Scholarships & Awards

The 2020 application period for the Robert E. White Memorial Scholarship, Glenn Gaines Leadership Legacy Award and the VFCA Health and Safety Awards has now closed.  Award notifications will take place in 2021.  


The Virginia Fire Chiefs Foundation (VFCF) offers annual scholarships for continuing education. The scholarship program was established in 2002 in memory of Mr. Robert E. White, a citizen of the Commonwealth of Virginia who donated money towards the betterment of the Fire Service throughout the state. Individual scholarship awards range from $250-$2,500 and can be used for expenses such as registration, tuition, books, meals, lodging or transportation.  

Eligibility Criteria

  1.        Active fire/EMS service personnel in Virginia (Volunteer or Career).
  2.        Spouses or dependents of active fire/EMS service personnel in Virginia (Volunteer or Career).
  3.        VFCA Membership (individual and/or Chief) is required for consideration.
  4.        Must be pursuing a degree that will benefit Public Safety field.
  5.        Provide proof of enrollment with scholarship application.
  6.        Non-profit organizations (such as fire departments, etc…)
  7.        Programs/Degrees eligible for consideration include the following: VFRC, VFOA, VA Fire Chiefs Academy, Associate, Bachelor and Master Degree Programs.

Selection Criteria

  1.        Complete scholarship application and submit by annual deadline.
  2.        Written Statement – Please attach your statement to application and it should include your background, educational goals, why you believe this educational opportunity will be useful to you and why you are applying for financial assistance.  Failure to complete this portion of the process and fully address the items listed will result in your application being disqualified.  For organizational applications, please include a description of the organization, how the educational program will benefit the organization and why financial assistance is necessary.  These statements will serve as a criterion for the selection and should be typewritten using 12 point aerial font, double spaced and no more than three pages in length.  Failure to complete this portion of the process and fully address the items listed will result in your application being disqualified. 

Application Information

  1.        Application will be accepted between September 1 and December 1 annually.
  2.        Successful applicants will be notified by January 1 of awards.
  3.        Scholarship awardees will be invited to Annual VFR Conference to be recognized and presented their scholarship.  Attendance is not mandatory.

Awards may vary in amounts up to $2500.   


The VFCF also offers the Best Practices in Fire Service Health & Safety Awards. This awards program was created to further recognize the health & safety efforts of VA Fire & Rescue Departments. The VFCF will honor one formally established department within Virginia in each of the following categories:

  • Volunteer
  • Career
  • Combination


Award winning departments will be presented with an award at the Annual Virginia Fire & Rescue Conference and the VFCF will make a $500 contribution to each department.  Application period is September 1st-December 1st of each year.  



VFCA Glenn A. Gaines Leadership Legacy Award


1.     Purpose

This document establishes the Virginia Fire Chief’s Association (VFCA), Glenn A. Gaines - Leadership Legacy Award.  Specifically, it establishes criteria designed to recognize an individual on an annual basis who exemplifies the ability, character, and dedication to excellence and displays leadership attributes portrayed by Fire Chief Glenn A. Gaines.  The following describes the award, establishes eligibility criteria, and explains the nomination, selection, and the award presentation process.  

2.     Glenn A. Gaines Leadership Legacy Award (Individual Award)

 2.1       This annual award recognizes an individual for superior leadership and actions that have elevated the fire service profession within the Commonwealth of Virginia through mentoring, teaching and sharing outstanding contributions.

 Eligibility.  Any current career or volunteer firefighter up to and including a chief officer within the Commonwealth of Virginia is eligible to compete for this award.

 2.2       Nomination Criteria.  Nominate individuals for their significant achievements or contributions to the fire service in the following areas:

  • Accomplishments (in mentoring and professional development)
  • Initiative (including helping others beyond their own agency through mentoring and professional development, including advocacy)
  • Technical competence (including serving as an instructor)
  • Demonstrated leadership and mentoring ability
  • Additional information

 3.     Nomination Procedures, Format and Inclusive Dates

 3.1       Applications for submitting Glenn A. Gaines – The Leadership Legacy Award online nomination form can be found on the VFCA website when the application period is open.  The uploaded documents should not exceed 750 words. Nomination packages that do not meet these requirements will be rejected.  

3.2       The inclusive dates for the Glenn A. Gaines – Leadership Legacy Award are January 1st through December 1st of each calendar year.

3.3       Use bullet statements to show nominee accomplishments and specific results.  Place these statements under the appropriate headings in the same sequence described under paragraph 2.2, Nomination Criteria.

4.     Selection Process

4.1       The President of the VFCA and board of directors will serve as the selection committee, by January 31st each year. 


4.2       The President and board of directors will independently score each nomination and forward their results to the President by January 31st each year.

4.3       The President will review, tally the results, and announce the winner during the annual Virginia Fire-Rescue Conference.

5.     Award Presentation

5.1       The individual selected should be in attendance at the Virginia Fire-Rescue Conference.