Leadership in the Station and on the Fire Ground

  • October 26, 2023
  • 1:00pm-5:00pm
  • FESTI - Fire & Emergency Services Training Institute 2025 Courtneypark Drive, East, Mississauga

Facilitated by Battalion Chief Michele Fitzsimmons and Captain Tracey Shields

This classroom session will explore what it means to be a leader in Fire Suppression. We will explore leadership on the fire ground as well as in the station. We will discuss the basics of Incident Command, 360 size up, and communications. We will explore the challenges of being a leader and transitioning from firefighter to officer. This session will be interactive and give you the opportunity to ask questions and voice your concerns.

Michele Fitzsimmons

Battalion Chief Michele Fitzsimmons is the highest-ranking female in FDNYs Fire Operations. She is currently assigned to Battalion 46, located in Elmhurst, Queens. She joined the FDNY May of 2001. During her career she has been an instructor at the Fire Academy, a member of the Family Assistance Unit, a Peer Fitness Firefighter Trainer, a part of the FDNY’s Mental Performance Initiative and a Cohost of the JoinFDNY Podcast.

Chief Fitzsimmons is a graduate of the FDNY Officers Management Institute, an FDNY program collaboration with Columbia University. She has lectured at Wharton Business School and University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate Program. She was a guest on Leadership Under Fire’s Optimizing Human Performance Podcast and the FDNY Pro Podcast. She has instructed classes at Fire Service Women of Ontario and Fire Service Women of NYS’s annual conferences.

Michele has been the President of FireFLAG/EMS, the affiliate organization for LGBTQ+ members of the FDNY, since 2020. This is her second term as President having previously held the position in 2002 and 2003. In 2007 she cofounded Phoenix Firecamp, a weeklong sleep away camp that introduces girls ages 14-19 to opportunities in the Fire Service through classroom and hands on training hosted by The Utica Fire Department.

Tracey Shields

Tracey was hired as one of the first female firefighters in the City of Ottawa in 1999 and has now been promoted as the first female Captain in suppression. She is currently working in one of the busiest stations in Ottawa in the downtown area. Tracey has also been an integral part of Camp FFIT in Ottawa, volunteering her time as an instructor with the program.  Tracey has been an active member with FSWO for the past twelve years, has learned valuable information, and forged new friendships. Tracey is also the proud winner of the FSWO President's Trailblazer Award in 2021.