Illinois Streamlines Firefighter State Training Certification Process

"The Illinois legislature has mandated that the firefighters of Illinois receive training from the Fire Service Institute and certifications from the Office of the State Fire Marshal in order for them to operate smarter, safer, and more effectively," said Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez. "The closer alignment of these two state agencies will offer unparalleled quality in fire service education."

Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez and Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI) Director Royal Mortenson announced an intergovernmental agreement on Dec. 5 that they say streamlines the process for Illinois firefighters who complete IFSI courses to receive state certification. Under the terms of the agreement, IFSI will be granted state certification equivalency for its end-of-course examinations, which will eliminate the requirement imposed on Illinois firefighters who attended IFSI courses to take both a final end-of-course examination and an OSFM examination in order to receive state certification.

"The Illinois legislature has mandated that the firefighters of Illinois receive training from the Fire Service Institute and certifications from the Office of the State Fire Marshal in order for them to operate smarter, safer, and more effectively," Perez said. "The closer alignment of these two state agencies will offer unparalleled quality in fire service education. I look forward to continuing work with Director Mortenson to maximize the capabilities of both our agencies."

Mortenson said the agreement "is the product of the close working relationship between the OSFM and IFSI, our shared responsibilities, and our shared commitment to provide Illinois firefighters the best training possible as well as making access to state certification as easy as possible."

OSFM is mandated under the Illinois Fire Protection Training Act to select and certify a training program at the IFSI for Illinois firefighters. IFSI is mandated under the Illinois Fire Service Institute Act to provide firefighters, department officers, and others opportunities to comply with the OSFM state certification program. Both state agencies are members of the Illinois Terrorism Task Force, which provides to the governor information and recommendations specifically related to Illinois fire service response capabilities and firefighter training. In addition to state certification equivalency, IFSI is accredited by two international third-party organizations (The Pro Board Fire Service Professional Qualification System and the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress) to deliver accredited certification programs.

The agreement will take effect on Jan. 1, 2018. All IFSI end-of-course examinations taken after that date that are submitted for state certification will receive OSFM equivalency status.

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