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March 01, 2023

INSPIRE - Introducing CYFS Firefighter Catherine Bourrie - Celebrating International Women's Day 2023


Public safety - It plays a critical part in ensuring residents of any community have the opportunity to live well and reach their personal full potential.  Public safety is about protecting the general public and prioritizing an individual's physical safety.  First Responders - including firefighters, police officers and paramedics - are most often providing the hands-on support that makes any community physically safe. 


INSPIRE 2023 - The Highlight Reel


The individuals who protect and serve their communities are professionals dedicated to being their best with each situation they face.  In honour of International Women's Day and together with the Ontario Provincial PoliceYork Regional PoliceCentral York Fire Services, and York Region Paramedic Services, we are excited to again present four female emergency first responders who represent their professions with honour and distinction.  We invite you to read each of their stories and learn more about how their aspirations, motivations, celebrations and strong ethic of caring for themselves and others have shaped their respective careers.


More Her First Responder Stories:

INSPIRE - Meet YRP Constable Dezy Jones - Celebrating International Women's Day 2023

INSPIRE - Introducing OPP Constable Jodi-Ann Morrison - Celebrating International Women's Day 2023

INSPIRE - Meet YRPS Paramedic Andrea ZaniniHooey - Celebrating International Women's Day 2023



Meet Catherine Bourrie  - York Central Fire Services Firefighter



Q: How long have you been a first responder?

A: I have been a first responder for 7 years. I started my career with the London Fire Department. I was there for 4 years and then was hired by Central York Fire Services, where I have been working for 3 years.


Q: Did you grow up wanting to be a first responder?

A: I didn’t always know I wanted to be a first responder. I grew up watching my dad go off to work as a Firefighter nearly my entire life. As I grew older and really started to think and consider what I wanted to do with my life, the more I realized I wanted to be active and help people. I started talking to my dad more about his career as a firefighter, reached out to people I knew that were firefighters to really try to get the inside scoop to make sure that firefighting was a good fit for me. The more I dug into it, the more I realized that firefighter was something that I wanted to do.


Q: Where did you go to school to learn to be a first responder?

A: I went to Seneca College to complete their Pre-Service Firefighting Program.



Q: What has been the highlight of your career?

A: I have two big highlights of my career thus far.

My first highlight was being invited to a Survivors Dinner where we were able to meet the survivors of cardiac arrest calls that we were able to help and in turn save. It was such an incredible feeling to meet these survivors and be able to shake their hand knowing that I was able to help them so they were able to get another chance to live a long healthy life.

My second highlight happened as I started working for Central York Fire Services where I was able to work on the same shift as my dad who also works for CYFS. It’s a great memory to have been able to take a picture in uniform together while serving the community of Newmarket and Aurora.


Q: What do you do to keep physically fit and take care of your mental wellbeing?

A: I am a huge advocate for physical fitness. I am an avid gym goer, I try to make it there everyday. I do a variety of things in the gym and try to incorporate cardio training, weight training and stretching to try to maintain my physical fitness.

I also have two dogs that I love to go on hikes with. I find nature walks with them very therapeutic and is a huge release for me. I try to see family and friends as much as I can. I find surrounding myself with people that I love and care about something I really look forward to and I find it helps with my mental well being.


Q: What’s your favourite thing to do outside of being a first responder? 

A: I have a lot of favourite things to do outside of being a first responder. A huge part of my life right now is my physical fitness. I compete in amateur bodybuilding competitions outside of work occasionally. It is a competitive outlet for me. I also love to spend time with my family when not working. 



Enjoy more first responder stories: York Region Community Open House - Celebrating First Responders and IWD 2022



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