Fire Service Women Ontario Symposium and AGM

Fire Service Women Ontario 2018 Professional Development Symposium and Annual General Meeting

“Empowered. Together. FSWO.

October 26-28, 2018 Waterloo Region Emergency Services Training and Research Centre (WRESTRC)

Hosted by: Conestoga College

Our 2018 Partners

The Board of Fire Service Women Ontario invites you to our 2018 Professional Development Symposium and Annual General Meeting (AGM), titled, "Empowered. Together. FSWO." October 26 to 28, 2018, hosted by Conestoga College.

This year's symposium will feature topics and training vital to modern day firefighting. We have some valuable courses lined up, led by amazing instructors and experts in their fields of study, including:

  • Jason Defosse of Code 4 Fire & Rescue will be sharing top techniques and extrication tactics along with a full day rapid extrication program.
  • Firefighters from the New York City Fire Department are offering an 8-hour training program on urban truck operations.
  • Mike Molloy will instruct an 8-hour program covering several tactics and drills that will teach participants how to survive and escape unexpected fire situations.
  • Conestoga College, a leader in polytechnic education, is offering courses in rope rescue and car fires.  In addition they are offering a new program titled "Changing Careers – Firefighters Wanted".  This program is geared towards those who have wondered what it would be like to be a firefighter, working as part of a team serving your community.

In addition, the symposium offers classroom sessions that focus on firefighter health, resiliency for traumatic stress, functions of a safety officer, self-confidence for success in the fire/emergency service, recruitment paths, responding to electrical emergencies, succession development and more.

Need PPE?  Click on our registration information page to see how you can rent bunker gear from Sani-Gear for the weekend.

Registration for the Fire Service Women Ontario Professional Development Symposium and AGM is $350 for members and $450 for non-members, $250 for students, one day option is $250 and Changing Careers is $150.  Visit our registration information page for more information.

View our full agenda and speaker bios/overviews for more details on FSWO 2018.

Where There is Smoke Art Display

The art installation will be located in the foyer of the Delta Hotel.  No sign up required!

Visit the Where There is Smoke art installation at our symposium this year!! Where There is Smoke is a multimedia art installation with 30 minutes of audio recordings of women firefighters sharing their experiences of the job. The pieces were created by the Women Firefighter Narrative Visibility Project at a dozen writing workshops with 30 women firefighters across southern Ontario. The project was conceived as a way for women firefighters to tell their stories in their own words and to challenge some of the misconceptions of the work of firefighting. Project partners were Fire Service Women Ontario and community arts organization Red Dress Productions.

 

2018 Registration Information & Fees

Registration for the Fire Service Women Ontario Professional Development Symposium and AGM is $350 for members and $450 for non-members, $250 for students, one day option is $250 and Changing Careers is $150. 

Your registration fee covers:

FSWO Members: $350 + HST

  • Your fee includes: 2 full days of selected HOT courses and/or professional development workshops (Friday, October, 26 and Saturday, October 27), lunches and refreshments, opening ceremonies dinner and keynote speaker Friday night, cocktail/appetizer reception and silent auction Saturday night, and breakfast at the Annual General Meeting on Sunday, October 28.

Non-Members: $450 + HST

  • Your fee includes: 2 full days of selected HOT courses and/or professional development workshops (Friday, October 26 and Saturday, October 27), lunches and refreshments, opening ceremonies dinner and keynote speaker Friday night, cocktail/appetizer reception and silent auction Saturday night, and breakfast at the Annual General Meeting on Sunday, October 28.

One Day ONLY: $250 + HST

  • Your fee includes: 1 full day of selected HOT courses and/or professional development workshops, lunch and dinner on Friday, October 26 or cocktail/appetizer reception on Saturday, October 27.

Student: $250 + HST

  • Your fee includes: 2 full days of selected HOT courses and/or professional development workshops (Friday October 26 and Saturday October 27), lunches and refreshments, opening ceremonies dinner and keynote speaker Friday night, cocktail/appetizer reception and silent auction Saturday night, and breakfast at the Annual General Meeting on Sunday, October 28.

Changing Careers $150 + HST  Please refer to Changing Careers. This program is for women who are not firefighters, but may be considering a career in the fire service.

  • Your fee includes a full day of instruction, lunch, refreshments and cocktail/appetizer reception on Saturday night.

Friday Night Dinner (ONLY) $50 + HST

  • Surge uniform or business casual dress required.

Saturday Night Cocktail/Appetizer Reception/Silent Auction (ONLY) $35 + HST

  • Casual dress.

Become a Member today and save on registration.

Event Registration

Registration will take place in the lobby of the Delta Waterloo Hotel at the following dates & times:

October 25 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
October 26 - 7:00am to 8:00am
October 27 - 7:00am to 8:00am

If you are attending HOT classes, please make sure to register Thursday night if possible. If you aren’t arriving until Friday or Saturday morning, please make sure to register early to allow for travel time to HOT class facilities. Registration is only available at the Delta Hotel, not at HOT class locations.

Fire Service Women Ontario

About Us

Fire Service Women Ontario (FSWO) was created in 2009 (incorporated in 2011) as a not-for-profit organization to operate an apprentice program for young women between the ages of 15 and 19. The program links young women with those working in the fire service, professional associations and educational institutions and is named Camp FFIT (Female Firefighters in Training). 

FSWO also runs a paired mentoring program which is designed to connect firefighters (FSWO members in good standing) with women in the fire service, who are looking to connect with other firefighters, or those who are in the recruitment process or who are just beginning their fire service journey. 

With the overwhelming success of the award winning Camp FFIT program, and the demand for this type of offering across Ontario, more apprentice programs were adopted. Through the provincially funded School-College-Work initiative, Girls in Gear at Lambton College and Women in Uniform at Algonquin College were created and supported, in part, by FSWO Board members.

As a member driven organization, FSWO depends on guidance from its membership and fire service partners to determine the needs of gender equality in the fire service across Ontario. Much of this work is done directly at the annual symposium and AGM held in the fall.  The symposium is currently the main focus of our organization, offering HOT (Hands On Training) classes, educational and learning sessions and offering women in the fire service invaluable networking opportunities.

To learn more about us visit www.fswo.ca

Symposium Locations

FSWO 2018 Symposium & AGM takes place at multiple locations. Please ensure you check the agenda for the location of your training/education session.

Waterloo Region Emergency Services Training and Research Centre (WRESTRC):
1001 Erbs Road, Waterloo, ON N2J 3Z4

HOT CLASSES

The Waterloo Region Emergency Services Training and Research Centre has been operating since 1993. It is a 40-acre site with an emergency services training ground, the University of Waterloo's fire research building, and an administrative building. WRESTRC serves as a training facility for the region's fire departments, police and emergency medical services. It features prop sites for confined space training, vehicle fire rescue and trench rescue and also offers a 3,000 square foot multi-level fire training building that students used throughout the day to complete four emergency scenarios.


St. Jacob’s Fire Hall
3 Water Street, St. Jacobs, ON N0B 2N0

 

Cambridge Fire Department - Station 1
1625 Bishop Street North, Cambridge, ON N1R 7J4



IN CLASS SESSIONS:

Delta Waterloo Hotel
110 Erb St. West
Waterloo, Ontario
N2L 0C6

 

Hotel Info & Accommodations

Symposium Hotel:

Delta Waterloo Hotel
110 Erb Street West
Waterloo, Ontario
N2L 0C6

Hotel Front Desk:  (519) 514-0404
Hotel Toll Free:  866-430-4982

Experience a stylish stay at Delta Hotels Waterloo. Located in the heart of Uptown, this upscale hotel provides easy access to an array of dynamic destinations. Retire to comfort in our modern rooms and suites. Air-conditioned rooms feature a pillow top bed, refrigerators and flat-screen televisions. Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and cable programming is available for your entertainment. Bathrooms have complimentary toiletries and hair dryers.

Tantalize your taste buds at their on-site restaurant, open from breakfast to dinner. Proof Kitchen & Lounge serves locally inspired cuisine in addition to handcrafted cocktails, wine and beer at the bar. Active travelers can fulfill their exercise goals at our 24-hour fitness centre featuring cardio equipment and free weights. Swim some invigorating laps in their indoor pool with a breathtaking scenic skylight above.

From start to finish, Delta Hotels Waterloo provides for extraordinary travels.

Reservation Information:

Rate:  Guest room, 1 King - $149 per night.  
Guest room, 2 Queen - $149 per night.
The special rate is available for room nights from October 25, 2018 to October 28, 2018

Book your room night now:  Delta Waterloo Hotel FSWO 2018 Booking Link

IMPORTANT: All FSWO Participants are to book their rooms online using this link only.  We have been given a special rate and it will only be applied if they use this link.  
Please note that the special room rate expires on September 25, 2018

Check in: 3:00 PM
Check out: 11:00 AM

Parking
Valet parking, fee: 20 CAD daily
On-site parking, fee: 2.50 CAD hourly, 12 CAD daily

 

 

 

 


 
 
 

Symposium Agenda

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2018 

Time  
17:00 - 19:00 Event Registration, Delta Waterloo Hotel Lobby

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2018

Time
HOT CLASSES: WRESTRC - 1001 Erbs Road
8:00-
10:00
FDNY
Urban Truck Operations
(Full Day)
Conestoga
Rope Rescue
(4 Hours)
Shaun Hunt and Andrew Blair
Tactical TIC
(4 Hours)
Mike Molloy
Self-Rescue
(Full Day)
Jessica Clermont
Conventional and Respectful Forcible Entry
(Full Day)
Location: St Jacob’s Fire Hall
12:00 LUNCH at WRESTRC
13:00-17:00
FDNY
Urban Truck Operations
Conestoga
Car Fires
(4 Hours)
Shaun Hunt and Andrew Blair
Tactical TIC
(4 Hours)
Mike Molloy
Self-Rescue
Jessica Clermont
Conventional and Respectful Forcible Entry
Location:
St Jacob’s Fire Hall
Time
IN-CLASS SESSIONS:
Delta Waterloo Hotel - 110 Erb Street West
8:00
Dave Dodson
IMS Safety Officer Academy
(2 Full Days)
jona olsson
When I Doubt Myself and Other Women
Part 1
(2 Hours)
Deryn Rizzi and Jim Andrews
Hiring Panel
(4 Hours)
Jessica Stephenson and Lindsay Gulanes
Tactical Yoga and Breathing
(2 Hours)
 
10:00
jona olsson
When I Doubt Myself and Other Women
Part 2
(2 Hours)
Joe Casey
Pre – Emergency Responder and PTSD
(2 Hours)
12:00 LUNCH at the Delta Waterloo
13:00
Dave Dodson
IMS Safety Officer Academy
Barbara Schlifer Clinic
#MeToo in the Fire Service: Ending Harassment and Discrimination                                                    (2 Hours)
Tim Burgess
Responding to Electrical Emergencies
(4 Hours)
Tawnya Roberts and Jennifer Cooper
Hoarding: Risks, Mitigation and Enforcement
(2 Hours)
15:00
jona olsson
Men of Conscience-Standing Up Against Sexism
(2 Hours)
Stephanie Mackenzie Smith
Social Media In Action
(2 Hours)
18:00
Cocktails, Delta Hotel Waterloo
18:30
Opening Ceremonies & Dinner (Dress Uniform or Business Attire), Delta Hotel Waterloo
20:00
Keynote Speaker: Isobel Granger, Delta Hotel Waterloo

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2018 

Time HOT CLASSES: WRESTRC - 1001 Erbs Road
8:00-
10:00
FDNY
Urban Truck Operations
(Full Day)
Tracey Shields, Anna Schermerhorn- Collins and Michele Fitzsimmons
First In Officer
(Full Day)
Jason Defosse 
Code 4

Rapid Auto Ex
(Full Day)
Location: Cambridge Fire Department - Station 1
Mike Molloy
Self-Rescue
(Full Day)
Conestoga College 
Changing Careers – Firefighters Wanted
(Full Day)
12:00
LUNCH at WRESTRC
13:00-17:00
FDNY
Urban Truck Operations
Tracey Shields, Anna Schermerhorn- Collins and Michele Fitzsimmons
First In Officer
Jason Defosse
Code 4
Rapid Auto Ex
Location: Cambridge Fire Department - Station 1
Mike Molloy
Self-Rescue
Conestoga College 
Changing Careers – Firefighters Wanted
18:00
Cocktail/Appetizer Reception with DJ, Dancing and Silent Auction (Casual Dress), Delta Hotel Waterloo
Time
IN-CLASS SESSIONS:
Delta Waterloo Hotel - 110 Erb Street West
8:00
Dave Dodson
IMS Safety Officer Academy
(2 Full Days)
Dr. Joy MacDermid
Empowering Firefighter Health Through Inclusive Research
(2 Hours)
jona olsson
When I Doubt Myself and Other Women
Part 1
(2 Hours)
Tawnya Roberts
OFMEM Enforcement
(2 Hours)
10:00
Jane Clapp
Embodied Resilience for Traumatic Stress
(2 Hours)
jona olsson
When I Doubt Myself and Other Women
Part 2
(2 Hours)
Mike Wood
The Science of Recruitment-Path to Success
(2 Hours)
12:00
LUNCH at the Delta Waterloo
13:00
Dave Dodson
IMS Safety Officer Academy
Jim Andrews
Operating in Uncertainty
(4 Hours)
Karen Simpson and Cassandra Greer
Pregnancy In The Fire Service
(2 Hours)
Shaun Hunt and Andrew Blair
Structural Firefighting Tactics for Rural Firefighting
(4 Hours)
 
15:00
Tawnya Roberts and Jennifer Cooper
Hoarding: Risks, Mitigation and Enforcement
(2 Hours)
18:00
Cocktail/Appetizer Reception with DJ, Dancing and Silent Auction (Casual Dress), Delta Hotel Waterloo

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Time Delta Waterloo Hotel - 110 Erb Street West
7:30
Breakfast
8:00- 10:30
Annual General Meeting

Event Registration

Registration will take place in the lobby of the Delta Waterloo Hotel during the following dates & times:

October 25 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
October 26 - 7:00am to 8:00am
October 27 - 7:00am to 8:00am

If you are attending HOT classes please make sure to register Thursday night if possible. If you aren’t arriving until Friday or Saturday morning please make sure to register early to allow for travel time to HOT class facilities.  There will be NO registrations at any of the HOT class locations.

Where There is Smoke - Art Display

The art installation is located in the foyer of the Delta Hotel.  No sign up required!

Visit the "Where There is Smoke" art installation at our symposium this year, in the lobby of the Delta Hotel!!

Where There is Smoke is a multimedia art installation with 30 minutes of audio recordings of women firefighters sharing their experiences of the job. The pieces were created by the Women Firefighter Narrative Visibility Project at a dozen writing workshops with 30 women firefighters across southern Ontario. The project was conceived as a way for women firefighters to tell their stories in their own words and to challenge some of the misconceptions of the work of firefighting.

Project partners were Fire Service Women Ontario and community arts organization Red Dress Productions.

HOT Course Descriptions

FDNY Urban Truck Operations
Instructed by: Matthew Paglione, Pete Mazza, Andrew Lenane, Matthew Farletta & Dan MacAuley

This 8-hour training program offers advanced search practices, survivability, profiling,  knowledge and practice of an outside vent position and vent enter search (VES); cut station which includes the knowledge and hands-on skills of making cuts for means of egress (roll up doors, locks and windows); ground ladder deployment tips and tricks and ladder truck positioning and tactics. 

Participant Requirements:
  • Full PPE including structural firefighting helmet, boots and gloves.

Matthew Paglione started his fire service journey in 1994 as a junior firefighter with the Hightstown Engine Company in New Jersey. While earning his AAS in Fire Science at Colorado Mountain College, he worked as a student resident Firefighter with the Eagle River Fire Protection District in Avon Colorado.

In 2001, Matt returned back to the east coast and worked as a per-diem FF/EMT with the Robbinsville Fire Department. In August of 2001, Matthew began his tenure at the FDNY as an EMT. He was sworn in as a New York City Firefighter in 2003 where he is currently assigned to 27 Truck in the Bronx. Matt holds numerous certifications including FSI-1 and works for On Scene Training Associates.

Pete Mazza started his fire service career as a career firefighter with the City of Welland - Fire and Emergency Services as a front line firefighter.  Pete holds the position of Director of Training, a position he achieved by progressing through the ranks of firefighter, acting captain, and training officer.

As a strong advocate for career development through education, Pete has continued his formal education obtaining a diploma as a Company Officer from the Ontario Fire College and a diploma in Fire Science Technology from Lambton College. Pete is also an NFPA 1021 Fire Officer II, NFPA 1041 Fire Instructor II and NFPA 1521 Safety Officer.  Pete’s passion and love for the fire service has not faded since his start sixteen years ago. He expects only the best out of the firefighters that surround him and is committed to teaching and passing on as much knowledge and experience to the current and future generations of firefighters.

Matthew Farletta started his fire service career in central New Jersey in the year 2000. He later graduated from the University of New Haven with a BS in fire science in 2006. He was hired by FDNY in 2007, and is currently assigned to Squad Co. 61 in the Bronx.


Andrew Lenane
 has been active in the fire service for 14 years. He started in the Slate Hill Fire Department located in Orange County New York in 2004. While in Slate Hill, he served as a Lieutenant as well as earned an AAS in fire protection technology from Rockland Community College.

Andrew has been working for the FDNY since 2015 where he is assigned to Ladder Company 27 in the Bronx. He also holds New York State certifications in Firefighter I and II as well as a nationally certified fire instructor.

Dan MacAuley began his fire service career as a call firefighter on the island of Nantucket and a volunteer with the Christiana Fire Company. After completing service in the United States Coast Guard he joined the Boston Fire Department in 2012 where he is currently assigned to Ladder Co.6 in the Dorchester section of the city. Dan is also a member of Massachusetts Task Force 1 and the New England FOOLS.


Courses offered by Conestoga College 
Conestoga College is a leader in polytechnic education and one of Ontario's fastest growing colleges, delivering a full range of career-focused education, training and applied research programs to prepare students for success in the new knowledge economy and promote economic prosperity throughout our region and across Ontario. Established in 1967, Conestoga now serves approximately 13,000 full-time students through campuses and training centres in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Stratford, Ingersoll and Brantford.
 
Car Fires
Instructed by: Al Steeves
Whether you are new, or want a good review, this course is designed to provide a safe and effective method for approaching car fires. We will begin in the classroom with a discussion on teamwork, tools, strategy, what to avoid and how to avoid it. Then we will move to the car fire propane prop and practice with live fire. All done with a focus on safety and efficiency.
 
Participant Requirements:
  • Full PPE including helmet, steel toe/shank boots, gloves and safety glasses.
  • SCBA and air bottle.
Rope Rescue
This 4-hour hands-on training session will provide an introduction to mirrored systems for both raising and lowering team-based rescues using MPD’s, as well as practical experience in rappelling and self-rescue in the high-angle environment. This workshop is geared towards participants either new to rope rescue, or experienced working on rope.
 
Participant Requirements:
  • Full PPE including helmet, steel toe/shank boots, gloves and safety glasses.

Tactical Thermal Imaging
Instructed by: Shaun Hunt and Andrew Blair

This class is designed to assist firefighters develop a tactical approach to interpreting what is seen on the thermal imaging camera(TIC). We will discuss the need to maintain situational awareness by looking at and processing all of the information presented at a fire scene and not just what can be seen through the lens of the TIC. We will walk participants through the steps of an effective size-up, including a full 360° using the TICs, and will also explore ways to train with the thermal imager in the fire station for daily drills.

Participant Requirements:
  • Full PPE including helmet, boots and gloves.

Shaun Hunt is currently an acting lieutenant with the Ottawa Fire Service, having been in the fire service since 1998 as both a volunteer and career firefighter. The focus for the majority of his career has been as a Heavy Rescue and Technical Rescue Technician. Shaun also serves on the department’s USAR (Urban Search and Rescue) team, and spent several years as the Incident Commander for Ottawa’s very successful extrication team.

Over the course of the past 3 years, Shaun has trained with some of the most respected and knowledgeable firefighters from around the world to become an instructor for the “From Knowledge to Practice” Fire Dynamics program; the curriculum for which was developed in Ottawa. The program is currently being integrated into Ottawa’s training schedule for all firefighters, giving Shaun the opportunity to gain vast knowledge and experience through teaching and practicing the “bread and butter” concepts and skills that are the backbone of firefighting; ultimately keeping us safer on the fire ground.

Andrew Blair is an Instructor with the Ontario Fire College(OFC). He joined the OFC in 2016 after completing over 30 years as a career firefighter with Toronto Fire Services, retiring as an Acting District Chief. Andrew now coordinates and instructs the NFPA 1001 programs at the OFC campus in Gravenhurst, as well as the regional training centres throughout the Province. In 2017 he was invited to Ottawa to participate in the “From Knowledge to Practice” (FKTP) program specializing in Fire Dynamics. Andrew is married with two grown children and lives in Newcastle Ontario.


Firefighter Survival
Instructed by: Mike Molloy

This full day (8 hour) presentation will cover several tactics and drills that will show students on how to survive and escape from unexpected fire situations. The program will demonstrate how to save yourself, someone else, and act as a rapid intervention crew team member.

Participant Requirements:
  • Full PPE including helmet, steel toe/shank boots, gloves and safety glasses.
  • SCBA with air cylinder.

Mike Molloy has been in the fire service for 23 years. He is a graduate from the Ontario Fire College receiving three diplomas in Fire Prevention, Training, and Company Officer programs. He served on the Meaford and District Fire Department from 1995 to June of 2016, serving the last 6 years as fire chief. He has also served on the OAFC Board of Directors for three consecutive terms where he was tasked with the training portfolio. He is currently at the Canadian Forces Fire Academy involved with the training of recruits as well as senior officers.


Conventional and Respectful Forcible Entry
Instructed by: Jessica Clermont

Firefighter Jessica Clermont will lead students through conventional and respectful forcible entry, covering the following:

  • Door/lock size up and mechanical advantage of Halligan bar (in class & hands on training).
  • Conventional forcible entry inward and outward swinging doors (gap, set, force) single and 2 firefigther evolutions and zero visibility scenario.
  • Through-the-lock techniques on residential, commercial, and add-on locks.
  • Discuss/use various tools i.e. shove knives, K-tool, adz rex, J-tool, force wedge, mod and-framing square
  • Discuss other options (i.e. attacking hinges, drop bars, panic hardware, doggie doors).
Participant Requirements
  • Full bunker gear including helmet, boots and gloves.
  • Balaclava (for zero visibility scenario).
  • Safety glasses.
  • Ear plugs.
Jessica Clermont has been a firefighter with the Toronto Fire Services (TFS) since 2008. She is the shift training instructor for forcible entry with TFS as well as an instructor with Centennial College Firefighter Pre-Service Program. Jessica studied forcible entry at Spartan Rescue Inc. and YouTube University. Her favourite weapons are hockey sticks and halligan bars. She has 3 dogs, 2 cats and 1 human.

First in Officer
Instructed by: Tracey Shields, Anna Schermerhorn-Collins and Michele Fitzsimmons
 
Course Outline
  • Students will learn basics of an incident command structure;
  • Provide students with radio communication skills;
  • Students will have the opportunity to lead a crew in a smoke filled building; and
  • Students will learn to communicate with their crew.

In Class session:

Topics:
  • ICS - basics
  • Communications
  • Coordinating with other crews
  • Discussion regarding Scenarios

The focus will be to get comfortable communicating on the radio and communicating with their crew.

Students will also learn about size up, doing a 360 of the building, and what to include in first and second radio reports.  Not every department will have the same requirements so this will be a general idea of the basics.

Practical Session:

Coordinated Fire attacks.  Students will be put into crews of 4.  Each student will have the opportunity to be the officer and lead the crew into a smoky environment.  They will complete the radio reports communicate with “dispatch”.   We will also practice some basic fire ground tactics.   Again, every department has different tactics so this will be discussed and basic tactics will be used.

Participant Requirements:
  • Full PPE including helmet, steel toe/shank boots, gloves and safety glasses.
  • SCBA and 2 air bottles.

Tracey Shields was hired as one of the first female firefighters in the City of Ottawa in 1999, and has now been promoted as the first female Lieutenant in suppression. She is currently working in downtown Ottawa at the busiest station in the city.  Tracey has also been an integral part of Camp FFIT in Ottawa, volunteering her time as an instructor with the program.

Tracey feels very fortunate to have had four healthy baby boys while working as a firefighter. During her pregnancies she was able to work modified duties in many different divisions, gaining insights into each, including Administration, Training, and Air Management. Tracey has been an active member with FSWO for the past nine years, has learned valuable information, and forged new friendships.

Anna Schermerhorn-Collins has over 22 years of service in the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY). The first woman fire officer assigned to Bronx Borough Command in 2005, Anna has served as a lieutenant in Engine 93 the densely populated Washington Heights neighborhood of upper Manhattan since 2006.

During her career as a firefighter and fire officer, Anna has worked with the FDNY Health and Fitness Unit to oversee training programs for women firefighter recruits. She also co-founded Phoenix Firecamp of the Fire Service Women of New York State in 2007, held annually at the Utica Fire Training Facility in Utica, New York. Phoenix Firecamp is a weeklong overnight camp introducing young women to fire and emergency services skills. Anna served as director of the camp for seven years from 2007-2013. She was recognized by the Exploring Program of the Boy Scouts of America Learning for Life and by the Bronx Chamber of Commerce in 2013 for her work on Phoenix Firecamp. Following the devastating 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, Anna developed a Personnel Accountability and Member Welfare Initiative for Catastrophic Events through the FDNY Center of Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness.

Anna is a graduate of the University of Minnesota/Twin Cities where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology in 1988. In March 2017, Anna graduated from the Center of Homeland Defense and Security at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California with a Master of Arts in Security Studies. Her thesis was titled “The Challenges to Gender Integration in Career Fire Services: A Comparative Case Study of Men in Nursing.”

Captain Michele Fitzsimmons is a 17-year veteran of the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY).  She is currently the Captain of Ladder 12 in the Chelsea section of Manhattan. She is the Co-founder and former instructor of Phoenix Firecamp.  She is a graduate of the FDNY Officers Management Institute (FOMI).  2002-2004 she served as the president of FireFLAG, the FDNY's GLBT organization.  From 2013-2015 she was an instructor at FDNY's Probationary Firefighter School.  She has been a Guest Lecturer at University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Business School and Graduate School of Education. 


Rapid Extrication - COURSE NOW FULL - Please email laura.aivaliotis@oafc.on.ca to be put on a wait list.
Instructed by: Jason Defosse

This action packed course includes the following:

  • Scene Size-Up / Scene Safety
  • Team Tasks
  • Late Model Airbag Systems
  • Modern Vehicle Construction
  • Hybrid and Electric Vehicles
  • Understanding Advanced Steels (Boron & More)
  • Rapid Techniques With Late Model Vehicles
  • Rapid Stabilization using Struts
  • Hydraulic / Battery Power Tool Use
Participant Requirements:
  • Full PPE including helmet, steel toe/shank boots, gloves and safety glasses.

Jason will be sharing with the firefighters my top techniques and extrication tactics to shave minutes off the overall rescue time for when the patient’s condition is rapidly decreasing.

Jason Defosse has proudly served different communities as a volunteer firefighter since 1994, and for the last 8 years as an extrication specialist and instructor for Code 4 Fire & Rescue. He has delivered over 1,200 extrication courses across Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and throughout the United States (FDIC Instructor) and South America. Jason is very passionate about teaching and loves to share what he has learned with others to help them have more successful rescues. A proud father of 2 awesome kids and a great network of friends.

 

 

Changing Careers – Firefighters Wanted

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a firefighter, working as part of a team serving your community? Fire Service Women Ontario is offering an opportunity to women interested in firefighting as a career or volunteer opportunity.

During this full day session, we will explore the fire service from ‘where do I start’ to ‘how do I get hired’. The day will include in-class sessions on career prep, education, physical testing and the hiring process, as well as practical fire ground operations. Led by current firefighters, Conestoga College instructors, and women currently changing careers, you will gain exposure to firefighter training, comradery and what it takes to do the job. If you are curious if the fire service is for you and want to know what it’s all about, this session is for you.

Participant Requirements:

  • Clothes suitable for physical fitness.
  • Water bottle.
  • Notebook and pen.
  • Work gloves.
  • Steel toe boots.

To register for this program click here.

Professional Development Workshops and Presenters

Keynote Speaker: Isobel Granger

Isobel Granger is an individual who has advocated on behalf of issues affecting women and children. Her hard work, excellence, professionalism and service have made a profound difference in the lives of women in Canada and abroad. From her role as the first black officer to join the ranks with the British South Africa Police in segregated Rhodesia (which became Zimbabwe) and as one of the first five black female officers with the Ottawa Police Service 1994; as a leader of a platoon; her supervision in the Ottawa Police Youth Section, Diversity and Race Relations and OPS Partner Assault Unit (Domestic Violence),  through to her work delivering gender-based sexual violence training to UN personnel in peace operations around the world, her lifelong commitment to empowering individuals towards better lives and social change is truly extraordinary. Isobel is a catalyst for change that engages, motivates and inspires young women to consider the role they can play in strengthening the civic fabric of Canada. Isobel is one of 150 people from around the world, on the Justice Rapid Response Roster, a United Nations Women’s Initiative, who are qualified to investigate Sexual Gender Based violence related War Crimes against state leaders at the International Level. Isobel currently oversees a number of technical, forensic and investigative units in the Criminal Investigations Directorate of the Ottawa Police Service. She has a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Policing Studies and a Masters Degree (MA) in Leadership.

IMS Safety Officer Academy
Presented by: Dave Dodson

This is a two-day (16 hour) course derived from Dave Dodson’s book: “Fire Department Incident Safety Officer” (Jones & Bartlett, 3rd edition, 2015) and addresses ISO components of NFPA 1521 (2015).  The course is a realistic, street-applicable approach to performing the functions of the Safety Officer at fires and other working incidents.

Retired Battalion Chief Dodson is a fire service author, lecturer, and trainer.  He is a 39-year fire service veteran, serving with the US Air Force, as well as the Parker (CO) and Loveland (CO) Fire Departments.  In January 2017, Chief Dodson became the first recipient of the Fire Department Safety Officers Association’s “Lifetime Achievement Award.”  In 1997, Dave was chosen as the ISFSI “George D. Post Fire Instructor of the Year."


When I Doubt Myself and Other Women (Part 1) – Confronting Internalized Sexism
Presented by: jona olsson

This workshop encourages women to examine the harmful impact of a lifetime of sexist messages that can cause competent women to doubt their own judgment, competence & leadership capacity, and those of other women.

Self-confidence is a requirement for success in fire/emergency service. Most female responders have overcome many of the sexist comments, behaviors and policies that challenged them reaching their current positions, but their own, internalized sexism may still be holding them back.

Participants will confront the internal doubts, the effect on performance and support of other female firefighters and explore ways to overcome those doubts.

When I Doubt Myself and Other Women (Part 2) – Healing Deeper
Presented by: jona olsson

Leadership in the fire service demands self-confidence, and trust of one’s own knowledge, judgement and capabilities.  While most women have successfully challenged sexist comments, behaviours, policies and organizational structures to get to their positions, the impact of internalized sexism often still holds us back –since a lifetime of sexist messages causes us to doubt our judgement, our competence, and our leadership capacity.  Picking up from Part 1, we’ll help each other dig deeper and explore strategies to interrupt our patterns of self-doubt, and to support other women, so we can all perform our very best.

Men of Conscience – Standing Up Against Sexism
Presented by: jona olsson

The fire service still struggles with the legacy of its all-male history.  Sexism manifests differently in 2018, but the attitudes, behaviours and policies that constitute sexism, interpersonally and institutionally, still discourage, demean, oppress and endanger all women.  While men are also hurt by sexism, they still benefit from sexist attitudes and discrimination against women – even men of conscience.  The result: the effectiveness of emergency services is reduced – NOT by women, but by sexism.  This interactive workshop offers men a chance to identify both their responsibilities and their opportunities to work for gender justice in a supportive, yet challenging environment.

jona olsson is the Director of cultural bridges to justice and Asst. Chief of Latir Volunteer FD in New Mexico, US. jona has presented for IAFC, IAFF, FBU, i-women, CAFC, FSWO, London and Edinburgh Fire brigades, Ottawa and Calgary Fire Departments, Australasian Fire and Emergency Authorities Council, Women and Firefighting Australasia (WAFA) plus many other agencies in the U. S., Canada, UK and Australasia. She was named 2012 Volunteer Chief of the Year by Fire Chief Magazine and IAFC. In 2015 she received the first Ambassador Award from FSWO. jona lives with her wife, Jane, and several rescued 4-footed friends.


#MeToo in the Fire Service: Ending Harassment and Discrimination
Presented by:  The Barbra Schlifer Clinic

Women are speaking up and saying #metoo in all places of work, and the fire service is no exception. This panel will convene fire service and legal experts to discuss how to best support fire service women who bravely come forward and report their experiences of discrimination and harassment on the job.

The Barbra Schlifer Clinic offers legal representation, professional counselling and multilingual interpretation to women who have experienced abuse.

Our diverse, skilled, and compassionate staff accompany women through personal and practical transformation, helping to build lives free from violence. We are a centre by, for and about women. We amplify women’s voices, and cultivate their skills and resilience. Together with our donors and volunteers, we are active in changing the conditions that threaten women’s safety, dignity, and equality.


Hiring Panel
Presented by:  Chief Deryn Rizzi and Chief Jim Andrews

Trying to land a job as a firefighter can be a daunting process, considering the stiff competition. Today, fire departments look for well-rounded individuals who not only meet the physical and mental challenges of the job, but are also a good fit in terms of personality and leadership potential. This program will review drafting a resume that will get you noticed, the art of the application, and interview skills. In addition, we will review the courses, certification and other continuing education opportunities which may boost your scores in the application and recruitment process.

Deryn Rizzi is the Fire Chief for the Vaughan Fire & Rescue Service (VFRS).  Deryn is honoured to serve as an Aide-de-Camp for Lieutenant Governor of Ontario; Elizabeth Dowdeswell.  Deryn also is an elected Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs, representing the Chief Officers from 448 departments in Ontario.  Deryn is a PhD candidate at York University.  Her doctoral work supplements a master’s degree in disaster and emergency management from York University and bachelor of education and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Queen’s University. Chief Rizzi actively promotes fire safety and prevention practices while acting as a visible advocate for both the VFRS and the Ontario fire service.

Jim Andrews lives in Ottawa with his wife Cathy and has two adult children, Cam Lin and Justin. Jim joined the fire service family in 1990 with the former City of Nepean. He has since held various positions with Ottawa Fire Services including; Lieutenant, Fire Training Officer, Special Teams Coordinator, Urban Search and Rescue Task Force Team Leader, Station Captain and Acting District Chief. Jim assumed the role of Sector Chief with Ottawa Fire Services Rural and Special Operation division in 2017.

Jim is currently taking a Masters Diploma in Municipal Leadership through York University’s Schulich School of Business. He received his Executive Diploma in Municipal Management from Western and Seneca College in 2014. Jim is a certified fire service instructor with extensive special operations training and experience.

Jim’s involvement with FSWO reaches back to the first Camp FITT in Ottawa; where the seeds of this organization were first sown. He has presented at numerous FSWO conferences; providing insight on crisis management, leadership and workplace harassment.

Jim is committed to providing the FSWO membership with high quality professional development opportunities that Empower, Educate, and Encourage.


Responding to Electrical Emergencies for Emergency Responders
Presented by:  Tim Burgess

The class is an interactive, PowerPoint driven lecture filled with energy and experiences in responding to electrical emergencies. We take the book “Electrical Safety Handbook for Emergency Responders“, and explain it from one firefighter to another firefighter. Tim will explain how to apply the concepts listed in the publication in order to be safe while at the scene. There are discussions and video clips to help re-enforce the understanding.

Tim Burgess’ background incorporates 30 years of emergency response experiences within Ontario in various capacities including working as an Arborist, Industrial Nuclear Power Plant Firefighter, Forest Firefighter, Electrical Powerline Maintainer and Health & Safety Instructor. He has been involved with volunteer fire departments since 1989, and currently as the Assistant Fire Chief with the Cramahe Township Fire Department. Safety has always been important to Tim and must be a priority while responding to electrical emergencies. He believes fire service responders must know how to remain safe while responding.


Tactical Yoga and Breathing - This is Your Nervous System on Stress
Presented by:  Jessica Stephenson and Lindsay Gulanes

Join Jessica and Lindsay for a practical approach to self-regulation to maintain good nervous system health as a first responder. Spending too much time in fight or flight mode can deplete your energy and cause deleterious health impacts that not only reduce your capacity at work, but also drain your quality of life. Using yoga and somatic experiencing techniques, Jessica and Lindsay will guide you through skills that you can use to optimize your nervous system and feel alert, responsive and calm”.

Jessica Stephenson has been with Waterloo Fire Rescue for 13 years.  She has two amazingly crazy children and a passion for people.  She has joined her experience in the fire service with her understanding of the human body and nervous system to provide you with real life tools to manage your day, on and off your mat, and on and off the job.

 

Lindsay Gulanes has more than 3,000 hours of experience teaching yoga classes and leading trainings and workshops. In addition to her love for yoga, Lindsay is also a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, a neurobehavioural intervention therapy style used in renegotiating trauma.

 


Pre-Emergency Responder and PTSD
Presented by:  Joe Casey

Personal and true experience of pre-emergency responder and post-emergency responder triggers associated with PTSD. How life goes on after diagnoses. Moods and mood swings. My personal everyday battle, coping ideas, and things I avoid that can trigger me every day. 

Joe has delivered this presentation to some fire departments across the province with good feedback.  It is very personal and everything is true to his life.

Joe Casey started his career in the fire service in 1977, over 40 years in the fire service. The highest rank he held was fire chief, and was a chief officer for close to 20 years. He worked as an emergency safety coordinator for a mental health facility that included not criminally responsible men.

Joe was diagnosed with PTSD in 2005 after what he thought was a heart attack. He is currently back in the fire field working as a program specialist.  Joe’s daughter is a paramedic.


Hoarding: Risks, Mitigation and Enforcement
Presented by:  Tawnya Roberts and Jennifer Cooper

Excessive accumulation of materials in homes poses a significant threat to responding firefighters. Compulsive hoarding behavior is an issue fire departments need to become familiar with in order to develop and implement effective mitigation, pre-planning and enforcement strategies. Case studies involving severe hoarding situations pre and post fire conditions will be used to provide participants with important insights on this serious issue that exists in every community.

Tawnya Roberts is a Program Specialist with the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management. As a strong advocate of the power of fire prevention, she has provided dynamic leadership for over 15 years in shaping fire safety standard enforcement across Ontario by developing and delivering educational seminars and mitigation strategies to support fire service leaders in utilizing their extensive legislative powers to save lives. From mitigation of extreme hoarding situations, execution of entry warrants to addressing “Immediate Threat to Life” situations, Tawnya Roberts highlights the significant impact, purpose and strategies surrounding fire safety enforcement.

Jennifer Cooper is a Fire Prevention/Public Education Officer with the Whitchurch-Stouffville Fire & Emergency Services. She has been in the fire service for 13 years starting her career as a suppression firefighter before moving into the Fire Prevention/Public Education division. Her passion is for fire prevention and public education and is a firm believer that in the fire service and in life, you should never stop learning!
 


OFMEM Enforcement
Presented by:  Tawnya Roberts

Introduction to legislative enforcement powers and mitigation strategies that can be utilized to address serious fire and life safety issues; participants will gain an understanding of how inspections of building construction, use and maintenance can have significant impact on fire ground operations and pre planning activities as well as how they may support building closures processes and or “Immediate Threat to Life” situations.


Social Media in Action
Presented by:  Stephanie Mackenzie-Smith

Done right, social media can improve community relations, maximize fire prevention education and even save lives in an emergency. Done wrong, it can devastate your service’s reputation, ruin careers and cause confusion in a crisis. Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay and it’s becoming an increasingly important part of reputation management and community engagement. In this session we’ll discuss the policies, strategies and best practices that can help you use social media to your advantage and avoid the pitfalls. Using an interactive format and real-world case studies, you’ll walk away with tangible ideas and tools for improving your social media presence and managing risk.

Stephanie Mackenzie-Smith is the Manager of Corporate Communications in the Town of Aurora where she oversees the marketing, communications and digital strategy of the municipality. She is also the Central York Fire Services media contact for Aurora-based incidents. Stephanie spent more than eight years at York Regional Police where she was responsible for the strategies and policies of the service’s social media presence. She regularly instructs at the Ontario Police College, and has spoken at conferences throughout North America, on social media, branding, crisis communications and media relations. She holds a degree in journalism, a master’s in public administration and professional certificates in public relations and teaching effectiveness.


Empowering Firefighter Health through Inclusive Research
Presented by:  Dr. Joy MacDermid

This talk will address why it is important to have firefighter-specific research that includes both men and women. It will discuss trends in how women have been included in firefighter research, a few studies that are specific to women firefighters and studies that have compared men and women firefighters. The focus of the talk will be to indicate what is known about how sex and gender affect health and work participation for firefighters. It will also discuss gaps in knowledge and where we need to go in the future.

Dr. Joy MacDermid is a physical therapist, hand therapist and researcher. She is a Professor in the School of Physical Therapy at Western University. Dr. MacDermid holds the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Chair in Gender, Work, and Health and the Dr. James Roth Chair in Musculoskeletal Measurement and Knowledge Translation. She is also the Project Director of FIREWELL, a collaborative research program focusing on firefighter health and wellness.
 


Embodied Resilience for Traumatic Stress
Presented by: Jane Clapp

Discover how understanding the brain-body connection during traumatic stress makes sense from a survival standpoint. In this 2-hour workshop, you will get a taste for the foundation of my trauma recovery research and coaching. Walk away with body hacks for traumatic stress prevention and tools to help you feel more grounded and resourced for coping better with day-to-day stress.

Jane Clapp started her journey in the fitness and wellness world by training as a group fitness instructor at 19 before earning a Bachelor of Commerce degree at UBC specializing in labour relations. In her first career, Jane was a Research Officer at a trade union and labour relations consultant at two large corporations and, in that time, she participated in the 200 hr interest based conflict resolution program at the Justice Institute of BC.

After moving to Toronto, Jane’s training includes: Ryerson professional personal training program, CPTN and CPFLA certifications, ACE Lifestyle and Weight Management, CanFit Pro Pre and Post Natal Fitness, Fascial Stretch Therapy, Charles Poliquin's strength coaching, Reiki Master level training, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, 120hr Tensegrity Therapy and 200hr Yoga Teacher Training with Diane Bruni, Buteyko Breathing lessons, certification program with Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture studying the bio-psychosocial impact of torture, ELDOA Level One, Dr. Rick Hanson's Foundations of Well Being program, and audited Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Level One. Add in an obsession researching and implementing the most recent research in trauma recovery and the body plus her own extensive work in psychotherapy since early adulthood.


Operating in Uncertainty
Presented by:  Jim Andrews

Mayday! – Mayday! – Mayday!

One is never ready to hear those words; either as a firefighter or chief officer in charge of a scene. In April of 2018, I was the chief officer who heard those words.

In this half-day session we will discuss the broad range of procedures, skills and perspectives which contributed to a positive outcome. We will look at the importance of taking decisive action and being comfortable in uncertainty. We may never be ready for a mayday call; we can however cultivate the operational resiliency needed to respond effectively.


Pregnancy in the Fire Service
Presented by:  Karen Simpson and Cassandra Greer

One of the most relevant issues facing women in the fire service today is pregnancy.  This workshop will examine Human Rights Code basics, specifically highlighting relevant arbitration and code decisions.

Karen Simpson is a lawyer practicing personal injury at Lerners LLP in London.  She is particularly interested in educating emergency service workers about the importance of being properly insured, third party claims that may arise in the course of employment and WSIB elections.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Karen served the citizens of Chatham-Kent for 10 years as a career firefighter.   While in the fire service, Karen sat on the board of directors for iWomen and Fire Service Women Ontario for seven and six years, respectively.

Cassandra Greer has been a fire dispatcher for 22 years. Her career started in a small rural dispatch centre that was responsible exclusively for volunteer stations. During this time, she was also hired by a mid-size urban dispatch centre that served rural and urban areas and an increased call volume. In 2001 she was hired by the city of Ottawa which to date has 32 urban fire stations and 19 rural stations with an annual average call volume of 25,000 emergency responses and 60,000 additional non-emergency calls. Ottawa Fire Services also serves a large geographical area of 2,796 kilometers and two outside municipal agencies. She is serving her fourth term with the Ottawa Professional Fire Fighters Association as an elected executive board member and currently chairs the Human Relations and Accommodation Committee and sits as a member of the bargaining committee for one of the largest firefighter unions in Canada. In 2012, she was appointed to sit on the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Human Relations Committee and proudly maintains her position there to-date. Cassandra is married to an exceptionally supportive husband Glen and they have two girls who are 11 and 15.


The Science of Recruitment – Path to Success
Presented by:  Mike Wood

Lecture/discussion, PowerPoint, questions and answers. Lots of interaction.

  • Presentation to help identify where a candidate may be able to improve in their Career Journey to becoming a member of the fire service;
  • Identify hidden talents candidates do not realize they have;
  • How to create their own resume that gains an interview;
  • How to successfully master the interview process; and
  • How to avoid those career ruining mistakes during the journey.

Mike Wood has 23 years in the fire service, and is a very proud member of Toronto Fire Services. Over the years he was constantly being asked to assist individuals in becoming firefighters. He found the “science” of recruitment and interviews challenging and extremely interesting. Five years of in-depth research in recruitment, produced models for interview prep, resumes, cover letters and habits successful candidates use. To date he, and his mentor partner, have assisted over 130 individuals achieve their dream occupation.


Structural Firefighting Tactics for Rural Firefighting
Presented by:  Shaun Hunt and Andrew Blair

In this presentation, we will discuss fire dynamics with a focus on “non-urban “elements of firefighting.  We will look at efficient use of water with a variety of water application techniques, as well as the importance of coordinated ventilation tactics. We will cover the non-negotiables of interior attack and what we are doing post-fire to keep ourselves healthy for our families for years to come.

Contact Us

Do you have a question about the Fire Service Women Ontario Symposium and AGM?  We would be happy to help!
 
For registration inquiries, hotel accommodations or other specific inquiries, please contact:
 
Laura Aivaliotis, FSWO Registrar
Phone:  905-426-9865 x230
 
For additional information with regards to FSWO or your FSWO membership, please email: fswomembership@gmail.com