Future firefighers gain lifesaving education

The Illinois Fire Service Institute holds yearly live fire training events to educate youth on the various aspects of firefighting.

This year, 248 youths ranging in age from 15 to 21 will participate in hose and ladder work, ventilation and breathing apparatus training, firefighter rescue and auto extrication. The 2011 9th Annual Explorer-Cadet “Hands on Training” Fire School, which began June 23, will run through June 26.

The IFSI draws potential firefighters from all over the country; this year, Explorer-Cadets will travel from as far as California and Massachusetts to participate.

The event is tailored to many skill levels, where new Explorer-Cadets work with theatrical smoke, while more experienced firefighters can train with live burns. IFSI offers youths an opportunity to decide if firefighting is the right career path for them.