Breakout 23
  • Thursday 13:00pm

    Son of a Firefighter, Daughter of a Preacher: Understanding and Supporting our LGBTQ Community.

    Mason Jenkins

    Mason Jenkins

    Mason Jenkins is a musician and sexual health educator who specializes in LGBTQ awareness programming. Mason has presented across Canada, with his audience ranging from school administration, to at-risk youth, to members of government. He performed at the 2012-2013 Premier's Pride Brunch for both Calgary and Edmonton as a representative for Camp fYrefly, as well as Edmonton and Calgary's 2016 Pride festivals. Mason was featured on CTV television and CBC radio for his experiences as a transgender teacher and is now partnering with the Calgary Police Service and the Calgary Fire Department to extend their training practices to include LGBTQ diversity programming. He currently teaches at the Calgary Sexual Health Centre and hopes to continue to influence and inspire firefighters to advocate for safe and caring environments for sexual and gender minority co-workers and the communities they serve.

    Laurie VandeSchoot

    Deputy Chief Laurie VandeSchoot

    Deputy Chief Laurie VandeSchoot is a municipal government, change management and strategic planning specialist who brings a diverse background of experience from the public, not-for-profit, and private sectors to the Calgary Fire Department. Chief VandeSchoot holds a MSc in Sustainable Development, has been with The City of Calgary for 28 years, and is a CFAI Peer Assessor. In recognition of her work and her involvement with various diversity initiatives, Chief VandeSchoot has received a number of accolades including an Immigrants of Distinction, Organizational Diversity Award for outstanding achievements in implementing cultural diversity initiatives, and a Federation of Canadian Municipalities Award for outstanding contributions to international cooperation. Apart from work, Chief VandeSchoot is married, has two children and is an active participant and volunteer in sports, arts and social justice activism.

    Session Description

    This dynamic and interactive session will build your awareness of issues facing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) people. Through engaging activities, personal stories and educational content, the facilitator's will enhance Fire Chief's comfort, skills, and capacity in order to better support their Departments and the communities they serve.

    This session will educate attendees regarding LGBTQ identities, provide examples of how to adjust policies and practices to foster safe and inclusive environments, and imparts tools to fight homophobic or transphobic behaviours within the firefighting community. This presentation covers LGBTQ specific vocabulary, discusses and defines the differences between sex, gender and sexual orientation and builds empathy for the LGBTQ community through personal stories and connection to the firefighters of Calgary, Alberta.

    Learning objectives:
    1. To build an awareness of LGBTQ identities in order to meet the needs of the communities we serve.
    2. To eliminate homophobia and transphobia within our departments by educating ourselves and building empathy because shame and stigma come from judgement and fear.
    3. To openly discuss our own perceptions and biases before we can become accepting and informed people.