In 1959, a concerned and perceptive group of dedicated fire instructors assembled in Memphis, Tennessee and formed the State Fire Instructors Association.


On July 21, 1961 the State Fire Instructors Association was officially charted as the International Society of Fire Service Instructors in the state of Iowa. While few in number, the organization excelled with enthusiasm and started blazing a trail of recognition for the instructor as an integral part of the total fire prevention and control community.

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In search of a broader base of support for training and education and to identify statements of the national significance to the fire problem throughout the country, ISFSI created the Wingspread Conference, held in February 1966. The conference, held at the Wingspread Conference Center of the Johnson Foundation in Racine, Wisconsin focused on fire service administration, education and research. Materials developed at the Wingspread Conference have made a major contribution to the direction of fire training and education. The Wingspread Report was instrumental in the enactment of legislation by Congress in 1968, which created the Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1968.


First Fall Conference held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana



Recognition of instructional excellence came about with the award of the first George D. Post Instructor of the Year Award in 1974. The first recipient of the award was Harvey Grant.


The Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC), founded by Western Actuarial Bureau in Chicago and produced by Insurance Services Office was a place for the sharing of information and ideas by fire training professionals. The conference was predominately conducted in Memphis, Tennessee, but visited Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City and Cincinnati. In 1974, FDIC returned back to Memphis, at which time the Society started holding its annual meeting and educational conference in conjunction with FDIC. In 1978, FDIC become solely produce under the guidance of ISFSI. In 1994, the conference moved from Cincinnati to its new home in Indianapolis and is currently being run by PennWell/Fire Engineering and welcomes over 30,000 attendees every year.

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In 1984 ISFSI creates the eight-day Company Officer Development Course, with the first course starting August 4, 1984, with a total of 24 classes



The Society celebrates its 25th Anniversary and is recognized as the leader in professional services for fire training and educational specialists and serves as a communications link for its members through newsletters, meetings and diverse clearing house activities. With membership in all fifty states and ten foreign countries, it reaches on a monthly basis 6,000 members.


Managing People Seminar is developed. The program delivered around the country by Dan Jones, Don Cox, Julius Halas and Edward Cleveland

This page is still under construction. If you know any interesting part of ISFSI history, please email membership@isfsi.org!