Motorola Grants Helps with Academy Tuition

The Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI) has received a grant from the Motorola Foundation to help offset the cost of IFSI’s Basic Firefighter/NFPA Firefighter 1 Academy.   The seven week program — expanded from six weeks — will be $900 less per student for the two 2013 academies. 

According to Brad Bone, Director of Fire Fighting Programs for IFSI, “We realized the tuition increase for the seven-week academy would put the cost of Academy above what many departments may have already budgeted. We applied for and received a grant from the Motorola Foundation so that each student enrolled in the 2013 spring or fall Academy will receive a $900 tuition discount, making tuition just $2100 per student per academy.”  Bone added that the grant is only available for the 2013 academies.

The decision to increase the Fire Academy from six week to seven weeks came earlier this year at the request of fire chiefs across Illinois. Six additional topics are being added:  Courage to be Safe, HazMat Awareness, Technical Rescue Awareness, Fire Service Vehicle Operator and NIMS 100 and NIMS 700.

IFSI’s Academy is one of the last in the country to offer hands-on, live-fire training in real life scenarios.  Academy students benefit from a five-to-one student to instructor ratio and access to more than 100 skill-based drills, of which about 50 percent are in smoke and/or fire.  The curriculum for IFSI’s Academy exceeds the minimum requirements for Illinois’ Office of the State Fire Marshal.

To further enhance students’ and departments’ access to training, HazMat Operations and Vehicle Machinery Operations are offered immediately following the end of Academy.  HazMat Ops is offered the week after Academy graduation with tuition waived under funding from the Department of Homeland Security. Vehicle Machinery Operations is offered two weeks after Academy graduation and has a separate tuition fee of $400.

The Spring 2013 Academy begins on March 4, 2013. The Fall Academy begins on Tuesday, September 3, 2013 and includes four 10-hour days the first week to accommodate the Labor Day Holiday.

The Illinois Fire Service Institute is the State Fire Academy for Illinois. In addition to training provided at its Champaign campus, the institute offers 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.

For more information about the Institute, call 217-333-3800.

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