Fire Service Women Ontario
Fire Service Women Ontario (FSWO) was created in 2009 (incorporated in 2011) as a Not for Profit organization to originally accomplish one goal – to operate an apprentice program for young women between the ages of 15 and 19. The program links young women with men and women in the Fire Service, Professional Associations and Educational Institutions and is aptly named Camp FFIT (Female Firefighters In Training).
FSWO also runs a paired mentoring program which is designed to connect fire fighters (FSWO members in good standing) with women who are already in the fire service and looking to connect with other firefighters, those who are in the recruitment process or those 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 directly from its membership and fire service partners to determine the needs of women in the fire services across Ontario. Much of this correspondence is done directly at the Annual Conference and General Meeting held in November, annually. The conference is currently the main focus of this organization, as we grow, offering HOT (Hands On Training) Classes, Educational Sessions and Networking opportunities.