11, where he will be recognized for his excellence.

About TargetSolutions

TargetSolutions, a Vector Solutions brand, delivers award-winning, real-time training and record-keeping solutions to the fire services, emergency medical services, risk pools, cities and municipalities, law enforcement and public works industries. The company provides engaging, accredited, online training courses, cutting-edge software applications and dynamic performance-management solutions to help make organizations safer, more capable and more compliant. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @TargetSolutions and on Facebook at

About Vector Solutions

Vector Solutions, a leader in eLearning and performance support, provides award-winning SaaS solutions for the architecture, engineering, construction (AEC), industrial, facilities management, public safety, IT and education fields. Its brands, RedVector-Convergence Training, TargetSolutions and Scenario Learning, deliver continuing education (CE), training, technology and performance-management solutions using the latest innovations in learning technology to create safer, more capable, more compliant organizations. Its extensive online and mobile learning library exceeds more than 5,000 courses written by 200 subject matter experts and reaches over 5 million professionals worldwide. The company was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Tampa, Florida. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @VectorPerform and on Facebook at  


VCOS provides chiefs and chief officers who manage volunteers within a volunteer or combination fire, rescue or EMS delivery system with information, education, services and representation to enhance their professionalism. The VCOS mission is to provide chiefs and chief officers who manage volunteers within a volunteer or combination fire, rescue or EMS delivery system with information, education, services and representation to enhance their professionalism. The VCOS vision is to represent the interests of all volunteer and combination fire/rescue/EMS agencies. We will be a dynamic organization, characterized by our integrity, customer focus and membership development, with value placed on people and the superior utilization of technology. We will excel by creating educational programs through unrivaled networking and by helping VCOS members further their success and reach their potential. For more information, check online at


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