VCOS Scholarship Programs
Chief Robert T. Bettenhausen Scholarship
Chief Robert T. Bettenhausen was a co-founder and the first secretary/treasurer of the Volunteer and Combination Officers Section (VCOS). He served in that position from 1994 to 2007, after which he was bestowed the title emeritus secretary/treasurer. Chief Robert T. Bettenhausen served as the fire chief and fire marshal of Tinley Park Fire Department. The Chief Robert T. Bettenhausen Scholarship to Symposium in the Sun is in honor of his many contributions to his community and the fire service as a whole.
The Chief Robert T. Bettenhausen scholarship, sponsored by the VCOS, is awarded to IAFC-VCOS members only
The Chief Robert T. Bettenhausen scholarship seeks to assist chief officers from volunteer and combination departments which lack the financial resources to offer professional development to their leaders. The scholarship will be awarded based on the applicant's description of how the knowledge gained at VCOS's annual Symposium in the Sun will contribute to the betterment of their leadership skills and improved functioning at their department.
The successful applicant is notified a few months before the conference and is awarded their $1500 scholarship check at the Symposium. Therefore, scholarship recipients must be prepared to pay upfront expenses.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions regarding the Symposium scholarship program or the application process.
Chief Robert T, Bettenhausen Scholarship Winners
- 2021: Former Chief/Safety Officer Bill Betts, Frederica (Delaware) Volunteer Fire Company
- 2019: Chief Mike French, Meaford Municipality (Ontario) Fire Department
- 2018: Chief Allen Wilson, Surf City (N.C.) Fire Department
Chief James P. Seavey, Sr. Scholarship
$1500 VCOS-sponsored scholarship is awarded to IAFC-VCOS members only
This VCOS-sponsored scholarship to Symposium in the Sun was named in the memory of Chief James P. Seavey, Sr., who was a VCOS At-Large Board Member that passed away Sept. 4, 2018, after a courageous five-year battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Throughout his career, Jim’s passion was elevating morale, empowering members to exceed expectations, and providing through example unparalleled selflessness at every opportunity. Jim is remembered for his extraordinary devotion to family and for often undertaking duties that transcended traditional roles. While he shared in human weakness, he was unwavering in his values, commitment, and ethos. He was a faithful soul and he joined in a strong love for God.
The Lavender Ribbon Report: Best Practices for Preventing Firefighter Cancer, which he researched and co-authored, was a timely example of Jim’s national influence. Setting out 11 actions that can dramatically reduce deaths of first responders from cancers caused by the very fires they fight, it was published by the International Association of Fire Chiefs- Volunteer and Combination Officers Section and the National Volunteer Fire Council.
This scholarship seeks an individual that embodies the ideals of Chief James P. Seavey, Sr. Someone that has made it their goal to ensure the health and wellness of their sisters and brothers physically, mentally and spiritually.
The successful applicant is notified a few months before the conference and is awarded their $1500 scholarship check at the Symposium in the Sun. Therefore, scholarship recipients must be prepared to pay upfront expenses.
Please contact us at VCOS@iafc.org with any questions regarding the Symposium scholarship program or the application process.
Chief James P. Seavey Scholarship Winners
- 2021: Chief Joseph Chornock, Germantown (Maryland) Volunteer Fire Department
- 2019: Chief Paul Sullivan, Middle River (Maryland) Volunteer Fire & Rescue
Symposium in the Sun Scholarship Winners
- 2018: Chief Ken Keiter, Eudora (Kan.) Fire Department
- 2017: Captain Richard Andrews, Gilford (N.H.) Fire-Rescue and Chief William Jones, Roanoke Island (N.C.) Volunteer Fire Department
- 2016: Chief William Rector, Dunkirk (Md.) Volunteer Fire Department Inc.
- 2015: Chief Tim Stuckey, Sheridan (Ark.) Fire Department and Battalion Chief Corinne Piccardi, Cabin John Park (Md.) Volunteer Fire Department
- 2014: Chief Ken Ranalli of the Demorest (Ga.) Fire Department and Chief Jennifer Williams of the Southeast Chickasaw (Miss.) Volunteer Fire Department
- 2013: Deputy Chief David Hodges of the Maryville (Tenn.) Fire Department and Chief David Weiss of the Westmont (Ill.) Fire Department
- 2012 Fire Chief Donna Black, EFO, of the Duck (N.C.) Fire Department and Fire Chief Jason Catrambone of the Spanish Peaks-Boncarbo (Colo.) Fire Protection District
- 2011: Firefighter/EMT Amanda K. Gingell of the Harrisville (R.I.) Fire Department and Fire Chief John R. Nixon, Antioch (Ill.) Fire Department
- 2010: Fire Chief Jeff Karrow of the Alexandria (Minn.) Fire Department and Assistant Chief Kevin D. Hardwick of the Glendale (Ohio) Fire Department
- 2009: Chief Mike Vaughn of the Washington (Ill.) Fire Department and Chief Mark Ellis of the Potterville (R.I..) Fire Department were the recipients of the first VCOS Symposium scholarships.
Emerging Leader Scholarship
The Gasaway Consulting Group, LLC is sponsoring a $1,500 Emerging Leader Scholarship to assist with registration and travel expenses for the VCOS Symposium in the Sun. "I am a big proponent of the concept of paying it forward," noted GCG President Dr. Richard B. Gasaway. "The VCOS and the Symposium in the Sun have played a very important role in my development as a chief officer. I am delighted to be able to give back to the VCOS and help a new chief attend this world-class conference."
Emerging Leader Alumni Scholarship
The Emerging Leader Scholarship alumni understand the value of paying it forward and the value of attending the VCOS Symposium in the Sun. The alumni created this second scholarship to provide a great learning opportunity for an emerging leader. By completing the one application, you are applying for both the Emerging Leader Scholarship and the Emerging Leader Alumni Scholarship opportunities.
Emerging Leader Scholarship and Emerging Leader Alumni Scholarship Application Information
You do not need to be an IAFC-VCOS member to apply for the Emerging Leader Scholarship and the Emerging Leader Alumni Scholarship. These scholarships are open to all ranks including new fire chiefs, officers and firefighters. The applicant must be an emerging leader.
The successful applicants are notified a few months before the conference and are awarded the $1500 scholarship check at the Symposium in the Sun. Therefore, the scholarship recipient must be prepared to pay upfront expenses.
Emerging Leader Alumni Scholarship Winners
- 2021: Fire Chief David Cline, Smithville Area (Missouri) Fire Protection District
- 2019: Captain Todd Weber, Beaver Lake Fire Department
- 2018: Captain Jason Witte, Salem Lakes (Wis.) Fire & Rescue
Emerging Leader Scholarship Winners
- 2021: Assistant Fire Chief Zachary Hottel, Woodstock (Virginia) Fire Department, Inc.
- 2019: Lieutenant Chris Halliday, Manlius (New York) Fire Department
- 2018: Captain Shawn Yerian, Canal Fulton (Ohio) Fire Department
- 2017: Chief Joseph Bartos, West Point (Va.) Fire Department
- 2016: Captain Jeff Gooch, Cranberry Township (Penn.) Volunteer Fire Company
- 2015: Captain Adam Farrar, Scott Township (Ind.) Fire Department
- 2014: Asst. Fire Marshal/Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator Dan Kerrigan of East Whiteland Township (Penn.) Department of Codes and Life Safety
- 2013: Captain Brian Taylor of the Bazetta Township (Ohio) Fire Department
- 2012: Fire Chief Ryan Pierson of the Pitman (N.J.) Fire Department
- 2011: Fire Chief David DeRoller of the Sea Breeze (N.Y.) Fire District
- 2010: Fire Chief Scott F. Brewer of St. Tammany (La.) Parrish Fire District #9 is the winner of the first Gasaway Emerging Leader Scholarship.
Fire-Rescue International (FRI) Scholarships
$1500 VCOS-sponsored scholarships are awarded to IAFC-VCOS members only
The Volunteer & Combination Section (VCOS) of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) awards two $1,500 scholarships to attend Fire-Rescue International (FRI) each year. This scholarship program was developed to promote leadership through learning among volunteer and combination officers.
Scholarships are awarded based on the applicant’s description of how the department or attendee will benefit from attendance at FRI. Applicants for the scholarships must be members of the IAFC and VCOS. The 2022 application period is now open until July 20, 2022.
To apply for the 2022 Fire-Rescue International Scholarship, please submit your description of how your attendance at FRI will contribute to you and/or your department to VCOSscholarship2022@iafc.org including your name and the name of your department on or before July 20, 2022.
The 2022 scholarship winners will be notified late July and are awarded the scholarship checks at FRI. Therefore, scholarship recipients must be prepared to pay upfront expenses. Scholarship recipients are expected to attend classes and fully participate in FRI.
VCOS FRI Scholarship Winners
- 2021: Chief Jim Baldis, Simsbury (CT) Volunteer Fire Company, Director of Fire & Rescue Services Steven Hoffmann, Town of Farmington (CT) Fire Department
- 2020: Chief James Baldis, Simsbury (CT) Volunteer Fire Company and Director of Fire and Emergency Services Steven Hoffmann, Town of Farmington (CT) Fire Department
- 2019: Fire Chief Darin Needham, Lewisville (North Carolina) Fire Department and Fire Chief William Gibson, Crosswell (South Carolina) Fire District
- 2018: Firefighter George Bradt, Beaver Lake (Ark,) Fire Department and Deputy Chief Gary Hendrickson, Brooklyn Center (Minn.) Volunteer Fire Department
- 2017: Operations Chief Michael Blackwill, Windsor Severance (Colo.) Fire Rescue and Chief Jonathon Mills, Olympia (N.C.) Volunteer Fire Department
- 2016: Chief Ryan Pierson, Highland Chemical Engine Company (N.J.) and Captain Andrew DeVries, Bayside (Alaska) Fire Department
- 2015: Chief Kevin Cooney, South Windsor (CT) Fire Department and Chief Christopher Maeder, Fairview (NY) Fire District
- 2014: Lieutenant Charles Bailey, Rineyville (Ky.) Fire Department and Chief Timothy Morrissey, Sherborn (Mass.) Fire Department
- 2013: Chief Stephen N. Pegram of Goshen Township (Ohio) Fire & EMS and Senior Group Captain Leonard William Carter, EFO of New South Wales (Australia) Rural Fire Service
- 2012 : Deputy Chief Stephen Addezio of Evesham (N.J.) Fire Rescue and Deputy Chief Jason Caswell of Hope Valley-Wyoming (R.I.) Fire District
- 2011: Fire Chief Dennis Covey of Malabar (Fla.) Fire Rescue and Battalion Chief Robert Talburt of the Logan-Rogersville (Mo.) Fire Protection District
- 2010: Fire Chief Ty Dickerson of the Lexington (Va.) Fire Department and Fire Chief Adam Farrar of the Wadesville (Ind.) Fire Department
- 2009: Deputy Chief David Weiss of the Westmount (Ill.) Fire Department and Fire Chief Judy Thill of the Inver Grove Heights (Minn.) Fire Department were selected as the first winners of the VCOS FRI Scholarships.