Mastering Social Media: A Guide for Women Firefighters in Canada

  • October 28, 2023
  • 1:00pm-3:00pm
  • FESTI - Fire & Emergency Services Training Institute 2025 Courtneypark Drive, East, Mississauga

Facilitated by Kristy-Lynn Pankhurst, Kathryn Hendrick and Nick DeFazio

This highly interactive presentation is designed to empower female firefighters with the knowledge and skills necessary for effective and ethical use of social media. Participants will explore the landscape of key social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok, understanding their unique characteristics and potential use. The session emphasizes the importance of a well-devised social media strategy and explores the principles of strong communication in a digital environment. It includes practical tips on creating engaging content, managing challenges like negative comments and privacy issues, and strategies to maintain a positive online reputation. thoughts and experiences. The overall goal is to empower women firefighters to use social media effectively and ethically through new skills to navigate any challenges that may arise.

Kristy-Lynn Pankhurst

Kristy-Lynn grew up in the Fire Service. After completing co-op placements in Kawartha Lakes and Ottawa, she attended Camp FFIT, Ottawa (2015), where she learned about Fire Service Women Ontario and felt inspired to pursue her dreams. She became a Volunteer Firefighter with Kawartha Lakes Fire Rescue Service in 2015 and began her full-time career in the Fire Service in 2017. In 2019, while working as an Inspector with Ajax Fire, Kristy-Lynn was recognized as an NFPA “Rising Star” for her efforts in risk reduction through Fire & Life Safety Education. In 2021, Kristy-Lynn began a contract with Canada’s National Indigenous Fire Safety Council, where she continues to work towards reducing the risk of fire in Indigenous communities.

In 2023, Kristy-Lynn is on maternity leave from Scugog Fire, after welcoming a baby girl into the world. Outside of the Fire Service, she enjoys spending time with family & friends and working on her backyard lavender farm.

Kathryn Hendrick

Kathy Hendrick is a former journalist and a seasoned publicist known for her dedication to good causes and organizations. With an extensive background in communications, Kathy has spearheaded numerous successful campaigns for national institutions, including the communications leadership for the design and construction of the National Firefighter Memorial in Ottawa.

As the founding Director of Communications for the Canadian Fallen Firefighter Foundation, she has played a pivotal role in honoring the bravery and sacrifice of firefighters across the country for almost 15 years.

Kathy has held executive positions within various healthcare institutions, including hospitals, the Canadian AIDS Society, the Canadian Institute for Health Information, and the Canadian Critical Care Society. Her commitment to advocacy has led her to collaborate with multiple organizations, championing causes such as reducing the stigma and prevalence of HIV/AIDS, increasing physical activity levels in Canadians, ALS medical research, and classifying traumatic brain injury as a long-term chronic condition, among many others.

Kathy is the principal consultant at Kathryn Hendrick Communications and continues to strive for lasting impact on important causes in Canada. Her expertise in media relations and strategic communications has allowed her to provide support to Fire Service Women Ontario as an annual sponsor for the past decade.

With a diverse portfolio of experience and a relentless drive to empower good people and great causes, Kathy Hendrick is an established leader in the world of public relations.

Nick DeFazio

Nick DeFazio is the Public Information Officer for the Ottawa Fire Services. Nick joined the Fire Service in 2011 and has been the Public Information Officer for the last two years. Since taking the position, Nick has set up a clear focus for the position which has been to promote the service in three specific areas: call, training and community service. With his strong understanding of social media, Nick has taken the Service's social media pages to new heights. He understands that social media is the best way to reach mass audiences. One way in which Nick has had success is through collaborations with influencers on social media and he is looking forward to sharing this success at the FSWO Symposium. He is always willing to speak with other departments and share his ideas and successes to help fellow Fire Services in the area of social media.