Cornerstone Program

What is the IFSI Cornerstone Program?

The Illinois Fire Service Institute Cornerstone Program supports fundamental and essential skills training for fire departments and mutual aid organizations throughout the state. The training is coordinated through eight IFSI Regional Representatives who work with local departments in determining specific training needs and scheduling relevant training opportunities. Funding for Cornerstone Program courses is supported through the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal so training is delivered at no cost to students or local fire departments.

Each year, IFSI delivers an average of 450+ courses to over 900 departments and serves over 11,000 students through the Cornerstone Program.

The goal of the Cornerstone Program is to provide basic training at the firefighter, vehicle operator, company officer, and chief officer levels at increments and locations convenient to students and fire department personnel. Regional Representatives work diligently to offer training to departments fiscally unable to participate in certification programs.

Departments interested in hosting a Cornerstone Program class should contact the appropriate Regional Representative to discuss specific training needs. Regional Representatives can customize course offerings and training schedules to support local departments.

Cornerstone training is not available during the month of June due to the close of the fiscal year. IFSI cannot approve any training requests with June dates.

Information for hosting a Cornerstone Class:

  1. Host department submits a completed IFSI Cornerstone Request for Training (RFT) form.
  2. One RFT per training topic.
  3. A minimum of six weeks lead time is needed to process any class requests.
  4. Requesting agency must offer three possible dates for any class. Please note: IFSI does not deliver Cornerstone funded classes in June due to our fiscal year. 
  5. A department can request the same training session, repeated, to accommodate shift and work schedules of neighboring departments.
  6. Repeat training sessions require multiple RFTs.
  7. The number of approved RFTs per department is determined by meeting hosting requirements and the available funding for training within the region.
  8. Request for Training status will be determined by Regional Representative.
  9. With a focus of training firefighters, the Regional Representative will manage respective budget to reach as many firefighters as possible.
  10. IFSI will email a training MOU to the requesting fire department.
  11. The requesting fire department must return a signed MOU.
  12. The requesting fire department must invite other fire departments and appropriate response agencies to the training, and cannot deny other fire department access to the training.
  13. Cornerstone training must be attended by a minimum of 15 attendees per event (training session, IE: 12 hour class over the next three nights is three training sessions).
  14. Fire departments must encourage attendees to preregister online.