Fire Service Women Ontario 2022 Symposium - Together Towards Tomorrow

Join us October 19-22, 2022 in Belleville for Fire Service Women Ontario 2022 Annual Training Symposium

“Together Towards Tomorrow”

Hosted by:

Belleville Fire and Emergency Services Quinte West Fire and Emergency Services

Fire Service Women Ontario (FSWO) Board of Directors invites you to our 2022 Annual Training Symposium, titled, "Together Towards Tomorrow." October 19 to 22, 2022, hosted by Belleville Fire and Emergency Services.

Every year FSWO holds a Training Symposium in a different city. Not only do we offer many different in-class sessions and HOT practical training sessions, there are many opportunities to meet and connect with others from all over Canada and the United States. We welcome members of the fire service from all divisions some of which include suppression, fire prevention, communications, training, and fire program students.

We are excited to announce our Keynote Speaker Celene Lemire. Celene is a Deputy Chief of People Culture and Equity in Vancouver Fire. She has focused on equity and inclusion in large emergency service organizations, addressing systemic issues, supporting membership and operational teams by identifying inequities in policies, practices and programs.

This year's symposium features topics of physical and mental 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:

  • Come join Jess Clermont of Toronto Fire Services for an 8-hour forcible entry course where we’ll cover conventional forcible entry tips and tricks, plus dive into the world of respectful entry by going through the lock.  
  • Jason Defosse of Code 4 Fire & Rescue will be sharing top techniques and extrication tactics along with a full day Advanced Rapid Response Extrication course.
  • Join members from the Belleville Fire & Emergency Services for the Firefighter Survival/Rapid Intervention Teams(RIT) course where you will learn the importance of self-survival on the fireground through lecture and practice scenarios/evolutions.
  • Join Cheryl and Shaun Hunt's Fire Behaviour: Translating Knowledge Into Practice course to learn about the challenging fire environments firefighters face today, and how to apply various tactics to help control the fire and mitigate inherent risk by applying current fire science with best practice fire ground tactics and decision-making strategies.
  • Learn about appropriate hose handling, hose advancement, water application and proper use of the nozzle with Phil Collins’ Behind the Nozzle course.
  • Get the opportunity to work in a vertical environment and gain hands on experience with a variety of rope rescue systems in Rope Rescue Small Team Tactics and Techniques with Peter Roy-Smith.

  • ​​​2022 classroom sessions focus on understanding and reducing barriers for woman and other underrepresented groups in the fire service with FSWO Toolkit; firefighter health and fitness with firefighter yoga, Crossfit Group Fitness, health and safety in the fire service and female firefighter cancer and reproductive risk awareness. Learn about leadership in the fire service and overcoming prolonged occupational stress and trauma, how to recognize the ‘warning signs’ of mental health issues, as well as discuss becoming more resilient and much more!

View our full agenda and speaker bios/overviews for HOT (Hands on Training) and classroom sessions for more details.

 

 

Registration Information & Fees

Registration will be held at the Symposium hotel:
RAMADA BY WYNDHAM BELLEVILLE HARBOURVIEW CONFERENCE CENTRE
11 Bay Bridge Road
Belleville, ON
 
Registration Date & Times:
Wednesday, October 19:  4:00pm to 8:00pm
Thursday, October 20:  6:30am to 5:00pm
Friday, October 21:  6:30am to 5:00pm
 
Full Symposium Fee
Fee Rates
Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 
  • Sessions
  • Lunch
  • Dinner and Evening Networking Events
Members
$495
Non-Members
$595
Students Members
$295
Partial Symposium
2-Days (Thursday/Friday OR Friday/Saturday)
  • Sessions
  • Lunch
  • Dinner and Evening Networking Events
Members
$395
Non-Members
$495
Students Members
$195
1-Day (Thursday, Friday OR Saturday)
  • Sessions
  • Lunch
Members
$195
Non-Members
$295
Students Members
$99
Additional Opportunities
Thursday Evening – Wine/Craft Beer Tasting and Trade Show

$50

Friday Evening – Awards Ceremony and Dinner

$75

Saturday Evening – Evening Social and Networking

$50

Cancellation Policy:  There will be no refunds after October 5, 2022.  All cancellations prior to October 5, 2022 will be charged a cancellation fee of $50.00. 

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.
 
Mission Statement -- The mission of FSWO is to encourage, educate and empower women in the fire service in Ontario.
 

Vision -- Gender equity is the norm – not the exception!

Values -- We believe…

  • We are accountable in advocating for a gender equitable workforce.
  • Collaboration and camaraderie are keys to our success; creating shared commitment to a common purpose and supporting a culture of warmth and belonging.
  • Inclusion matters: We embrace diverse perspectives, ideas and experiences.
  • We have a role to play in fostering supportive professional networks and personal relationships amongst women.

When each of us lives these values, we are deserving of trust and respect, fulfill our mission with integrity, and move closer to achieving our vision.

 
To learn more about us, please visit www.fswo.ca.

Symposium Locations
 

RAMADA BY WYNDHAM BELLEVILLE HARBOURVIEW CONFERENCE CENTRE
11 Bay Bridge Road
Belleville, ON
 

THE HASTINGS PRINCE EDWARD MUTUAL AID ASSOCIATION FIRE TRAINING COMPLEX
22 Chester Road
Trenton, ON 
 

BELLEVILLE FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES - STATION 1
60 Bettes Street
Belleville, ON
 
 
 

Pure Grit CrossFit
45 Lahr Drive
Belleville, ON
 

 

 

 


QUINTE SPORTS AND WELLNESS CENTRE
265 Cannifton Road
Belleville, ON


 

 

 

 

 

 

Symposium Agenda

 

NFPA COURSES - Registration is now closed.

NFPA COURSE DATES
NFPA 1033
NFPA 1041 NFPA 1035
Wednesday October 19, 2022
8:00-17:00 8:00-17:00  
Thursday October 20, 2022 8:00-17:00 8:00-17:00 8:00-17:00
Friday October 21, 2022 8:00-12:00    
Final Exam 13:00-15:00 13:00-15:00 13:00-15:00
COURSE LOCATIONS:
 
 
      

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2022

TIME
HOT CLASSES (8 HOURS)
8:00-17:00
Cheryl Hunt
Fire Behaviour: Translating Knowledge Into Practice
Jason Defosse
Advance Rapid Response Auto-Extrication
FULL
Jess Clermont

Conventional and Respectful Forcible Entry

Adam Rockall
Introduction to Pump Ops
FULL
  CLASSROOM SESSIONS
8:00-17:00
Tracey Shields and Kristy-Lynn Pankurst

Resilient Minds

18:00-22:00
Wine and Craft Beer Tasting and Trade Show
HOT CLASS LOCATION:
All HOT classes today are 8-hours

The Hastings Prince Edward Mutual Aid Association Fire Training Complex

CLASSROOM SESSION LOCATION:
Classroom session today is 8-hours
 

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2022

TIME
HOT CLASSES (8 HOURS)
8:00-17:00
Cheryl Hunt

Fire Behaviour: Translating Knowledge Into Practice

 
Peter Roy Smith*
Rope Rescue Small Team Tactics and Techniques
  HOT CLASSES (4 HOURS)
8:00-12:00
Nick Dunham
Rescue with Webbing
Jason Defosse
Auto-Ex
JF Caron
Fire Service Saws Training Course
Ben Whitten
Firefighter Survival
Bill Baker
Interior Highrise Firefighting
13:00-17:00
Nick Dunham
Rescue with Webbing
Jason Defosse
Auto-Ex
JF Caron
Fire Service Saws Training Course
Ben Whitten
Firefighter Survival
Phil Collins
Behind the Nozzle - FULL
18:00-22:00
FSWO Reception and Awards Ceremony

HOT CLASS LOCATIONS:

The Hastings Prince Edward Mutual Aid Association Fire Training Complex

*With exception of Peter-Roy Smith: Rope Rescue Small Team Tactics and Techniques
 

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2022

Time
CLASSROOM SESSIONS
8:00-10:00
Lydia Wilcox
Introduction to the FSWO Toolkit
(4 Hours)
Jodie Grisdale
After the Fire-Fire Investigations and the use of an Accelerant Detection Canine
Jennifer Wong
Health and Safety in the Fire Service
10:00-12:00
Jenn Delaney and Chief Monique Belair
Recruitment & Interview Strategies
 
12:00-13:00
LUNCH
13:00-15:00
Tracey Shields/Michele Fitzsimmons
Leadership In the Fire Service
(4 Hours)
Gary Laframboise**
Commercial Cooking Systems
@QSWC
15:00-17:00
Jacquie Hill-Bower**
Don’t Be Alarmed
@GSWC
18:00-22:00
FSWO Reception and Awards Ceremony

CLASSROOM LOCATIONS:

Unless otherwise indicated, classroom sessions will take place at:

Ramada by Wyndam Harbourview Conference Centre

**Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre

 

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2022

Time
CLASSROOM SESSIONS
8:00-10:00
Panel Session:
Resilience and Recovery
TJ Robbins
Firefighter Yoga
Shelby Barton*
Crossfit Group Session
@ Pure Grit Crossfit
10:00-12:00 General Session - Celene Lemire
12:00-13:00 LUNCH
13:00-15:00
Panel Session:
Leadership
Karen Simpson Take Note: The Devil is in the Details
Neil McMillan
Female Firefighter Cancer and Reproductive Risk Awareness
FESTI
Intro to Crucial Conversations for Mastering Dialogue and Accountability
(4 Hours)
15:00-17:00
Samantha Hoffmann
Social Media & Your Department
Chief Monique Belair
Building NFPA Training
Colleen Kamps
The Cost of Caring
18:00-22:00 Evening Social and Networking

CLASSROOM LOCATION:

All classroom sessions will take place at: Ramada by Wyndam Harbourview Conference Centre
 

 

NFPA Courses

 

Registration is now closed.

OCTOBER 19, 2022

NFPA 1033 - Fire Investigator

 

NFPA 1033 is online for 8 weeks and 3 days of on the fireground learning activities coupled with classroom learning. It is a blended course and covers all investigative competencies associated with NFPA 1033, 2014 edition, including scientific method, Origin & Cause, building construction, scene safety, scene re-constructions. All aspects of assessing & investigating fires and adheres to NFPA 921.

Textbook required for the course: IFSTA 1033, 2nd edition. This textbook can be purchased from the Firehall Bookstore in hard copy or electronic copy.

To register for this course you must be a member of an Ontario Fire Department. You must be a fire officer or a firefighter with a minimum 5 years experience.You will be required to complete the online portion of the course (8 weeks) in advance of the in-person class session.

In Class Sessions: Wednesday Oct 19, 2022, 8-5pm
Thursday Oct 20, 2022, 8-5pm
Friday Oct 21, 2022, 8-1pm

Exam Friday Oct 21, 2022, 1-4pm

To be officially enrolled in an NFPA course, you must:

1. Pay the NFPA course fee AND the FSWO Symposium fee
2. Complete the 
FSWO Registration Form and email it to registrar@fswo.ca
3. Complete the Ontario Fire College Form with your chief’s authorization and email to registrar@fswo.ca
 by June 10, 2022 at 11pm.

4. Be a FSWO member


NFPA 1041 - Fire Instructor - Level 1

 

NFPA 1041 will take place both online and in class and will teach students how to deliver training to a variety of audiences in an effective manner. Students will learn how to use a lesson plan effectively by analyzing and applying principles of adult education, assessing learner needs, planning lessons and conducting evaluations. Considerations for scheduling, learning environments and community stakeholders.

Textbook: IFSTA 1041 Fire Instructor 8th or 9th edition. This textbook can be purchased from the Firehall Bookstore in hard copy (9th edition) or electronic copy (9th edition or 8th edition).

To register for this course you must be a member of an Ontario Fire Department. The course prerequisite is NFPA 1001 and 5 years experience as a firefighter. You will be required to complete the online portion of the course (8 weeks) in advance of the 3 days in-person class session.

In-class sessions: Wednesday Oct 19, 2022, 8 - 5pm AND
Thursday Oct 20, 2022 8 – 3 pm

Exam: Friday, Oct 21, 2022 1-4pm

To be officially enrolled in an NFPA course, you must:

1. Pay the NFPA course fee AND the FSWO Symposium fee
2. Complete the 
FSWO Registration Form and email it to registrar@fswo.ca
3. Complete the Ontario Fire College Form with your chief’s authorization and email to registrar@fswo.ca
 by June 10, 2022 at 11pm.
4. Be a FSWO member


OCTOBER 20, 2022

NFPA 1035 - Fire & Life Safety Educator - Level 1

 

NFPA 1035 provides students with the skills necessary to deliver and coordinate existing fire & life safety education at various levels within a community. This course examines fire behaviour, human behaviour during a fire, educational methodology and basic fire protection systems. Scheduling of activities, recognizing opportunities for shared efforts with common fire & life safety goals, and adapting lesson plans to the needs of the audience.

Course fee $65.00 (+ full $495 symposium fee)

Textbook required for this course: IFSTA 1035 Fire & Life Safety Educator, 3rd edition. This textbook can be purchased from the Firehall Bookstore in hard copy or electronic copy.

To register for this course you must be a member of an Ontario Fire Department. You will be required to complete the online portion of the course (8 weeks) in advance of the 1-day in-person class session.

In-class session: Thursday, Oct 20, 2022 8-5 pm

Exam: Friday, Oct 21, 2022 1-4pm

To be officially enrolled in an NFPA course, you must:

1. Pay the NFPA course fee AND the FSWO Symposium fee
2. Complete the 
FSWO Registration Form and email it to registrar@fswo.ca
3. Complete the Ontario Fire College Form with your chief’s authorization and email to registrar@fswo.ca
 by June 10, 2022 at 11pm.
4. Be a FSWO member

COURSE LOCATIONS:
 
 

 

 

 

HOT Course Descriptions

 
Fire Behaviour: Translating Knowledge Into Practice
Instructed by: Cheryl and Shaun Hunt
 

Do you want to learn more about the challenging fire environments firefighters face today, and how to apply various tactics to help control the fire and mitigate inherent risk by applying current fire science with best practice fire ground tactics and decision-making strategies?

During this full-day session we will explore fire behaviour using various prop demonstrations, practice fire control using door control and nozzle techniques, and finally putting everything together in a live burn in our 40’ Enclosure Fire Dynamics Simulator.

Participant Requirements:
Participants MUST have achieved NFPA 1001 Firefighter 1 & 2 accreditation to participate in this live fire training.
 
Full PPE, including SCBA and cylinder, bunker coat and pants, helmet, gloves, flash hood, face piece, and structural firefighting boots.
 
Cheryl and Shaun Hunt have been career firefighters with the Ottawa Fire Service for 19 years and are now both Acting Lieutenants. In 2015 they began studying enclosure fire dynamics and have since become lead instructors for the From Knowledge To Practice (FKTP) Fire Dynamics curriculum originating out of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; having also delivered the program as an adjunct instructors with the Ontario Fire College. Cheryl and Shaun not only share a passion for firefighting, they also celebrated 21 years married this year and have 3 beautiful children.

Advance Rapid Response Auto-Extrication  PROGRAM IS NOW FULL
Instructed by: Jason Defosse
 
 

This is designed specifically for those departments that are covering large areas and when time is critical...every second counts!  Firefighters will be challenged to create a plan to perform a fast and safe rescue with the clock running.  The scenarios will be multi vehicle accidents, roll over pin jobs, and T-Bone as well as head-on impacts. Firefighters will receive extensive tool time. 

The course includes training in the following areas:
  • New car technology, including hybrids (Late model cars will be on site)
  • Quick stabilization 
  • Rapid extrication 
  • Resources 
  • Understanding rescue tool operations and how to maximize their power

This must-have program will share all the latest rapid extrication techniques that will help firefighters improve their rescue times and build confidence. 

Participant Requirements:

Full PPE – bunker gear, coveralls with steel toed boots, helmets, gloves, no SCBA required.

Jason Defosse started his Firefighting career in 1995 and is a proud member of the Quinte West Fire Department.  He also proudly served as an Infantry soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces.  He has been a rescue specialist for the last 10 years and an international instructor who specializes in advanced extrication. Jason’s unique style of instruction has put him in demand delivering over 1700 extrication training courses to the Canadian Military, Mine Rescue and Fire Departments extensively throughout Canada, the United States and South America through Code 4 Fire & Rescue.  In addition to his duties at Code 4, he is a certified rescue tool service technician, and he co-writes training articles for the company’s magazine.  At home, Jason is a proud father of 2 amazing children (Julia & Trevor), he is a hockey coach, and he enjoys playing guitar and restoring old classic cars while enjoying the outdoor lifestyle.


Conventional and Respectful Forcible Entry
Instructed by: Jess Clermont
 

Come join us for an 8-hour (4 in class and 4 on fire ground) forcible entry course where we’ll cover conventional forcible entry tips and tricks, plus dive into the world of respectful entry by going through the lock. We will spend the morning in class reviewing door/lock size up, mechanical advantage of the Halligan bar, how to generate force with your axe, through the lock techniques on residential, commercial, and add-on locks, and discuss various tools (i.e., shove knives, K-tool, adz rex, J-tool, force wedge, mod. framing square). The afternoon will be spent practicing the skills and techniques we discussed in class.

Participant Requirements:
Bunker Gear, helmet,  firefighter boots, gloves and safety glasses
 
Jess Clermont has been a firefighter with Toronto Fire Services since 2008, and was recently promoted to Acting Captain.  Forcible entry, RIT, and High-Rise Ops Instructor for TFS.  Instructor at Centennial and Fleming College Firefighter Pre-Service Programs.  Conferences attended include: FSWO, FDIC, and CHC.  My favorite weapons are hockey sticks and halligan bars.  I have 3 dogs, 2 cats, and 1 human.
Introduction to Pump Ops PROGRAM IS NOW FULL
Instructed by: Adam Rockall
 
This one-day course will start in class. A high-level explanation of the pump components and understanding of the pump performance capabilities. We will discuss friction loss and related fire ground calculations to help you, the pump operator, get water moving and understand what you’re doing.  On the fire ground every participant will have plenty of hands-on opportunity, both on the pump panel and hose management. This course can be tailored to the individual on the panel to develop comfort and confidence or challenge current skill level.  We will perform two main scenarios for the day, first will be a transitional attack using a pressurized water source, then a second attack using a static water source.

Participant Requirements:
Bunker gear, helmet, and structural firefighting gloves
 

Adam Rockall has been in the fire service for 18 years. Throughout that time, he has worked as a career firefighter for nine years and a career training officer for nine years.  He is also a volunteer training officer and has been doing that for 8 years. Throughout his career, Adam has worked in full time, composite, volunteer and federal fire departments.  His background in pump operations started early on in his career as an Associate Instructor at the OFC for seven years instructing pump ops and TTT – pump ops.  He has been a part of the NFPA 1002 (Chapter 5) pump ops, NFPA 1006 (Water chapters) and NFPA 1001 Provincial Advisory Committees.  Adam has instructed internationally as well, and he is the President of the Ontario Association of Fire Training Officers (OAFTO) for the past three years.


Rescue with Webbing
Instructed by: Nick Dunham
 

As a firefighter, you could be called upon to rescue a victim or colleague. But how do you conduct a rescue when the victim's weight far exceeds your physical capabilities? The answer is webbing, a low-cost and straightforward piece of equipment that can be carried in your pocket. During this training, you will discuss the uses of webbing in both self and victim rescue, review case studies where the application of webbing could have improved the outcome of the situation and how to utilize webbing in real-time through simulated fire ground activities. 

Participant Requirements:

All participants require bunker gear, helmet, steel toe/structural fire boots and structural fire gloves. SCBA (if unavailable at the tower)

Nick Dunham is a career firefighter currently serving with Whitby Fire and Emergency Services. Since 2005, his experience has spanned three provinces, working in various facets of fire and emergency services. Nick is an instructor for the Loyalist and Fleming College pre-service firefighter programs. He serves on the Northumberland County Fire Training Committee, where he supports local fire department training, including the Brighton Fire Department as an instructor and fire service professional. Nick holds numerous fire service certifications and is currently in his 3rd year of a Bachelor of Applied Business in Emergency Services. His passions include hazmat, technical rescue and firefighter fundamentals.


Fire Service Saws Training Course
Instructed by: JF Caron
 

This course will offer firefighters of all skill level the opportunity to get knowledge and experience on the operation of fire service saws in a team-teaching environment. The goal for this session is to build confidence that will make the participants understand the mechanics of using chain and circular saws as well as practical experience operating them in a safe environment.

Participant Requirements:

Bunker gear, helmet, steel toe/structural fire boots, gloves, eye protection, and ear protection.

JF Caron has been in the fire service since 2002 and is currently a firefighter with Ottawa Fire Services. He has served as an instructor with OFS as well as at Algonquin college and La Cite Collegial. JF is looking forward to sharing his passion for the fire service with all the FSWO participants.

Rope Rescue Small Team Tactics and Techniques
Instructed by: Peter Roy-Smith
 

Rope Rescue small team tactics and techniques will be tailored to the skill levels of participants. Previous experience is not required! Our goal is to provide a learning environment that will provide an opportunity to gain hands on experience with a variety of rope rescue systems. We aim to provide a fun, informative session that focuses on safety and efficiency working with rope rescue systems. In addition, each person will get the opportunity to work in the vertical environment.

Participant Requirements:

Safety shoes or boots, preferably with ankle support, protective eyewear, gloves that fit well, not firefighting gloves and helmet and harness if you have one. If not, they will be provided.

Peter Roy Smith hails from Australia, bringing some military rope rescue with him. Peter moved to interior BC to begin learning the Canadian way on ski resorts. Now in Ottawa, Peter has solidified his education with certification in NFPA 1006 Rope Rescue Technician and now instructs for Ottawa Fire Service as a member of Station 12 and USAR OnTF4. Real world calls have ranged in Low, Medium, High Angle and technical situations in both urban and rural environments.


Firefighter Survival/RIT
Instructed by: Ben Whiten and Charles Pigden
 

Through this course, you will learn with lecture and practical scenarios/evolutions. The course will include three stages:

  • Firefighter survival
  • Partner rescue/fire fighter rescue
  • Rapid intervention teams/crews (RIT/RIC)

You will learn the importance of self-survival on the Fireground. Knowing your SCBA’s, knowing your equipment, how to manage a Mayday and when to call a Mayday.

You will take your skills from stage 1 and incorporate them into calling maydays for our partner and/or another firefighter. You will learn partner rescue techniques, lifts, and carries.  You will take your stage 1 and 2 techniques/skills and adapt them into Rapid Intervention Teams. You will work as a team to experience and understand the importance of an effective RIT/RIC team.
 
Participant Requirements:

Participants will require full PPE (bunker gear, structural boots, structural helmet, structural gloves, SCBA with two spare cylinders and SCBA mask).

Ben Whiten is a 1st class firefighter with the City of Belleville FD. He’s been a fire fighter for 15 years. He’s a married father of three daughters. He has been the lead instructor with Belleville FD for “firefighter survival/rapid intervention team” specialized training. He believes firefighter survival and rapid intervention are some of the most important skills any and every fire fighter should know.

 

Charles Pigden is a graduate from Durham Colleges Pre-Service Fire Fighter Program in 2004. He has been a Fire Fighter in Belleville where he has lived most of his life for 16 years. He has 3 amazing children with his partner Nitasha. Charles has just finished the IAFF Fire Ground Survival Course and is looking forward to being the newest firefighter survival/ RIT team specialized trainer with Belleville Fire & Emergency Services.

 


Behind the Nozzle - PROGRAM IS NOW FULL
Instructed by: Phil Collins
 

Putting the “wet stuff on the red stuff” is not as basic as it sounds. Appropriate hose handling, hose advancement, water application and proper use of the nozzle creates a more firefighting crew, and provides better customer service. Tactics to create structure fires more tenable for anyone inside including us!

Participant Requirements:

All standard bunker gear.

Phil Collins is a 12-year member of Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services. The Medical Coordinator for the City of Mississauga, Phil is assigned to a Squad. A member of the Championship Auto Extrication Team, Phil also instructs in the medical section and is also an instructor for Confined Space, Trench Rescue and Haz Mat. Phil is excited to be a part of this year's FSWO Symposium.


Interior High Rise Fire Fighting
Instructed by: Bill Baker 
 
High Rise firefighting presents unique challenges as more communities are building up and not out. Changes to the building and fire code have created residential structures constructed with wood. These buildings have fire protection systems and stand pipes not common to firefighters. Interior fire attack utilizing 65 mm hose is not new, but few structural firefighters have experience with this evolution.
 
Participant Requirements:
PPE required for hose advancement (2.5”) and connecting to an FDC/FHC would be:
  • Bunker Suit
  • Helmet
  • Boots
  • Gloves
William “Bill” Baker is the Division Chief of Professional Development and Training for Toronto Fire Services. 30 plus years of experience working on the busiest apparatus in the core of the downtown of Toronto has provided Bill with a vast and diverse level of experience and an unlimited supply of real-life accounts to share.

 
 
 
 
 

Professional Development Workshops and Presenters

Keynote Speaker:  Celene Lemire, Deputy Chief of People Culture and Equity, Vancouver Fire Rescue Services

Celene Lemire has more than 20 years experience in community service, government relations, strategic design, operational planning and leadership.  Over the last decade, she has focused on equity and inclusion work in large emergency service organizations, addressing systemic issues, supporting membership and operational teams by identifying inequities in policies, practices and programs.  Celene has conducted internal cultural assessments, equity reviews and lead strategic plans focused on addressing barriers and identifying issues in accessibility.  She has lead equity audits and systems change initiatives within recruitment processes, training design and curriculum content, promotional processes, infrastructure audits and policy reviews. 

She is a member of the Municipal Equity Council, the UN Safe Cities working group and the National DEI Community of Practice for Fire Rescue Services.  Celene was a Top 40 Under 40 award winner, a graduate of the University of Calgary, has a Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology and is currently a Deputy Chief with Vancouver Fire Rescue Services. Celene believes strongly in the power and impact of lived experiences, and much of her work is in connection and collaboration with the communities she serves.  Celene has facilitated sessions with the BC Association of Fire Chiefs, the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs and with multiple municipalities across Western Canada. 

Straightening Your Crown Won’t Make Mine Crooked

Presented by Celene Lemire

In this session Celene will cover the relationships women have with one another in competitive, male-dominated workspaces.  The session will review concepts of female identities, gender stereotypes, how lateral violence manifests and coping mechanisms (harmful or helpful).  The discussion will range from the theoretical and academic, to the realities of existing as a female in society’s current state and how we support or destroy one another.

This session will be transparent and bold and require the audience to be willing and thoughtful in assessing and addressing some of their own biases, assumptions, and behaviors. 

For this session, please be aware that everyone in the room will have different experiences and be at different places in their learning.  Be gentle with other’s perspectives, and also with yourself.  Please note, if you need to leave or feel uncomfortable, you are not glued to your seat.  Take any time and space you need to be healthy.


Resilient Minds

Presented by Tracey Shields and Kristy-Lynn Pankhurst

The Resilient MindsTM 8-hour course contains four modules that were developed by fire fighters for fire fighters to increase the ability to:

• Recognize the effects of psychological stress/trauma in self and peers
• Understand trauma-informed practices
• Communicate with peers who may be struggling
• Using evidence based trauma informed approach to respond, safely, and appropriately to distressed citizens
• Apply personal strategies for managing stress, mitigating trauma, and boosting resilience

What fire fighters are saying about our program:

The facilitators created a safe, comfortable and interesting learning environment. We were impressed with the interactive capabilities of the Zoom classroom and the way it was incorporated into the course. They taught us coping skills such as the 4R Action Toolkit that we will be able to take into our careers and use to remain healthy for ourselves and our families. As members of the fire service, we would recommend this course to anyone involved in emergency response.”– Fire Fighter recruits in Class 2021-01 (A Platoon), Whitby Fire & Emergency Services, Ontario

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 Captain in suppression. She is currently working in a station in the east end of Ottawa.  Tracey has also been an integral part of Camp FFIT in Ottawa, volunteering her time as an instructor with the program.  Tracey has been an active member with FSWO for the past twelve years, has learned valuable information, and forged new friendships. 

Kristy-Lynn Pankhurst is the Fire Prevention Officer for Scugog Fire & Emergency Services. In this role, she oversees the Department’s Fire Prevention efforts, and responds to emergencies alongside Scugog’s dedicated team. Kristy-Lynn grew up in the Fire Service, following in her father’s footsteps. After completing co-op placements in Kawartha Lakes and Ottawa, she was excited to attend Camp FFIT, Ottawa, in 2015, which is where she learned about FSWO and felt inspired to pursue her dreams. She became a Volunteer Firefighter with Kawartha Lakes Fire Rescue Service in 2015 and began her full-time career in the Fire Service in 2017.


Introduction to FSWO Toolkit
Presented by Lydia Wilcox
 

In 2018, Fire Service Women Ontario (FSWO) hosted a round table of Fire Chiefs from across the province to come together and discuss gender equity, diversity and inclusion in the fire service.   The information gathered from that event has assisted FSWO in their research of women’s lived experience in the fire service. 

This session brings together the ground-breaking research, and information gathered over the past three years culminating in a toolkit developed for fire services to use in understanding and reducing barriers for woman and other underrepresented groups in the fire service.  This toolkit offers practical modules and templates to help fire departments reach their equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

The following presentation will be an overview of the toolkit, focusing on the two most requested sections; recruitment and hiring.  Through an interactive discussion, session participants will engage and learn to use the toolkit within their own fire service.  The knowledge gained will be used to assist your fire service in aligning its recruitment and hiring strategies, with diversity and inclusion policies, giving you practical ideas to create implementation plans.

Lydia Wilcox has worked in municipal government since 2000, and the fire service since 2008. Lydia holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Western Ontario and is currently completing her Fire Service Executive Management Certificate at Humber College. As a career firefighter and a fire prevention officer, she has actively worked to promote the fire service as a career choice to women and underrepresented groups.


Fire Fighter Yoga
Presented by TJ Robbins
 

This session will begin with core strength postures designed to build a healthy and safe foundation for all movement, on or off the job.  With the body properly warmed, participants will be led though a series of stretches to reduce muscle and joint tension and increase range of motion.  The class will finish with breathing and meditation techniques that participants can use to make the most of their working and resting SCBA air time.

TJ Robbins is a Lieutenant at the Milton Fire Department.  She is a member of the Specialty Rescue Team and a Director at FSWO where she serves on several committees.  TJ has been a yoga teacher for over 15 years with 20 years of personal practice.  Her focus on mediation and breathing has combined well with a fire service career.

PPE Requirements:

A yoga mat.


Health and Safety in the Fire Service
Presented by Jennifer Wong
 
The importance of health and safety for all workers and a robust health and safety program that is inclusive to all. Emphasis on the types of hazards in the workplace that have a higher risk to women including PPE fit, workplace violence and mental health and tips on how to share information with your supervisor.

Jennifer Wong is the Health and Safety Consultant for Toronto Fire Services. She is responsible for ensuring legislative compliance, accident/incident investigations, developing safety programs and delivering occupational health and safety training. She has over 10 years’ experience in various fields of health and safety including property management, aviation, emergency services and has experience working with provincial and federal legislation.


Crossfit Group Fitness
Presented by Shelby Barton
 

An all-encompassing fitness workout which will combine cardio and strength training to leave participants feeling strong, powerful and energized.

Shelby Barton is the owner and head coach at Pure Grit Crossfit.  She has been active, at the provincial level, in sports such as; rugby, softball, gymnastics, as well as hockey and soccer which she went on to play at Mount Allison University.  Now retired from traditional sports, Shelby realized that fitness and work ethic were always her greatest assets and are also what CrossFit is all about.  In this session, Shelby will share her passion for fitness with participants and will inspire them to reach their goals.

PPE Requirements:
Flexible workout clothing including running shoes.
Leadership in the Fire Service
Presented by Tracey Shields and Michele Fitzsimmons

This classroom session will explore what it means to be a leader in Fire Suppression.  We will explore leadership on the fire ground as well as in the station.  We will discuss the basics of Incident Command, 360 size up, and communications.  We will explore the challenges of being a leader and transitioning from firefighter to officer.  This session will be interactive and give you the opportunity to ask questions and voice your concerns.

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 Captain in suppression. She is currently working in a station in the east end of Ottawa.  Tracey has also been an integral part of Camp FFIT in Ottawa, volunteering her time as an instructor with the program.  Tracey has been an active member with FSWO for the past twelve years, has learned valuable information, and forged new friendships. 

Battalion Chief Michele Fitzsimmons joined the NYC Fire Department (FDNY) in May of 2001.  She is currently assigned to North Queens but working in the Bureau of Operations. She is the Co-founder and former instructor of Phoenix Firecamp.  She is a graduate of the FDNY Officers Management Institute (FOMI). Since 2019, she has served for a second time (previously 2002-2004) as President of FireFLAG/EMS, the FDNY's LGBTQ+ 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.


Commercial Cooking Systems - What to look for at a Call
Presented by Gary Laframboise
 
To provide a detailed review of the Ontario Fire Code and NFPA 96 specifically dealing with kitchen suppression systems. You will be able to complete a site inspection and ensure that the technical requirements in NFPA 96 are being followed correctly. You will have the opportunity to complete a site inspection and provide group discussion on the outcome from the inspection.
 

Gary Laframboise has over 25 years of experience in the fire protection field and is currently the Chief Fire Prevention Officer with the Oakville Fire Department. Prior to joining the Oakville Fire Department in 1996 he was a Certified Fire Alarm Technician with a fire protection company and was involved with fire alarm, sprinkler and special extinguishing systems. He is a graduate of the Fire Protection Engineering Technology program from Seneca College. He is also an Associate Instructor with the Ontario Fire College.


Don’t Be Alarmed – Fire Alarms at Calls & What You Need to Know
Presented by Jacquie Hill-Bower 
 

The course is designed to provide fire fighters with a basic understanding of fire alarm systems. It will cover purpose of a fire alarm system, system components, where fire alarm systems are required and operation. It will also address the common steps taken when responding to a fire alarm activation.  Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to identify fire alarm devices, describe how fire alarm systems activate, know how to locate an activated device, be familiar with how to reset a fire alarm system and understand the purpose of a fire watch.

Jacquie Hill-Bower has worked for Ajax Fire and Emergency Services, Clarington Emergency and Fire Services and most recently, Port Hope Fire and Emergency Services. She has many years of experience conducting fire inspections, fire investigations and public education. Jacquie has been involved in the commissioning of small, large and complex buildings including witnessed testing of fire protection systems.


Recruitment & Interview Strategies – How to Shine at Your Next Interview
Presented by Monique Belair and Jenn Delaney
 
This session offers strategies for preparing to enter into recruitments or job competitions.  There will be discussion about how to shape your cover letter and resume to line up with the job posting.  The presenters will cover key areas to consider when conducting research before the interview as well as how to get ready for anticipated questions.
 

Fire Chief Monique Belair is a Fire Service Leader with 30+ years of knowledge and experience and has always been committed to facilitating and educating young women about the opportunities a career with the fire service. Monique currently serves Director of Emergency Services and Fire Chief for Belleville Fire and Emergency Services. Chief Belair began her career as a Crash Rescue/Structural Firefighter with the Canadian Armed Forces in 1986 and was one of five females serving on military bases throughout Canada. She continued her career progression working in every role of the Fire Service; Communications, Prevention, Education, Investigations and Office of the Fire Marshal where she was able to obtain insight on fire service cultures from the farthest northern rural communities to large urban city centres.

Jennifer Delaney has been in the fire service for 17 years; the first six as a volunteer firefighter, then as a fire inspector, fire safety educator and fire investigator at Clarington Emergency & Fire Service (Durham Region).  She is now a platoon training instructor for London Fire Department. Jennifer has many years of teaching and interacting with people across the fire service.  She has helped many friends, students and co-workers prepare for recruiting as a firefighter, research to apply for a job, and how to prepare for an interview.


The Cost of Caring
Presented by Colleen Kamps
 
The loyalty and commitment of those working the frontlines is fierce. Which is why it is so important to find a healthy balance with work and life, especially with the many experiences/exposures one endures while at work. The cost of caring in the work one does can have profound effects that may result in compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, and/or burnout. This workshop will focus on the cumulative stress of working the frontline, recognizing the impact of this work, and learning how to build resilience and improve ones overall mental health and wellbeing.
 
Colleen Kamps is a licensed psychotherapist with over 40 years of clinical experience across a variety of settings including inpatient and outpatient mental health, crisis intervention, specialized trauma programs, education, and private practice. She is also a professor at Centennial College, and Simon Fraser University. Additionally, Colleen also provides clinical consultation, training, and crisis support to other professionals in the fields of healthcare, and public safety, and to organizations in need of crisis intervention. Recently appointed as the Education and Curriculum Development Coordinator at the Tema Foundation, Colleen leads the team to create effective education and training for First Responders. Her passion, commitment, and dedication to helping others are what keep her striving forward to make life easier for those who need support.
Female Firefighter Cancer and Reproductive Risk Awareness
Presented by Neil McMillan
 

You will learn about the statistical risk factors related to illnesses, disease, and related disorders including reproductive impacts associated with occupational exposures as a firefighter.  You will learn about substantive studies on firefighter health, as well as specific accounts of work-related disease.  You will learn about methods, and immerging initiatives to reduce occupational illness risk.  You will gain an understanding of the impacts of occupational exposures, as well as how to mitigate risks.  Learners will become cognizant of current trends in research, and the format will allow for, and encourage interaction, and participation.

Neil McMillan is the current WSIB Committee Chairperson for OPFFA Local #162, as well as an elected Executive Member.  He has instructed unions in Canada and US on how to represent firefighters in their occupational illness claims, and has served as the claimant representative for hundreds of injury/illness claims at WSIAT and the WSIB.  He has represented the IAFF at NFPA and testified in TIA hearings and is working with industry and academic institutions to produce studies and products in the interest of firefighter health and wellness.
Introduction to Crucial Conversation for Mastering Dialogue and Accountability
Presented by Stephanie Haldane and Kelly Holden
 

DIALOGUE IS THE DIFFERENCE!

Whenever you’re not getting the results you want, it’s likely an important conversation either hasn’t happened or hasn’t been handled well. In fact, both individual and organizational success are largely determined by how quickly, directly, and effectively we speak up when it matters most. At the heart of healthy and high-performance organizations are people willing and able to hold Crucial Conversations.

This course will introduce you to Crucial Conversations® for Mastering Dialogue and the skills to step into disagreement—rather than over or around it—and turn disagreement into dialogue for improved relationships and results.

Kelly Holden is the first Dean of FESTI, (Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute).  Responsible for the strategic plans, and operational goals of the school, Kelly focuses on establishing a strong ecosystem of diversity, inclusion and success.  Over three years, Kelly has transformed FESTI into a learning organization with a culture of team support, student success and fun!  Kelly holds a degree in Woman’s Studies as well as a Certificate in Adult Learning.  As a certified EQI (Emotional Intelligence) Coach, she understands what it takes to get the best out of her people.  Kelly is also a certified Crucial Learning Trainer with a specialization in high-risk conversations.

Kelly’s energy and fun-loving personality along with her “say it how it is” attitude will have you on the edge of your seat as you learn what it takes to move from silence to action in a conversation.

Stephanie Haldane brings the 3 E's (energy, enthusiasm and excitement) to everything she does. Prior to FESTI, Stephanie worked in the corporate world as part of a Learning and Development team, building learning and training for employees and managers.  Stephanie has a certificate in Adult Learning with a specialization in eLearning development from the University of Calgary. As a certified EQi (Emotional Intelligence) Coach she understands that ability to identify and regulate one's emotions and understand the emotions the others. helps you to build relationships, reduce team stress, defuse conflict and improve job satisfaction. Stephanie is also a certified Crucial Learning Trainer with a specialization in conversations that involve high-stakes and high emotion.  Stephanie looks forward to introducing you to the concepts and skills of having the right conversations and the right time to get what you need.


Social Media & Your Department/ Association
Presented by Samantha Hoffmann
 

Do you think you should be on social media but don’t know where to start? What should you post, and how often should you post it? What’s more powerful, a like or a retweet? Here’s what you need to know about the most popular social media platforms for both personal and professional settings. Social media can be used to further your firefighting career and community relations duties. It can also be used to destroy your chosen career path. You control its use, and a professional approach is a win for you, your employer, and the community you represent and serve.

Samantha Hoffmann has been in the fire safety field for 30 years. Her fire career at Sick Kids hospital as Fire Marshal and Emergency Planning Co-ordinator. In 1996 she joined North York fire in the rank of firefighter and worked in the Prevention, Public Education and Media sections. After amalgamation with Toronto Samantha worked in an Acting Captain capacity until 2011 when she left to join Barrie Fire. In June 2022, Samantha assumed the role of Deputy Chief, Community Safety for Caledon Fire and Emergency Services. Samantha has received many awards and accolades for her work in Public Education and Community Outreach, including being the first Canadian to receive the NFPA Public Educator of the year award.


Take Note:  The Devil is in the Details
Presented by Karen Simpson
 

This is a three-part seminar. The first part will deal with how to make sufficient notes after attending a scene and how this evidence is used in litigation. Firefighters may not appreciate how often their notes and records become part of litigation and just how important they can be to the parties involved. The second part will deal with the risk that a firefighter may become so injured that they lose capacity and become incapable of managing their property and personal care. The legal, emotional, and financial consequences of finding yourself in this position, or your loved ones supporting you in this position, is shocking to most. The third-part will deal with the accident benefits that are part of your automobile insurance policy. Firefighters are “big wage” earners and the standard coverages you may be entitled to are insufficient to support you and your family if you were to become seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident. 

Karen Simpson is a lawyer at Lerners LLP in London. Karen’s practice is primarily focused on plaintiff personal injury. She is particularly interested in educating first responders about the importance 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 FSWO for seven and six years, respectively. 

Building NFPA Training
Presented by Monique Belair
 

On July 1, 2022 under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, Ontario Regulation 343/22 regarding mandatory certification for Ontario Fire Services became law.  This regulation creates Ontario based certification options to allow a municipality to identify the level of service for their municipality and then train and certify to meet that level of service.

These Ontario based certifications are based upon components of full NFPA standards that match the level of services outlined in O. Reg 343/22.

To assist fire service members with meeting the new requirements for certification and developing training programs this session will provide a brief overview of the O.Reg and developing internal programs that meets the needs of your fire service delivery model within your community.

Fire Chief Monique Belair is a Fire Service Leader with 30+ years of knowledge and experience and has always been committed to facilitating and educating young women about the opportunities a career with the fire service. Monique currently serves Director of Emergency Services and Fire Chief for Belleville Fire and Emergency Services. Chief Belair began her career as a Crash Rescue/Structural Firefighter with the Canadian Armed Forces in 1986 and was one of five females serving on military bases throughout Canada. She continued her career progression working in every role of the Fire Service; Communications, Prevention, Education, Investigations and Office of the Fire Marshal where she was able to obtain insight on fire service cultures from the farthest northern rural communities to large urban city centres.


Panel Session
Building Resilience Through Recovery
Presented by Michelle Fitsimmons, Cheryl Hunt, Susan Jones, and Karen Simpson
 
While a career as a first responder can bring about a strong sense of accomplishment and personal satisfaction, particularly after getting hired and/or promoted, the reality is that this career can also bring about a great deal of angst. The repeated exposure to occupational stress and trauma, be it on scene, or as a result of the work environment itself, raises the risk that some will develop anxiety, depression, substance use disorders and/or even PTSD. The associated stigma and shame related to these types of mental health issues leave many reluctant to ask for help. If these symptoms are left untreated, the impact on a person’s overall wellbeing can be devastating and even result in the inability to continue working as a first responder. FSWO is pleased to bring together Michelle Fitzsimmons, Cheryl Hunt, Susan Jones and Karen Simpson. They will share their personal and professional experiences overcoming prolonged occupational stress and trauma, how to recognize the ‘warning signs’ of mental health issues, as well as discuss becoming more resilient.
 

Battalion Chief Michele Fitzsimmons joined the NYC Fire Department (FDNY) in May of 2001.  She is currently assigned to North Queens but working in the Bureau of Operations. She is the Co-founder and former instructor of Phoenix Firecamp.  She is a graduate of the FDNY Officers Management Institute (FOMI). Since 2019 she has served for a second time (previously 2002-2004) as President of FireFLAG/EMS, the FDNY's LGBTQ+ 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.

Cheryl Hunt began her career with the Ottawa Fire Service in 2003 and is now an Acting Lieutenant and Safety Officer in suppression.  For the past 6 years Cheryl has been learning the finer skills of enclosure fire dynamics and has become one of the elite lead instructors for the “From Knowledge To Practice” Fire Dynamics program, based in Ottawa, ON. This program is founded on science and modern fire attack tactics and aims to bring a standard language to firefighting across Canada.  As an active and dedicated member of FSWO, Cheryl understands first-hand the need to be a strong advocate for mental health and helping those who may be diagnosed with PTSD or have been exposed to other discriminatory situations that negatively impact their ability to function. Cheryl is certified as a Mental Health First Aid instructor by the Mental Health Commission of Canada and is trained in Suicide Prevention. Cheryl serves as an active member of the OFS Peer Support Team and is highly regarded for her leadership in promoting a safe work environment including the ongoing need to breakdown the stigma associated with mental health in the fire service.

Susan Jones is retired from the City of Ottawa and was the former Acting Deputy City Manager of Operations responsible for overseeing several departments. She has held a number of positions in her 37-year career in municipal government which included being the General Manager of Emergency and Protective Services for the City of Ottawa from 2009 to 2015 responsible for managing and directing the delivery of Fire, Paramedic, Corporate Security, Emergency Management, and By-law, Parking and Licensing operations. Susan has been a strong advocate and mentor to women in leadership roles, particularly in male dominated professions and is proud to have helped launch Fire Service Women Ontario (FSWO), Camp FFIT (Female Fire Fighters in Training) and served on the FSWO board of directors. Susan was also an International Trustee with the International Association of Women in Fire and Emergency Services (iWomen).  Susan has a BA in Criminology from Carleton University and is working in private practice as a Canadian Certified Addiction Counsellor having recently completed a post graduate program in Addiction Studies at McMaster University.

Karen Simpson is a lawyer at Lerners LLP in London. Karen’s practice is primarily focused on plaintiff personal injury. She is particularly interested in educating first responders about the importance 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 FSWO for seven and six years, respectively.


Panel Session
Leadership in the Fire Service
Presented by Debbie Higgins, Louise Hine-Schmidt, Michele Fitzsimmons, Monique Belair and Celene Lemire
 
Is the narrative on women in power changing? What are the policies and practices that support women in leadership? What skills and experiences are essential to support women to advance to leadership positions? FSWO is pleased to bring a panel of highly regarded women leaders in the fire service to share their individual experiences and the challenges of the path to success.
 
Debbie Higgins is a Deputy Fire Chief with Toronto Fire Services, with the portfolio of Administrative and Mechanical Services. In this capacity, she is responsible for finance and budgeting processes, labour relations, quartermaster, facilities, the TFS medical office, and providing professional support for the procurement and maintenance of both apparatus and equipment. Debbie previously held the portfolios of Fire Prevention and Public Education, and more recently Professional Development and Training, including Special Operations (HUSAR and CBRNE). Prior to her promotion to Deputy in 2010, Debbie spent eleven years as an Executive Officer for Toronto Fire, working in the Office of the Fire Chief. She also previously worked with the City of Mississauga as a Business Planner, where her work included various strategic projects for the Community Services department, including fire. Before joining the municipal sector, Debbie spent five years working as a consultant undertaking social planning studies, including feasibility studies, master plans, emergency response plans, marketing plans and organizational reviews.
 
Louise Hine-Schmidt is a Deputy Chief with Ottawa Fire Services and is one of the first of three women firefighters hired in 1999 in the City of Ottawa. She is trained as a technician in Rope Rescue, Confined Space, Elevator Rescue, and Extrication. She was the editor of the OFS Rope Rescue Manual. Louise is one of the three founding members of FSWO who also helped to establish Camp FFIT(Female Firefighters In Training) which has served as a model for other fire services from across Canada. Louise is honoured to have served as the first President of FSWO from 2009-2011 and then again from 2015-2019.
 
Battalion Chief Michele Fitzsimmons joined the NYC Fire Department (FDNY) in May of 2001.  She is currently assigned to North Queens but working in the Bureau of Operations. She is the Co-founder and former instructor of Phoenix Firecamp.  She is a graduate of the FDNY Officers Management Institute (FOMI). Since 2019 she has served for a second time (previously 2002-2004) as President of FireFLAG/EMS, the FDNY's LGBTQ+ 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.
 

Fire Chief Monique Belair is a Fire Service Leader with 30+ years of knowledge and experience and has always been committed to facilitating and educating young women about the opportunities a career with the fire service. Monique currently serves Director of Emergency Services and Fire Chief for Belleville Fire and Emergency Services. Chief Belair began her career as a Crash Rescue/Structural Firefighter with the Canadian Armed Forces in 1986 and was one of five females serving on military bases throughout Canada. She continued her career progression working in every role of the Fire Service; Communications, Prevention, Education, Investigations and Office of the Fire Marshal where she was able to obtain insight on fire service cultures from the farthest northern rural communities to large urban city centres.

Celene Lemire has more than 20 years experience in community service, government relations, strategic design, operational planning and leadership.  Over the last decade, she has focused on equity and inclusion work in large emergency service organizations, addressing systemic issues, supporting membership and operational teams by identifying inequities in policies, practices and programs.  Celene has conducted internal cultural assessments, equity reviews and lead strategic plans focused on addressing barriers and identifying issues in accessibility.  She has lead equity audits and systems change initiatives within recruitment processes, training design and curriculum content, promotional processes, infrastructure audits and policy reviews. 

She is a member of the Municipal Equity Council, the UN Safe Cities working group and the National DEI Community of Practice for Fire Rescue Services.  Celene was a Top 40 Under 40 award winner, a graduate of the University of Calgary, has a Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology and is currently a Deputy Chief with Vancouver Fire Rescue Services. Celene believes strongly in the power and impact of lived experiences, and much of her work is in connection and collaboration with the communities she serves.  Celene has facilitated sessions with the BC Association of Fire Chiefs, the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs and with multiple municipalities across Western Canada. 


After the Fire-Fire Investigations and the use of an Accelerant Detection Canine

Presented by Jodie Grisdale

Discussion will cover the following topics:

  • Role of the fire investigator
  • Why we investigate fires
  • How firefighters can assist investigations
  • Role of an Accelerant Detection Canine
  • Benefits of an Accelerant Detection Canine
  • Demonstration of the Accelerant Detection Canine

Jodie Grisdale has been with the Calgary Fire Department for 15 years. After several years working as a firefighter, Jodie became a Fire Investigator. This is a role she enjoys as she is able to work closely with firefighters and the Calgary Police Arson unit to support citizens through one of the most challenging events in their lives.

Today, Jodie works as a Fire Investigator in the unique and rewarding role as a canine handler to Willow, the Calgary Fire Department’s Accelerant Detection Canine.

 

Contact Us

Do you have a question about the Fire Service Women Ontario 2022 Annual Training Symposium?  We would be happy to help!
 
For registration inquiries, hotel accommodations or other specific inquiries, please contact:
 
FSWO Registrar
Phone:  905-426-9865 ext. 1230
 
For additional information with regards to FSWO or your FSWO membership, please email: membership@fswo.ca
 

Symposium Hotel Information and Accommodations

 
RAMADA BY WYNDHAM BELLEVILLE HARBOURVIEW CONFERENCE CENTRE
11 Bay Bridge Road
Belleville, ON
 
Overlooking the scenic Bay of Quinte and surrounded by lush trails, Ramada by Wyndham Belleville Harbourview Conference Centre is a restful retreat just off ON-2 and ON-62. Our contemporary, non-smoking hotel is just minutes from the shops and restaurants of downtown Belleville and a short drive from the wineries, breweries, galleries, and boutiques of Prince Edward County (“The County”). Stroll the gorgeous beaches of Sandbanks Provincial Park, play a round at Bay of Quinte Golf & Country Club, or go fishing right outside our front door. 
 
Reservation Information:
 
Please note that the Ramada is now fully booked.  Please see alternate hotel below.
 
To make your reservation, please call (613) 968-3411 Ext.0 or email reservations@ramadabelleville.com
 

Please book under the “FSWO Symposium” reservation no later than September 18, 2022 to ensure you secure your spot within our block of rooms and receive the discounted rate.

When reserving your room please provide the following:

  • Preferred arrival and departure date
  • Preferred room type (Double Queen / Single Queen / Single King)

Hotel Website

Room Rate and Options: Double Queen, Single Queen or Single King for Rate: $119.00/night

Room rates are per room per night and applicable to 13 HST, 4% Municipal Accommodations Tax and 5% Sanitation Fee

Check in: 3:00 PM
Check out: 11:00 AM
 
Free Parking
 
Shuttle information will be provided at registration.

Alternate Hotel

BEST WESTERN BELLEVILLE
387 N Front Street

Belleville, ON 

A fitting hub between Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal, the Best Western Belleville is the perfect location in Belleville for business or easy access to a variety of activities and attractions in the Bay of Quinte Region including Brighton, Quinte West (Trenton), Prince Edward County, Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, Hastings County, and Napanee.

Reservation Information:

To make your reservation, please call (613) 969-1112 or use the link below:
 
 
Reference the group name “FSWO Symposium”
 
Room Rate and Options:  Single Queen or 2 Queen Beds: $119.00/night plus taxes which includes a hot breakfast each morning, parking, Wi-Fi use and pool and hot tub access. 
 
 

Sani-Gear is renting out PPE bunker clothing at a special price for our participants. The price per bunker suit is $80 which includes the rental of the gear, the advanced wash, full inspection, hydro-static testing, and repairs upon its return.

Sani-Gear will need bunker gear sizing ahead of time, at least 2 weeks prior to event

Anyone wishing to rent a bunker suit is to fill out the rental formPlease put 'FSWO' on the Fire Department field and email the rental form to Dominique at firesafe@sanigear.ca.