CHAMPAIGN –The Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) today announced a special grant to be awarded to the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI) to support training for young people exploring fire fighting careers. The $65,000 grant approved by Governor Pat Quinn will help fund the 2013 Explorer-Cadet “Hands on Training School” and one-day Fire Service Youth Skills Training Events to be held throughout the state.
“We are proud to present this grant which will serve as a tool to train young people who are seeking a career as firefighters,” said Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis. “Illinois needs more qualified and well trained individuals committed to public service and saving lives.”
The training, which will be provided at the Champaign campus, will offer technical rescue, HAZMAT and NIMS training, hands on fire officer training, and online classes. Other training will be provided throughout the state at Regional Training Centers and local fire stations.
More than 300 young people between the ages of 15 and 21 are registered to get hands-on experience in fighting fires. Forty five participating fire departments and fire protection districts include 34 from Illinois. Other participating states include Alaska, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.
This is the 10th anniversary for the Fire Explorer-Cadet “Hands-on Training School” hosted by IFSI since 2003. The 4 day event will include hands-on firefighting skills activities involving class A smoke and hose streams, classroom-based exercises using firefighting tools, fire apparatus orientation and fire service leadership.
For more information about the program, call (217) 265-9438 or visit the OSFM web site at www.sfm.illinois.gov or the IFSI web site, www.fsi.illinois.edu.