Firefighter Training, Firefighting

IFSI Recognizes February Instructor of the Month

Steve Williams

The University of Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI) recognizes instructors who exemplify quality instruction, student engagement, professional demeanor and knowledge base. February is the fourth month that IFSI instructors has been chosen and are being recognized.

Steve Williams, February’s Instructor of the Month, has been an instructor for IFSI for more than 40 years and holds the distinction of being the longest current serving instructor. He is best known for teaching SCBA and basic skills to new firefighters at IFSI’s annual Fire College, plus coordinating more than 100 classes during his tenure with the institute. Steve is the only recipient for February. He is retired from the Cairo, Illinois Fire Department.

“Steve is a dedicated instructor who has worked under three organizational names and four directors,” David Clark, former Deputy Director for IFSI, said. “As the staff grew, he also served as a mentor to new field instructors.”

“Steve has spent most of his life in the fire service and has nothing but positive effects on all he teaches,” Ron Rains said. Rains is an IFSI Field Instructor who has worked alongside Williams.

“I was so proud when I learned that Pop was nominated as Instructor of the Month, not just by one person but by three. He has inspired me, just as he has countless other new firefighters to do their very best,” Bobby Williams, Steve’s son and second generation firefighter, said.

“IFSI instructors are the finest in the state and nation and Steve is no exception. His commitment to excellence is at the heart of our mission success to bring the finest training, education, research and information to the firefighters of Illinois,” Royal Mortenson, Director for IFSI said.

The institute will be recognizing instructors each month from nominations from field staff and leadership.

The Illinois Fire Service Institute is the statutory State Fire Academy for Illinois. In addition to training provided at its Champaign campus, the Institute offers one-day hands-on classes for fire departments at Regional Training Centers and local fire stations across the State. The mission of the Illinois Fire Service Institute is to help firefighters do their work through training, education, information and research.