Officer Osborne’s leadership skills along with his open and non-judgmental listening style has a tremendous capacity for encouraging empathy and understanding while demonstrating a desire to challenge the organizational structures that disadvantage women or other minorities in the fire service. He understands the importance of leading by example ensuring the workplace evolves to mirror societal and cultural norms by acknowledging and recognizing that the treatment of women in the fire service is not only fair and acceptable, but adds value that can bolster the success of the Calgary Fire Department. He helped to establish the Fire Department Local's Human Relations Committee which has enhanced the organization's value of inclusivity, continues to combat isolation felt by some of their under-represented members, and encourages the evolution of equitable behaviors within the fire service industry.
With his consistent and courageous approach, Lt. Osborne has already affected positive change in so many ways including:
- encouraging strong female representation in areas of leadership in the fire service as well as at the Local level
- collaborating with Local 255's Human Relations Committee to update to a modern and inclusive pregnancy and reproduction policy
- being an active advocate for the public celebration of women in the fire service, including those in the Calgary Fire Department
- providing assistance in data collection, analysis, and database development for gender-based information gathering and compilation
- working at the Local level to remove gendered language from collective agreements
- working at the Local level to ensure there are safe and appropriate washroom accommodations for all
- attending the 2019 FSWO conference as an advocate to gain an appreciation for women's issues and collaborate on developing strategies to advance our culture
- consistently advocating for a respectful culture in the fire station
- enhancing leadership training content
- continually creating conversations reflective of current human relations issues and social justice
The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) and the Alberta Women in Fire, Emergency Management and Wildfire Management (AFEW Women) recently defined a male ally as a member of the fire service who is committed to: building a professional relationship with women, expressing as little sexism in his own behavior as possible, understanding the social advantage conferred by his gender and demonstrating active efforts to address gender inequalities at work and in society.
Lieutenant Osborne displays these characteristics regularly throughout his daily interactions, whether it is at work in the fire station, in the public forum at the Local level, at home with his family, or in casual gatherings of friends and colleagues. It is this type of consistent leadership that will continue to help the fire service grow in a direction that fosters a culture of respect, equity, inclusion and diversity. Lieutenant Osborne truly is a model colleague, leader, and true advocate most deserving of the Diversity and Inclusion Award as he exemplifies the values of the FSWO.
Nominator: Lieutenant Mary Fischer, Calgary Fire Department