The need for more multi-agency training

Seldom if ever, is vehicle extrication carried out by a single agency. In every single one of the over 100 countries where I have delivered training, the role of the other agencies is discussed and considered and is always done…

Is there ‘Real Collaboration’ amongst the Fire and Rescue Service?

Recently the plight of a youth football team and their coach in a cave system in Thailand became the focus of international interest along with an international rescue response. The incident proved both the effectiveness of international response to an…

Getting the job done

Over the course of my 26-year career in the fire and emergency services, I’ve been fortunate to travel beyond the United States and visit colleagues in multiple fire services around the world. In every country I’ve visited, despite some outward…

Why do people find diversity so difficult?

When I joined the Fire and Rescue Service as a firefighter in 1992 – 10 years after women started to do so – I was one of three women that had successfully completed the recruits’ course in Bedfordshire and Luton…

Changing the culture of the Calgary Fire Department

In January, 2015, I became the Fire Chief of the Calgary Fire Department (CFD). It is both an efficient, well-run organization and one existing in an environment of increasing diversity and seemingly endless change. What then, is required to be…

Change and Opportunity – Are They One and the Same?

As a leader in a Fire and Rescue Service I regularly hear the saying that ‘the only thing that is constant is change’. Of course with the competing demands of public expectation against  a backdrop of enforced budget reductions the…

The Millennials are Coming

From fighting fires to onboarding Millennials, times are changing. Embrace the changes. Over the past 30 years, I’ve had the opportunity to visit fire services in more than 75 countries around the world. It’s always humbling to meet with our…

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