Annual Explorer-Cadet Fire School Starts June 19

The 12th Annual Explorer-Cadet Fire School will be held June 19 through June 22 in Champaign, Ill. on the campus of the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI). The hands-on fire school is being operated one week earlier than previous years, with a registration deadline of June 5. The low registration fee of $220 is made possible through a grant from the Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal - making the school affordable to more students. Some limited scholarships are also available. More information and registration is available at

The annual event is unique in that youth between the ages of 15 and 20 take part in live-fire training under the guidance of nationally-recognized instructors. Explorer-Cadets typically travel from as far away as Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Michigan for the four-day event. More than 200 Explorer-Cadet youth and their chaperones are expected to attend.

Activities that the youth will take part in include basic and fundamental firefighting like hose and ladder work, fire streams, and ventilation. Experienced cadets will participate in more complex activities, such as working with others in coordinated fire attack exercises. Jim Keiken, Deputy Director of IFSI said, "The annual conference remains very popular with these youngsters. IFSI is one of only a couple of institutions still using live fire as a training tool and for many, this is the only live-fire training they will receive throughout the year. Their experience at IFSI opens their eyes to what firefighting is really about."

The Illinois Fire Service Institute is the statutory fire academy for the state of Illinois. In addition to training provided at the Champaign campus, the Institute offers DHS grant-approved technical rescue, HAZMAT and NIMS training, hands-on fire officer training, online classes and conducts training throughout the state at Regional Training Centers and local fire stations. The mission of the Illinois Fire Service Institute is to help firefighters do their work through training, education, information and research.

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