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Quotes from Recent IAFC Scholarship Winners

“The roles, responsibilities, and educational requirements of firefighters and emergency medical responders are constantly evolving in order to meet the demand of today's emergency services environment. Recognizing that a secondary education will help me achieve a leadership position within my department led me to enroll in college and build upon my existing college degree to meet these demands. The generous scholarship from the International Association of Fire Chief’s Foundation will allow me to continue my education and better prepare myself to become a leader within the fire services community.” - Drew Abel

“I couldn't be more thankful and honored to be awarded this scholarship! The Melville Fire Department Explorers Program has made such an impact in my life. Serving as an officer, has given me many opportunities to play a part of society.  As Captain, the experience has  provided me with the confidence  that I can help anyone, and serve as a leader to my peers,  and  become someone other juniors look up to. Therefore, I’m humbled by IAFC’s recognition. Thank you so much!” - Jeannet Vargas

“I would like to thank the International Association of Fire Chiefs for choosing me to receive the 2019 John M. Buckman, III Scholarship. It is an honor to be selected and a privilege to be able to use the scholarship to further my fire service education and career with Fargo Fire Department. This financial assistance will aid me in completing my final year at Lakes Superior College for a degree in Fire Service and Administration. I cannot say enough how fortunate and grateful I am for receiving this scholarship.” - Nathan Adams

“Thank you to the International Association of Fire Chiefs Foundation for awarding me with a 2019 Educational Scholarship. This award will assist me in my pursuit of obtaining my Master of Science Degree in Leadership with an emphasis in Home Land Security. This educational pursuit will equip me with the necessary tools and experience to proactively lead the Southern Marin Fire District into the future. I am a firm believer of being a life-long learner and that leaders should continually demonstrate “what right looks like”. Formal academic pursuits, like a master’s degree, are important elements of that path. I am honored and humbled to have been selected in 2019, thank you.” - Matthew Barnes

“I am extremely grateful to the IAFC and I am honored to receive this scholarship. I believe that education is a fundamental underpinning for progress and I am committed to sharing anything I learn to improve the fire service.” - Jeff Buchanan

“It is an absolute honor to be chosen as a recipient of the 2019 IAFC Educational Scholarship. I look forward to the opportunity to work towards a degree in Fire Administration and use the knowledge I gain to further serve my community. My family and I give our sincerest thanks to the IAFC for their consideration and financial support.” - Brandon Burke

“Being selected for this scholarship award is not only an honor, but will make a big impact on furthering my education as a first responder. This scholarship affords me the opportunity to continue in my chosen career, growing as an individual while giving back to the community.” - Jackson Cantrell

“The IAFC Foundation Educational Scholarship is a great honor to receive and I am truly grateful in receiving this scholarship. I will be able to continue my studies towards my degree in Public Safety Management with the help that I have received from the IAFC Foundation.” - Thomas Conley

“I am very grateful for being chosen to receive the 2019 IAFC Foundation Educational Scholarship. As I near the end of my degree program, I know the scholarship will have helped alleviate the financial burden of higher education, and in turn, allow me to acquire the tools necessary to best manage the fire department.” - Patrick Connor

“This scholarship is extremely helpful to me to continue my education. While taking classes to finish my bachelors degree I am faced with the decision of taking out loans to finance my education or take breaks from classes in order to save money. This scholarship allows me to continue on the path of receiving my degree which in turn allows me to better help the citizens of my community.” - Bernard de Hoog

“I am honored and humbled to have been selected as a recipient of the International Association of Fire Chiefs Foundation Scholarship. This scholarship will assist in the pursuit of my Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership and Public Administration. I am very appreciative for the financial support of the International Association of Fire Chiefs Foundation. I look forward to applying the knowledge and experiences obtained in my educational pursuits, having a positive impact on the fire service and paving the way for the next generation of firefighters.” - Richard Edwards

“I am extremely grateful to receive this scholarship. I appreciate your investment in my future in the fire service. This money will allow me to continue to work towards achieving bachelor’s degree. ” - Colin Ehlert

“Being notified that I was a recipient of the IAFC Foundation Scholarship award was very humbling. The Salisbury (MD) Fire Department’s training and education budget strain each year to meet the educational needs of its members. Receiving this honor will not only allow me to further my own education, it will extend the department’s financial resources to allow for additional educational opportunities for other members of the SFD. This is a “win-win” for me, my department, and the citizens we serve who will ultimately benefit from the education and training derived from this award. I cannot thank the IAFC enough for providing me and my department with this honor an opportunity.” - James Gladwell

“Words cannot express how grateful I am for this opportunity. This scholarship will allow me to show through my actions that I stand behind what I expect from the members of organization. If I can further my education and career, then there is no excuse not to get started. This will not only help mold me into a more effective fire chief, but help me build the foundation for the type of father I want to one day become. ” - Andrew Hawkins

“This scholarship opportunity allows for the continuation of lifelong learning. I am honored to have been selected to receive this scholarship. As it will allow me to continue pursuing and obtaining my educational and career goals.” - Joshua Henry

“As a leader in the Myrtle Beach Fire Department and a member of the SC Emergency Response Task Force, obtaining my BA in Emergency Management will enhance my ability to serve my local and state community. The generosity of the IAFC Scholarship program will ensure that I reach my goals and a higher, more efficient level of service is provided to the people we serve.” - Henry Hickman

“I would like to start by saying that it is an honor to be a 2019 IAFC scholarship recipient, and say thank you for the incredible generosity shown by the donor and the selection committee. This scholarship will be used to help in my pursuit of a Bachelor's Degree in Fire Administration, and will help me with my long term goals of becoming a fire officer. As a firefighter, and hopefully some day as an officer, I strive to pass my education, training, and experience along to junior firefighters. With that being said, my hope is that this scholarship will not only benefit me, but will benefit many. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!” - Douglas King

“It is a huge honor to be awarded an IAFC Foundation Educational Scholarship to pursue my graduate degree. This scholarship is a testament to the IAFC’s commitment towards developing the future leaders of the fire service and I am excited to have the opportunity to continue my education to become a progressive leader in today’s ever changing fire service.” - Jason Kinlaw

“I want to express my sincerest gratitude for being selected as the recipient of the 2019 IAFC Foundation Educational Scholarship. This generous donation will directly benefit my graduate studies in leadership and emergency management. The IAFC Foundational Scholarship will allow me to continue to learn from outstanding professors, and above all, pursue my academic ambitions.  Without your generosity, access to such an amazing education would not be possible. Thank you so much once again.” - Joseph Kosiorowski

“I certainly appreciate the consideration and support of the IAFC Foundation in this award.  The IAFC continues to provide support and exceptional opportunities for me, and many other fire officers, to grow professionally and to provide a strong future for our organizations and the fire service in general.  The support of this scholarship will help continue my progress toward a Master's degree in Organizational Leadership/Fire Rescue Executive Leadership.” - John Lawrence

“The award from the IAFC Foundation is critical to my professional development. The Scholarship will provide the resources I need to reach my educational goal, attaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Service Administration. The opportunity will allow me to develop my leadership skills, with the purpose of better serving the Springfield Fire Rescue Division & the Citizens of my community.” - Brian Leciejewski

“This scholarship is a great asset in assisting me to achieve my educational goals in earning a masters of business administration in organizational leadership. I’m pursuing this degree, I hope to be able to become a better leader in the fire service. I would like to thank the IAFC for their generosity, and making this dream possible for me.” - Cody Lockwood






“I have been a Firefighter for 15 years. I am just a couple of classes away from having my Bachelors in Emergency Services Administration. This scholarship will help me complete my dream and finish my degree this year. It is my hope that this degree, along with my Masters, and my work experience will give me what I need to be marketable for the position of Fire Chief one day. Thank you again.” - Chris MacFarlane

“I am honored to have been selected to receive a scholarship from the IAFC. The scholarship will assist me in finishing my public administration degree. Between work and family, it can be hard to find the time for school and even harder to find the money sometimes. The IAFC scholarship removes that burden allows me to focus on schoolwork so I can turn around an apply that knowledge in the fire service. I am very grateful for this scholarship, thank you.” - David Malo

“I am truly honored to receive the Chief Charles A. ‘Chet’ Henry Scholarship. I am currently seeking my graduate degree in Public Safety Administration with hopes of becoming a chief officer someday. This financial assistance awarded to me will help with my educational expenses, and it will allow me more time to concentrate on my studies and lessening the economic burden on my family. ” - Joseph McClimon

“Thank you for choosing me for this years scholarship. I have been going back to school to finish my associates in fire science for a few years now. My wife and I are expecting our first child soon, and every dollar we can save is of value.” - Nicholas Mellinger

“I am truly humbled and honored to be the recipient of the 2019 Heather Westphal Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship allows me the opportunity to pursue my PhD in Emergency Management. The knowledge I gain from this program will be directly applied to my organization and community. Furthermore, this knowledge will help me, as a researcher, contribute to future fire service literature. Thank you sincerely to Heather Westphal’s family and friends, donors, and the International Association of Fire Chiefs for this generous scholarship. ” - Martha Newport

“I am honored to receive the 2019 IAFC Foundation Scholarship. This award will enable me to pursue my Ph.D. at Oklahoma State University with the goal of making a positive contribution to the field of Fire and Emergency Management. The support of the IAFC in my academic endeavor is a blessing.” - Brian O'Neill

“Being awarded the 2019 President's Scholarship Award is a great honor. This scholarship aids in furthering my education in a way that will allow me to perform at a higher level for my community. With the Fire Service being as fluid as it is, it is crucial that we continue to learn new things so we can deliver the best service to those who need us.” - Jesse Phan

“Thank you to the IAFC and donors for making this scholarship possible. This will help me finish my Master's Degree, and become a better leader for my department, the fire service, and my community. My wife and kids have sacrificed for me to be able to earn my degree. This award is greatly appreciated by all of us.” - Jeremy Potter

“This scholarship is another example of how the IAFC continues to spur development of its members. This will help me in the continued pursuit of a Bachelors degree and means a great deal to me. ” - James Ray

“I am honored to be a recipient of this scholarship from the IAFC Foundation. This scholarship will provide the much needed financial assistance in the pursuit of my Bachelors Degree in Fire Administration & Emergency Management. I am truly grateful for the assistance and the impact it will provide on my development as a chief officer.” - Glenn Schlesser

“Receiving a scholarship from the IAFC is truly an honor and I am humbly grateful for such an award. This scholarship will go towards my future studies and help me accomplish my goal of one day becoming a Chief Officer so that I can leave my mark on the fire service. Being awarded this scholarship is proof that I can accomplish what ever I set my mind to. Thank you IAFC for such a great opportunity to improve myself and the fire service.” - Caleb Sherwood

“This scholarship will continue to enable me to fulfill my goal with a Fire Service Administration degree while giving back to my fellow personnel in emergency services. This scholarship will continue to let me engage in a culture of higher learning. This award complements the character of potential leadership in the future, which is the forecast to measure oneself against.” - Mark Smith

“I am sincerely honored to have been selected as the recipient of the 2019 IAFC Foundation Educational Scholarship. As I continue to remain in a “constant state of improvement” for the stakeholders of Dekalb County Fire Rescue in Dekalb County, Georgia, this scholarship will play a key role in achieving my educational dreams. The scholarship will assist in the pursuit of a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership with Public Administration Concentration. The personal growth and knowledge obtained will strengthen my leadership abilities and provide a framework for future leadership opportunities. I thank the IAFC Foundation for their generosity, support and commitment to helping men and women with their educational needs. ” - Reginald Smith

“I am extremely honored, grateful, and humbled by being selected for the IAFC 2019 Educational Scholarship. The scholarship will help me in pursuit of my Bachelor's Degree in Fire, Arson, and Explosion Investigation at Eastern Kentucky University and will be used to pay for tuition and books. Much Like the IAFC gives back to the community, my goal is to become a career firefighter so I may also give back to the community in which I live. ” - Dylan Spotts

“I sincerely appreciate the financial support from the IAFC Foundation. This scholarship will assist me in working towards my Master’s Degree. I have to use the advanced education to further my career and assist my department in any way possible. ” - Brian Sullivan

“I am so appreciative of this award beyond what words can describe. The scholarship will greatly assist me in my endeavor to improve my knowledge and become a better overall individual and leader for my organization. The funding will help me achieve a goal that has been on my mind for fifteen years when I was originally in my undergrad studies.” - Dustin Tetrault

“I would like to thank the IAFCF for selecting me for a 2019 educational scholarship. I sincerely appreciate the continual support. With the Foundation's assistance, I will be graduating from Bowling Green State University with a B.S. in Fire Administration in the spring 2020.” - Russell Thompson

“I want to sincerely thank the International Association of Fire Chiefs Foundation for awarding me an IAFC Foundation Scholarship. My education has proven extremely beneficial and valuable with the wider range of responsibilities that accompany my role as a company officer. Educational funding remains on a limited basis and this scholarship is aiding in my ability to continue my journey to reach my educational goals. ” - Matthew Vanderweel

“Being awarded the 2019 IAFC Foundation Education Scholarship is truly inspiring and very much appreciated. The IAFC continues to ensure proper succession planning and professional development for fire service leaders around the country. By providing additional funding methods for higher education the IAFC has allowed me to accomplish my goals while relieving the financial burden. Part of my individual development plan is to complete my Master’s Degree in Emergency Management along with ensuring ongoing leadership and excellence within my organization.” - Randall Wright

“This Foundation Scholarship  is very important to me because it reduces the financial burden on myself and frees up training and education funds for one of my peers. The scholarship also helps me meet both a professional and personal goal of obtaining my Bachelors Degree in Fire Service Administration and also to prepare myself for career advancement .” - Ken Zahara