CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - More than 1,000 Illinois firefighters and emergency personnel will be in Champaign-Urbana this week for the 80th annual Illinois Fire College, hosted by the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute.
The four-day training event begins at 9:15 a.m. Thursday (June 3) at the Chancellor Hotel and Convention Center, 1501 S. Neil St., Champaign, with opening ceremonies and a keynote address by Denis Onieal, superintendent of the National Fire Academy. Also featured that day will be a group of state legislators who have sponsored bills to support fire departments and firefighters.
The public is invited to an open house at 7 p.m. Friday on the institute training grounds, 9 Gerty Drive, Champaign. The open house will feature demonstrations on fighting propane fires and on electrical safety, as well as a tour of the facilities.
The fire college is considered the oldest event of its kind in the United States. It is held at the hotel, the institute's facilities, and locations throughout Champaign-Urbana.
The college helps prepare firefighters and first-responders through extensive
hands-on training. Classes range from basic fire fighting to confined-space and trench rescue, as well as officer-oriented classes for both volunteer and career firefighters.
Among the eight new classes this year will be one on high-rise fire fighting operations, taught by Chief John Norman of the New York City Fire Department.
The 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 classes online and at regional training centers and local fire stations.
For more information about the institute or fire college, call 217-333-8921.