Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines dies

Glenn A. Gaines

Glenn Gaines

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Contributions may be made in Chief Gaines’ memory to:

  • Mid-Atlantic Burn Camp, 5430 Harris Farm Lane, Clarksville, MD 21029
  • National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, P.O. Drawer 498, Emmitsburg, MD 21727

It is with a heavy heart that I share with you that Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines passed away yesterday. Chief Gaines was doing yard work when he fell ill, and despite the CPR efforts of neighbors and the fire department, he expired at the hospital.

In addition to the tremendous leadership he demonstrated at the U.S. Fire Administration, just about everyone in the nation’s fire service knew Glenn. There are few firefighters or departments that haven’t been touched – directly or indirectly – by this extraordinary fire chief throughout his career.

Please join with me in holding Glenn’s wife Linda and family in our prayers and thoughts during these difficult days.

Chief Ernest Mitchell
U.S. Fire Administrator
April 13, 2015

Biography – Glenn A. Gaines

Glenn A. Gaines was the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator for the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). He began his tenure in March 2009 and was responsible for managing USFA programs and training activities conducted at the National Emergency Training Center.

Chief Gaines began his fire service career as a member of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department in Virginia. During his illustrious 35 year career, he served in numerous capacities, including Fire Marshal, Chief Training Officer, and Chief of Operations, culminating in his appointment as Fire Chief from August 1991 until December 1998. He was in charge of the nationally recognized Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Urban Search and Rescue team that frequently deployed throughout the United States as well as internationally. Chief Gaines held a degree in Fire Administration and authored a fire service text, contributed to several other texts, and wrote numerous articles for several trade publications. He served as a faculty member at the USFA’s National Fire Academy, and was actively involved with organizations related to the professional development of the fire and emergency services.

Chief Gaines served with the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program for the Department of Homeland Security from its inception in 2001 until 2009. He served as a principal architect and member of the senior staff for three of the primary grants managed by FEMA’s Grants Program Office, and was the Agency’s lead in developing the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant Program in 2005.

In May of 2010 Chief Gaines was awarded the prestigious International Association of Fire Chiefs Metropolitan Fire Chiefs President's Award of Distinction. The Metropolitan Fire Chiefs President’s Award of Distinction is given to individuals deemed worthy of this award by their peers and presented by the President of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Section.

In May of 2011 Chief Gaines was awarded the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is presented to a past or present Metro Chief based on a history of accomplishments, contributions to the organization, contributions to fire safety, demonstrated leadership, challenges overcome, and similar considerations.

In August of 2011 Chief Gaines was presented with the International Association of Fire Chiefs President’s Award for meritorious service to the fire service.