FSWO News and Current Events

September 10, 2019

Seeking Canadian Women Firefighters for a Survey

​We are currently seeking Canadian women firefighters to take part in an online survey on perceptions around occupational cancer risk. This research is being guided Drs. Carmen Poulin and Lynne Gouliquer. If you would like to read more about our research our website can be found here https://p-sec.org

September 10, 2019

Seeking Canadian Women Firefighters for a Study

We are currently seeking Canadian women firefighters to take part in an online survey on perceptions around occupational cancer risk. This research is being guided Drs. Carmen Poulin and Lynne Gouliquer. If you would like to read more about our research our website can be found here https://p-sec.org

September 10, 2019

FSWO Annual Awards

Every year at our Annual Professional Development Symposium we give out a series of awards.   We are excited to announce that Conestoga College is hosting our Annual Professional Development Symposium from October 26-28, 2018.   Please have a look at the different types of awards and nominate someone deserving from your department.  

  • President's Trailblazer Award

  • 3 "E" Award

  • Diversity and Inclusion Award

  • Pink Helmet of Courage Award

  • Long Service Award Pins

Please complete the online application form attached below.

August 30, 2018

Firefighters Without Boraders is looking for Instructors

An excellent opportuntiy!

Firefighters without boarders is looking for new instructors.

We have an upcoming deployment to Bolivia which is now posted on our website at www.firefighterswithoutborders.org We have volunteer opportunities for two instructors. The project is in partnership with CESO, a not for profit Canadian organization, funded by Global Affairs Canada. Although this is a volunteer assignment, the travelling expenses and accommodation will be covered. I would ask you to kindly circulate this to your members as we would encourage their applications. Please note this is time sensitive as application submissions must be received by September 10, 2018.

Please check the website for more details

August 06, 2018

Capturing the Load - online course

.Capturing the Load is a no nonsense online course appropriate for all emergency services personnel. Capturing the Load offers education around how our brains process stress, the stress continuum, grief, vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue. This program also details how to improve our work environments so everyone feels safe and supported.

August 03, 2018

IAFF Haz Mat Training Opportunity!

We have spots open for this HazMat Op’s training opportunity, this 24 hour program is FREE and will include lunch and snacks at break both days.


please follow the links below to register


Please register for: First Responder Operations  

Location:              Meaford Fire Department , 81 Stewart St , Meaford , ON

Dates:                   Sept 14 – 16 /2018

Time:                     Fri (night)  6 – 10 pm   Sat & Sun   8 – 6 pm

1.     Keep Your Member ID for Class Paperwork in order to receive certification.

2.     Following the class (up to 1 week), you will be sent an email to evaluate the course. 

3.     Once you complete the course evaluation and you have passed your test, you will be sent an e-certificate.   

4.     The evaluation and certificate will be sent to the email address that you supply during registration.


For problems with registration, please contact:


Bruce White | HazMat Training Coordinator

Hazardous Materials Training Department
International Association of Fire Fighters 

August 03, 2018

Interesting Opportunity - Production Company Seeks First Responders For Documentary Series

Production Company Seeks First Responders For Documentary Series


Bristow Global Media, a leading factual TV production company is producing a new documentary TV series that investigates unexplained events that have occurred to frontline emergency personnel – from premonitions, ghostly apparitions, to bizarre physical events that defy logic and known physics – we’re looking for the most intriguing real hair-raising and unexplained experiences from present and former First Responders when they attended emergency calls.


hether you’ve seen something spooky or witnessed something so bizarre that people wouldn’t believe you if you told them… we’d love you to share your story with us. If your story is selected by our team, we’ll interview you on camera; this interview then becomes the narration for an entertaining and enlightening re-creation of the events portrayed in your story.


We alter the names of people and places but the basic facts stay the same. Filming takes place August 2018 and September 2018 in Toronto.


We cover expenses for travel and lodging while filming with us. If you think you have a story to share, or know someone who does, please contact me directly to discuss further tlong@bristowglobalmedia.com or by phone 647 868 2690


Best, -Tobin Long | Associate Producer | Bristow Global Media Inc.

June 07, 2018

A MUST LISTEN....A CBC radio interview regarding the Women on Fire Event on Sautruday June 16th in Amherstburg

Women are woefully under-represented in emergency services in Windsor-Essex. Two women who may have a solution to that join us . Yvonne Ouimet is a Windsor Police officer, and Donna Desantis is a firefighter in Tecumseh

April 04, 2018

The Women Firefighter Narrative Visibility Project (WFNVP) by Red Dress Productions

Women Firefighters – Tell your story!

The Women Firefighter Narrative Visibility Project (WFNVP) knows that women firefighters are making a difference in our communities every day. 

This is your chance to share your experience – standout or workaday events or moments from the field, the community, or the fire hall. Together we’ll shape the stories that you want to tell into short narrative written or recorded art pieces — audio, visual, written or digital.

You don’t have to have any artistic experience. You will be led through the whole process by the professional artists from Red Dress Productions. You decide how involved you want to be. The commitment is flexible – come to one or all workshops, and stay for as long as you’re able.

Workshops will also be offered in Toronto, check the FSWO page.

If you’d like to contribute but the workshop times don’t work for you, please contact us and we will include your stories in another way.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association and the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre, and our funder, the Ontario Arts Council.

For more information contact reddressproductions@gmail.com or by phone, 647-937-1470, or FSWO at fswontario@gmail.com.

With this project, FSWO hopes to:
• Tell the stories of a unique group of women workers, supporting our work in building women firefighter leaders by sharing their experiences and knowledge
• Make women more visible on the job
• Encourage women firefighters to reflect on their on-the-job experiences
• Increase our sense of well-being and our access to mentorship and opportunities to share with other female firefighters
• Enhance the public’s understanding of the complexity of career firefighting, leading to better service, and to more positive media representations.
• Show women and girls the value of joining the fire service

November 04, 2017

Congratulations to Allison Vickerd - Recipiant of our 2017 Presidents Trailblazer Award

Allison Vickerd, Firefighter, City of London, winner of President’s Trailblazer Award

Allison has been a firefighter since 2003 and has played a leading role in the successful launch of FSWO to where it has grown today. Allison helped create the vision for FSWO and took a leading role on the executive as the head of the Planning Conference Committee definitely branding the Education component of the three E’s of FSWO. She started Camp FFIT in her own home town of London and is highly regarded and respected in the fire service profession across Canada.  She has been recognized for her outstanding contribution to the profession of firefighting receiving the Red Cross Rescuer’s Award in 2013 and the Lambton College Alumni Award of Distinction.

November 04, 2017

Congratulations to Mindy Jeffries - Recipiant of our 2017 Pink Helmet Award

Captain Mindy Jeffries, Cambridge Fire, winner of the Pink Helmet Award, sponsored by Starfield Lion

Mindy’s longstanding service to the firefighting community spans 28 years as a firefighter and captain in Cambridge, Ontario. Despite the threat of deep social exclusion and discrimination, Mindy took an important personal step by coming out as a transgender woman in 2014. Although she considered retiring when she took a leave of absence from work to initiate her transition, she took brave steps and worked with her association, employer and health professionals to make a smooth and safe return to her workplace possible. She has blazed a trail for others despite a very real fear of ostracism by her colleagues. Her insistence that transwomen belong in the fire service persuaded her colleagues to get educated with her department researching and becoming literate with the Ontario Human Rights Code and workplace accommodations that prevents discrimination and harassment because of race, colour, gender identity or expression, sex, sexual orientation, disability, creed, age and other grounds. When this person first considered retiring from the fire service, she realized that it was important for her to return to work so that she could pave the way for other transpeople in the future who might feel it is impossible to be themselves at work. In such a gendered and conservative field of work, she wanted to prove that being yourself and true to your gender is valued.

November 04, 2017

Congratulations to Tracy Jocque - Recipiant of our 2017 Diversity and Inclusion Award

Platoon Chief/Training Officer Tracy Jocque, Gravenhurst Fire Dept, winner of the Diversity and Inclusion Award

Tracy joined the Gravenhurst Fire Department as a volunteer 18 years ago, and quickly earned a reputation as a fierce and competent firefighter amongst her team. She has promoted a culture that fosters respect, equity, inclusiveness and diversity both in her own fire service and elsewhere.  Her passion for the fire service is contagious and her “can do – get it done” attitude has inspired her sister and brother firefighters to achieve more.  Her frontline firefighting experience along with her strong academic education background from McMaster made her Gravenhurst’s first career Training Officer seven years ago. She is respected throughout Muskoka (and beyond) for her intensity and devotion to keeping “her” firefighters safe and has rightfully and respectably been promoted in a full-time capacity to the rank of Platoon Chief.  She serves as a role model for all firefighters – male and female alike who has impacted the lives of every firefighter across Muskoka over the last several years arising from her leadership role within the “Muskoka Recruit Training Program”. She is a tough, tenacious, and demanding training officer, with an “out in front” leadership style that emphasizes a “service to others first” approach as the preferred service delivery model in the fire service world.  Lastly, integrity is not simply a word to her - it is a daily lived out value, one that inspires others to stand beside her making us all grateful for the contribution she makes to our community and beyond.

November 04, 2017

Congratulations to Rose Terrabery - Recipiant of our 2017 3 "E" Award

Firefighter Rose Terreberry, Thorold Fire and Emergency Services, winner of the 3 “E” (Education, Empowerment and Encouragement ) Award

As the daughter and wife of a firefighter, Rose followed the family passion and became a firefighter herself in 1995.  She quickly became the go-to mentor and leader in her department in developing fire-fighting skills, training and confidence. Despite the regular turnover of fire service personnel which is not unusual for many of our volunteer services in Ontario, Rose stayed with the service and actively promoted the importance of a diverse fire service by encouraging, educating and empowering other women to embark on a similar path as hers.  Her Chief Pearson says she is indispensable to help new members feel welcome. She continues to this day to work just as hard as anyone in the department, and will do any task with enthusiasm and energy no matter how menial. It will be both a huge loss for FSWO and the Thorold Fire and Emergency Service when she retires at the end of 2017.  Rose is clearly a deserving recipient of our 3E Award.

August 03, 2017

Sex differences in firefighter physiological response and task performance strategies: implications and injury prevention.  

These are some results of an ergometric study done in Hamilton.  

April 21, 2017

Congratulations to one of our Mentors - FDNY Lt. Anna Schermerhorn-Collins

We would like to Congratulate one of our first Mentors, FDNY Lt. Anna Schermerhorn- Collins on her most recent achievement.  Lt. Schermerhorn-Collins completed a Master of Arts Degree in Security Studies at the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security March 31.

During the 18-month online and in-residence program, Schermerhorn-Collins collaborated with homeland security officials from across the nation on current policy, strategy and organizational design challenges.  She wrote a thesis titled, “The Challenges to Gender Integration in the Career Fire Services: A Comparative Case Study of Men in Nursing.”

Several founding board members of FSWO met Lt. Schermerhorn-Collins on a trip to Utica to observe the Phoenex Fire Camp.   The first Camp FFIT in Ottawa was developed as a result of that trip.  Consequently there are several similar programs running across Canada.

Anna has been a member of FSWO and has attended  and been a speaker at our Conference.  She has been a mentor and a friend to many of us.   

Congratulations Lt. Schermerhorn-Collins....we hope to see you in London this November!

December 07, 2016

We are looking for future hosts of the FSWO Annual Conference and AGM

Fire Service Women Ontario is looking for future hosts for the FSWO Annual Conference and AGM. The conference will bring between 100-200 Fire Service members to your facility for both in class and Hands on Training sessions. This is a great opportunity to highlight what your organization has to offer. FSWO will use instructors available from your Organization when possible and may bring in specialty speakers/instructors with the host organizations approval. The event is traditionally held on a Friday and Saturday with the AGM being held on the Sunday in October or early November (dates will be confirmed with the host organization and are not pre-set). Social events for the event can be held at either the Host Organization’s Facility or the Hotel depending on the specific set up. Please send your completed application or an email if you require more information to fswoconference@gmail.com

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