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History of the U.S. Fire Service: IFSI History

This guide provides resources for researching the history and traditions of the U.S. fire service.

IFSI Memorial Hall

Firefighter Memorial Hall documents firefighter fatalities and showcases firefighting history and traditions. The Hall provides a permanent home for the IFSI Firefighter Line of Duty Deaths Honor Book, which memorializes more than 850 Illinois firefighters who have died in the line of duty since 1857.The Firefighter Memorial Hall also features permanent and temporary exhibits related to Illinois fire service history, as seen in the image below. 

Illinois Fire Service Institute Memorial Hall


The Illinois Firefighter Line of Duty Deaths Digital Image Collection Database provides online access to digitized photographs and records, historical summaries, and oral history interviews that document the ultimate sacrifice of more than 800 Illinois firefighters over the past 150 years.  Digital access to this history memorializes the firefighters, increases awareness of their sacrifice, and supplies contemporary firefighters with valuable lessons learned from the various deaths.

IFSI Resources

About this page

The Illinois Fire Service Institute is the statutory fire academy for the State of Illinois. It is operated as a continuing education and public service activity by the University of Illinois. This page includes resources detailing the history of IFSI, as well as resources developed at IFSI such as IFLODD and Medal of Honor databases.

IFSI Library and Archive Resources

The following materials are available at the IFSI Library. To access these materials, please visit the library and request assistance from the library staff.

IFSI Library Information

Library Hours:

8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Monday - Friday

Special operating hours may be held during events.

IFSI Library Website


IFSI Library Staff:

Lian Ruan, Head Librarian:

Diane Richardson, Reference & User Training Librarian:

David Ehrenhart, Archivist and Metadata Librarian: