by Katie Arvia
LANSING, Ill. (August 31, 2019) – The Lansing Fire Department will be working closely with Calumet City, South Holland, and Dolton fire departments during a September Cornerstone Training. The Cornerstone Program is offered by the Illinois Fire Service Institute, which supports advanced learning principles for fire services throughout the state of Illinois.
IFSI will bring the four departments together at a local training facility for three eight-hour training sessions on September 10, 11, and 12. Going forward, firefighters from the four towns will continue hands-on training together once per month.
Deputy Chief John Grady, who worked to bring the Cornerstone Program to Lansing, stated that firefighters from Lansing, Calumet City, South Holland, and Dolton often respond to the same fires, so training together makes sense.
“We respond to fires together, we might as well be training together,” Grady said at the August 20 Committee of the Whole meeting. Training together will give firefighters the opportunity to get to know one another before heading to a call. Grady also stated that Cornerstone training will continue every other month, with rotating locations throughout the four towns.
“When [the training] is being hosted in Dolton, our people have the opportunity to go over and train in Dolton, and vice versa, with Calumet City and South Holland. When we do that, we’ll obviously be assisting everyone. If their crews are in training, we’ll be covering their calls and when our crew is in [training], they will be assisting with our calls,” Grady said.
Because Lansing will be working so closely with Calumet City, South Holland, and Dolton, Grady reminded residents that seeing a Dolton firetruck in town, for example, is perfectly normal. This rotating training throughout the four towns will continue until May, at which time the program will be reevaluated. Grady is hopeful that the program will continue after the initial eight-month period, especially since the training is of no cost to the village or to the fire department. IFSI funding is supported through the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal.
During the September Cornerstone, IFSI will bring state-of-the-art training tools such as hydraulic roof simulators, forcible entry doors, and “some of the best instructors in the state,” according to Grady, who stated that this program is a fantastic opportunity which he hopes to continue. IFSI serves over 11,000 students each year through their Cornerstone Program.