About the Institute
The Illinois Fire Service Institute is the statutory fire academy for the State of Illinois. It is operated as a continuing education and public service activity by the University of Illinois. (Reference PA 81-1147, Illinois Fire Service Institute Act, effective 7/1/1980).
The Institute is financed by a combination of fire prevention funds, grants, student fees, gifts, and sponsorships.
The Illinois Fire Service Institute uses two primary types of instructional staff to conduct its programs. Full-time faculty coordinate and teach the several types of specialized courses offered both on and off campus. They are also responsible for most of the Institute's consultation, evaluation, and research activities.
The heart of the faculty is field staff instructors who are part-time. They teach in their individual areas of expertise throughout the state and represent the Institute in their local geographic area.
New Curriculum Development Technology
The Illinois Fire Service Institute continues to expand educational opportunities through online training. With the introduction of the first ever Certified Firefighter II online course and the addition of the Hazardous Materials Awareness Online, ERT:BC Online, and Technical Rescue Awareness Online courses firefighters obtain critical basic skills training. Look for further offerings to come in the near future.
For information contact Rich Valenta.
Fax registrations will be accepted. Use the applicable IFSI Registration FORM (8.5 x 11) when registering for all courses both on campus and off campus. Registration forms will be accepted any time after the new year's Course Calendar is distributed. Student selection will be based on the date the registration form is received and by the number of registration forms submitted by each department. Registration forms may be requested by telephone, or may be downloaded on our forms page. Online registration is also available for many classes. If registering online, the student's department must have a PIN number.
Student selection will be made 30 to 45 days prior to the class beginning date. Acceptance letters will be mailed approximately 30-45 days prior to the start of class. All students with valid legible email addresses will receive confirmation emails 15 days prior to class.
Students generally must be members of public fire departments or other emergency response organizations.
Services for Students with DisabilitiesThe Division of Rehabilitation-Education Services (DRES) is the designated office of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that obtains and files disability related documents, certifies eligibility for disability services, determines reasonable accommodations, and develops and coordinates plans for the provision of such accommodations for students and guests with disabilities. Current and prospective students, as well as faculty and staff, are urged to contact DRES to request information about services and resources available to students with disabilities. DRES can be reached at (217) 333-4603
Some courses have training charges assessed. The training charges are used to defray direct training costs to the students. Courses conducted in cooperation with other agencies may have additional fees attached by those groups or may be supplemented and reduce direct cost. Food, lodging and transportation costs are the responsibility of the sponsoring agency or student.
Registration fees will be billed to you, or your department, the first day of the course.
Purchase orders will be accepted before the course begins, but not at the class itself. Please mark on the registration
form who is to be billed. Please do not send cash or checks with your registration(s). All payments should be
University of Illinois
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as instructed on the billing statement. The sponsoring department or student, as designated on the registration form, will be billed the first day of the course. No payment will be accepted prior to billing. If payment is sent with registration forms, it will be returned. The student's sponsoring fire department is ultimately responsible for the payment of the course fee.
LodgingFor your convenience a list of hotel/motel accommodations is available here. Students or their sponsoring department are responsible for making their own lodging arrangements.
Some courses may require that students provide documentation showing that they have previously completed specific courses, or levels of certification, prior to acceptance into the class.
Arson/Investigation and Fire Officer courses require the student to provide, on the registration form, a classification number that describes his/her job responsibilities. Identification of the classification number is required for admittance. Other courses, such as "Smoke Divers," may have special enrollment procedures. Check to insure compliance with these requirements before submitting registration forms for these courses.
Students are required to attend or make up all class sessions of the course in order to be awarded a course completion or attendance certificate, or to sit for an end-of-course examination.
ExaminationsExaminations are an integral part of all Institute programs leading to the various levels of certification as promulgated by the Division of Personnel Standards and Education, Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshall. The examinations may include section quizzed, skills evaluations, and final course examinations. State Certification Tests, administered by the Division of Personnel Standarrds, may also be required. Courses which are not applicable to Division of Personnel Standards certification are tested by written or performance evaluation as the instructor may designate.
Cancellation of AttendanceAll non-Cornerstone classes will be determined as go/no go at 6 weeks prior to the start of the class and class letters will be mailed at that point. This will provide a 2-week period (6 to 4 weeks prior to the course) for individuals and departments to make and inform IFSI of their intent not to attend the course, based upon the go/no go letter they receive, without being billed for the class.
In order for the students, or their agency, to avoid being billed for the usual course fees, notifications of withdrawal must be received by IFSI no later than 4 weeks prior to the start of the course. This notification must be in writing. Failure to notify the Institute, as noted above, will result in the individual or the requesting department being billed.
At the 4 week point, if the class falls below the minimum needed to hold the class, IFSI reserves the right to cancel the class.
The Division of Personnel Standards and Education, Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal, approves many of the courses that are scheduled and sponsored by the Illinois Fire Service Institute for certification and reimbursement. The applicable OSFM levels of certfication are identified in each course description. If certification credit is required, be sure that you enroll in those programs that are clearly identified as offering those credits.
Programs that are delivered through the use of a Memorandum of Agreement between a department, association, or organization, are not automatically granted certification credit. It is the responsibility of the department, association, or organization that requests the training to contact the OSFM to insure that credit is applicable. The Illinois Fire Service Institute is not responsible for issuing certification or reimbursement credit for programs not directly sponsored by the Illinois Fire Service Institute.
Scheduling IFSI Classes at Your Department
Training is available to every fire department in the State of Illinois. Many of the basic fire fighting classes offered through IFSI are available at no cost/low cost basis. Additional classes can be obtained by contracting with IFSI for delivery at your department.
The procedure for scheduling these classes is very straightforward and simple. By following these steps your department, association, or organization can have IFSI deliver top quality training at locations and on dates that are convenient to your firefighters.
Request for Training Procedures
Submitting a Request for Training The Illinois Fire Service Institute Request for Training form is the initial document you will need to fill out and mail or fax to the Illinois Fire Service Institute. The form can be obtained from IFSI by calling (217) 333-3800 or (800) 437-5819. Fill out the form as completely as possible. Be specific in the description of the type of training you are requesting. If you know the exact name of the course you would like, please use the name. If you don't have a course title, describe as completely as you can what training you would like the IFSI to deliver. Make sure you list several possible dates for the class. Exact dates and times will be dependent on the availability of instructors for the course you want. The Request for Training form must be submitted to the Illinois Fire Service Institute no later than forty-five calendar days prior to the requested start date of the class. There are separate forms for the Cornerstone Program and all other courses. Both of these forms are available online here. When the scope of the class, dates and times are agreed to, the Program Director will issue a Memorandum of Agreement. When the Memorandum of Agreement, or MOA, arrives at your department, read the document carefully. The MOA is the agreement between IFSI and the department about the terms of delivery for the requested program. The MOA contains the name of the program, delivery dates, lead instructor's name, and the cost (if any) for course delivery. It also details any additional requirements your department may have to provide, such as AV equipment, apparatus, etc. The MOA also will detail the cancellation policy for that particular program. The MOA must be signed and returned to the Illinois Fire Service Institute no later than fifteen calendar days prior to the start date of the class designated on the MOA. There is no agreement for the delivery of any IFSI class to any department, association or organization without a signed MOA.
Once the signed MOA is returned to the Illinois Fire Service Institute, your program is "activated" and preparations are made for the delivery of the program, as indicated in the MOA.
That's it! It is that easy to have the Illinois Fire Service Institute deliver quality training programs at your department. If you have any questions about the requirements, or if you need IFSI Request for Training forms, please call, write or fax IFSI at (217) 333-3800, (800) 437-5819, fax (217) 244-6790.
The Class Confirmation Process at IFSI When your Request for Training is received at the Illinois Fire Service Institute, it is entered into the computer systems and given an activity (FP) number. It is then reviewed by the Program Director/Coordinator under which you request may fall, whether fire fighting, EMS, fire officer, hazardous materials, rescue, arson investigation, prevention, auto, Cornerstone Program courses, or industrial training. The Program Director will assign and contact the instructor(s) that are going to deliver the program. Either the Program Director, or the assigned instructor, will then contact the person listed on the Request for Training form to arrange valid dates and times for the program.
Contracting for TrainingMany of the programs the Illinois Fire Service Institute has to offer are available on a contract basis. To inquire about contracting classes, contact the Program Director in the area of training you desire. A list of our program directors and links to contact them may be found on our Leadership Contacts page which is located in the "Information" menu. The process to request a contract for training is the same as found in the request for Training Section.
Regional Training Centersinformation about RTC facilities and contacts may be found on our RTC page found in the "Information" menu.
EMS CEU Credits for IFSI CoursesIllinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has reviewed IFSI courses for EMS Continuing Education Units (CEU's). The following courses have been approved for CEU's from IDPH. To confirm that a class qualifies for CEUs, click on the courses title when you see it listed, a description of the class will come up which will say whether it has CEU's associated with it or not. At completion of the course, students will receive a certificate from IFSI indicating the approved credits available from Per Section 515.590 (2) (A), 77 ILL. Adm. Code 515, states:
"One hundred twenty hours of continuing education, seminars and workshops, addressing both adult and pediatric care. The system shall define in the Program Plan the number of continuing education hours to be accrued each year for relicensure. No more than 25 percent of those hours may be in the same subject"
This information applies only to those courses which have a recommended college credit rating.
The American Council on Education (ACE) has reviewed numerous IFSI courses for college credits. Descriptions and the amount of credits
recommended by the ACE are listed in the National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs.
IFSI terminated it's affiliation with ACE effective March 4, 2008. ACE approved courses completed prior to that date are still eligible for ACE recognition just as previously. Courses after that date are not ACE recognized
A student, who has already taken, or plans to take, an Institute course and desires to apply the recommended credits toward a college curriculum, should check with the college he or she plans to attend to determine both the amount of credit and the subject areas in which the college will grant credit. Each institution and, in many cases, each academic unit and department within each institution, sets its own policies for granting credit. The college is not required to grant a student as much credit as recommended by ACE.
The Illinois Fire Service Institute is not capable of issuing transcripts as is often required by colleges and universities. It is the responsibility of the student to acquire the information required for the college or university to issue ACE credit. Transfers are available from ACE. The IFSI issues certificates of training only.
For courses taken after March 4, 2008 for which a student is requesting college credit, IFSI can verify to the college the syllabus and objectives covered in the class.
ACCME Accreditation StatementThe American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Participation in the Basic Disaster Life Support (BDLS) course qualifies for 6.5 AMA PRA Category 1 credits. The American Medical Association designates this educational activity for a maximum of 6.5 category 1 credits toward the AMA Physician's Recognition Award. Each physician should claim only those credits that he/she actually spent in the activity. The American Medical Association has determined that physicians not licensed in the US who participate in this activity are eligible for AMA PRA category 1 credit. Participation in the Advanced Disaster Life Support (ADLS) course qualifies for 13 AMA PRA Category 1 credits. The American Medical Association designates this educational activity for a maximum of 13 category 1 credits toward the AMA Physician's Recognition Award. Each physician should claim only those credits that he/she actually spent in the activity. The American Medical Association has determined that physicians not licensed in the US who participate in this activity are eligible for AMA PRA category 1 credit.
Volunteer Incentive Program (National Fire Academy)The Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP) is an intensive six-day educational opportunity designed specifically for the volunteer fire service officer. The Academy has compressed two weeks worth of course work into six days, tailored it to the special needs of the volunteer fire officer, and still maintined its content, quality and integrity.
Eligibility: Volunteer fire officers, career personnel who are volunteer officers within a volunteer department, and those career officers who are the only paid personnel in a volunteer department and who meet the established student selection criteria for each course.
Application: Individuals who wish to apply should submit a fully completed National Fire Academy application to the National Fire Academy's (NFA) Admissions Office. Applications are available through the NFA or the Illinois Fire Service Institute.
Cost: There are no tuition fees for VIP courses. All instruction, books, and housing are provided at no cost. Students are responsible for the cost of the cafeteria meals provided, and for personal, incidental expenses. Each student attending the VIP program will receive a stipend reimbursement to cover the cost of round trip coach airfare transportation. For those who drive, mileage reimbursement will be provided at a rate of .20 per mile upto the cost of an airline ticket from point of departure.
When Do Classes Begin and End? Accepted students will travel to the National Fire Academy on Saturday, begin class on Sunday morning at 8:00 AM, and continue through graduation the following Friday at 4:00PM. For those who fly, air transportation will be provided on Saturday morning for return flights. Transportation arrangements should not be completed until a prospective student receives and acceptance package from the Admissions Office of the National Emergency Training Center.
Through the VIP, students will have an even greater opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with colleagues from across the country in informal settings outside the classroom. This program, along with the other resources of the National Fire Academy, insures a totally successfu learning experience while keeping the time commitment to an absolute minimum. As with other NFA courses, VIP courses have recommended college accreditation through the American Council on Education.
Enrollment Applications: Applications may be obtained from the IFSI or the National Fire Academy, Admissions Office, 16825 South Seton Avenue, Emmitsburg, MD 21727.
Veterans ReimbursementThe State of Illinois Department of Veteran's Affairs has identified serveral IFSI courses that qualify for reimbursement for a veteran's federal VA education benefits. If you qualify for Montgomery G.I. Bill VA education benefits, you may apply for VA benefits for any of the courses listed below. This reimbursement will come directly to you, normally after you have completed the course. Should you desire to pay for the course directly, IFSI will bill you. Should your department pay for your training and desire that the department be reimbursed for the costs, IFSI will bill the department and you will have to coordinate repayment with your department.
Courses Qualifying for Reimbursement: The Fire Service Institute has requested, and the State Approving Agency has approved, the following programs for federal veterans' benefits, i.e., G.I. Bill. The veteran or eligible person must prepay the tuition fee. The veteran must contact the Fire Service Institute veterans' certifying official to apply for his/her benefits. The actual amount of the benefits will depend upon the program and the eligibility of the individual veteran or eligible person.
The following are IFSI courses, programs, and eligible hours that qualify for VA education benefits. To be eligible to receive these benefits, the veteran must have completed the course or program within 12 months prior to the date of application to the VA. Details are available upon request.