About 400 first responders are training in Champaign at the Illinois Fire Service Institute.
The fire crews do hands-on training with live-fire at a 28-acre training facility near the University of Illinois.
About 80 percent of those first responders training are volunteers with their local fire departments, which has become more of a demand in small towns.
More than 70 percent of Illinois fire departments are volunteer-based—and a lot of those volunteers have other day jobs.
“I personally know volunteers that are farmers. I know volunteers who are the assistant shoe department manager at Walmart and I know volunteers that are corporate lawyers," said Royal Mortenson, director of the Illinois Fire Service Institute.