FSWO announces 2022 winner of President's Trailblazer Award, Supplemental Acting Platoon Chief Sofie Lasiuk

FSWO is pleased to present the President’s Trailblazer Award to Sofie Lasiuk - her professionalism, commitment and perseverance are an inspiration to all of us.

This year’s award recipient has been singled out by her peers as a respected leader, a true role model and just a good human being! She has excelled at every level from firefighter to Captain to District Chief and most recently as a Supplemental Acting Platoon Chief. Her competence in all these roles is a testament to her intelligence, skill and professionalism.

Part of the Toronto Fire Services motto speaks to Courage which Chief Lasiuk has demonstrated as she bravely underwent every step needed to become the same person on the outside that she was on the inside. Despite the challenges of wanting to fit in, she showed bravery in her ground-breaking transition to openly become her true self in a work environment beset by stereotypical male behaviours and expectations. The definition of trailblazer is for one to be the first, to lead, to make a new path and show others that a certain path is possible. Chief Lasiuk is the first transgender firefighter in Toronto Fire Services history, something in which she is rightfully and extremely proud of.

Throughout her 32-year career, Chief Lasiuk has been highly regarded and respected as a phenomenal mentor. She is candid and funny and is ready with advice if needed. She cares deeply about the firefighters working under her and doesn’t hesitate to publicly acknowledge and praise the newest firefighter when they deserve recognition. As one of her colleagues said “She epitomizes caring leadership.”

Her dedication to her career and continued learning is obvious. She has continued her education on the job, completing several fire related courses and certifications at Dalhousie University. She has served on many committees in her department over the years, from High Rise, to Apparatus to Positive Space to Recruit Interview Panels. It is no surprise that this individual is also the first woman to be promoted beyond the position of Captain at Toronto Fire Services. She has worked at every level has worked hard to advance the cause of equity, diversity and inclusion. She is equally at home advocating at the highest administrative levels as driving to the city’s 83 fire stations on her own time to apply truck decals in honour of Pride Month. She was a key member of the Committee: Operations Diversity & Inclusion Review in 2021, and pro-actively participated in a hands-on review of all TFS fire stations to determine the availability of appropriate facilities of staff of all genders. She sits on several national and international panels for transgender and 2SLGBTQ+ issues and proactively promotes Toronto Fire Service’s leadership and support of inclusivity.

FSWO is pleased to present the President’s Trailblazer Award to Sofie Lasiuk. Toronto Fire Services and Fire Service Woman Ontario are better for having Sofie Lasiuk as part our respective organizations: her professionalism, commitment and perseverance are an inspiration to all of us.