Illinois Fire Service Institute | University of Illinois Archives

Name: Illinois Fire Service Institute

Historical Note:

Under the INT sponsorship of the University, the State Fire Marshal, and the Illinois Firemen's Association, the Illinois Fire College was first held in 1925. It was the first firemanship training program of its kind in the United States.1 The College was unique in that it was controlled by a director and a committee appointed by the Illinois Firemen's Association; there were no officers.2 Although several members of the Department of Architecture served as directors and committee members, the College was not a departmental program.3 In 1954, the firemanship training program became a part of the Division of University Extension, first as a project of the Short Courses and Conferences Section, and later, in 1957, as a separate section.4 In 1973 the Division was reorganized and the program was placed under the Office of Continuing Education and Public Service.5 After September 1, 1975, the Office of University-Wide Projects, under the Associate Vice-President for Public Service, assumed responsibility for the program which is currently known as the Fire Service Institute.6

Firemanship training gradually expanded from the week-long Illinois Fire College to a year-long program which includes regional schools and specialized technical courses, and extended its services beyond the original group of fireman, local officials and concerned industrial personnel to the staffs of nursing homes and hospitals.7

1. Proceedings of the Fire College, 1925, p. iii.

2. Ibid., 1948, p. 8.

3. Baker, Ira O. and Everett E. King. A History of the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois, 1868-1945, p. 748.

4. Farlow, Helen. History of the University of Illinois Division of Extension, 1933-1968: A Progress Report, p. 35.

5. Board of Trustees Transactions, 57th Report, March 21, 1973, p. 184 and July 18, 1973, p. 326.

6. The University-Wide Projects Office was established September 1, 1975, upon the retirement of Dr. Stanley Robinson, the head of Continuing Education and Public Service. University of Illinois Reference Folder, no. 40, Nov. 1, 1976, p. 13, explains the administrative organization of the Office.

7. Farlow, p. 36.

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