Honoring the Life and Bravery of Brian Whaley

A hero can be found in everyone.

At 15 years of age, Brian Whaley proved this when he leapt into action to save the lives of his mother, father, and younger brother in the midst of a fire that consumed their house. With the help of Alexandria firefighters, his family was saved. He was just like you, a normal kid, who played on the basketball team
and served as student body president at Holy Savior Menard Central High School in Alexandria, Louisiana.

Leadership. Athleticism. Bravery. Charity. Kindness.

This was how Brian lived his life and would have continued to had he been granted more years to live.

On May 13, 1984, Brian and his best friend and fellow Menard graduate, Lewell Gunn, were killed in a tragic car accident.

But Brian’s heroics live on. In honor of the bravery of Brian and members of the Alexandria Fire Department in saving his family, the Brian Whaley Scholarship was created. The scholarship was established to honor his values and life along with all the brave men and women of the Alexandria Fire Department.

The Brian Whaley Scholarship is awarded annually to two graduating seniors or current college students who are the children of a current or former member of any fire department in Louisiana.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the scholarship?
The Brian Whaley Memorial Scholarship of $2,000 will be awarded to the person who will help Brian’s memory live on by exhibiting the traits he held so dear during his 19 years: leadership, bravery, charity, and kindness.

Who can apply?
Any graduating senior or current college student who is the child of a current or former member of any fire department in Louisiana. Special consideration will be given to the financial need of the applicant.

How can you apply?
In addition to completing the application, applicants are asked to write a 300-word-essay that explains their academic and life goals.

Provide the following documentation:

  • A letter of recommendation from a teacher, coach, or administrator.
  • A letter of verification from a community service organization on official letterhead of the applicant’s service.


What are the stipulations?
The scholarship must be used within the year it is presented and be used for attendance at a collegiate institution or vocational/technical school.
Two-thirds of the scholarship will be awarded before the first semester of the scholastic year awarded and the remainder upon successful completion of the first semester of classes.

Be prepared so you can be your own hero.

Check your smoke and carbon monoxide REGULARLY
Place detectors strategically … ONE PER FLOOR and INSIDE & OUTSIDE EACH BEDROOM
Store EXTINGUISHERS in re-prone areas
Install ESCAPE LADDERS in all second story bedrooms
Store your valuables in a FIRE-PROOF SAFE
Discuss ESCAPE ROUTES and MEETING SPOTS with your family members

Contact us if you have questions.