The basic entry-level type of firefighter training in Illinois is called Basic Operations Firefighter (BOF). Many fire agencies, but not all, require BOF to take their test. Make certain to closely read each Department’s requirements for testing to be certain you understand their application prerequisites. Please contact the following organizations for information on their Basic Operations Firefighter programs:
College of Lake County: (847) 543-2047
McHenry County Community College: (815) 455-8690
NIPSTA: (847) 998-8090
Many people have a misconception that a formal two or four-year college degree in Fire Science is required to become a firefighter. While formal education is always encouraged, it may not provide new applicants with a significant advantage during the testing process. Some departments may give some preference to applicants with college credits, but any benefit to the applicant is often minor.