New Fire Chief encouraging young women to consider career in firefighting
Belleville’s new fire chief has blazed a trail for women firefighters and she hopes a program she started will make its way to the Quinte Region.
Monique Belair was sworn in as the city’s first female fire chief on Monday.
She was one of just a few female firefighters when she started her firefighting career with the Canadian Armed Forces more than 30 years ago.
In 2019, while serving as Deputy Chief with the Oakville Fire Department, Chief Belair established Camp Molly to encourage young girls to consider firefighting as a career.

“A camp that’s four days and it’s fully sponsored by local stakeholders and businesses. And it targets 15- to 18-year-old girls. And we teach them about all the possibilities of a career in fire service – not just suppression, but investigation, communications, prevention, education. There’s a whole world out there in the fire service that’s available to them.”

Chief Belair will be speaking with current partners of the program to work on setting it up here.
Approximately 30 young women have completed the program and four of them, who are now old enough, have already been accepted into a pre-service firefighting program.
The camp is named after Molly Williams, a former slave in New York City who was reported to be the first female firefighter in 1815.