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.
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 Police, York Regional Police, Central 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:
Q: How long have you been a first responder?
A: I became a York Region Police Constable in 2009 at the age of 32 years old.
Q: Did you grow up wanting to be a first responder?
A: Growing up from parents of mix race, in a small French speaking town in the province of Quebec one hour south of the City of Montreal, I did not have the best encounters when communicating with police. I moved to Toronto Ontario in the year 2000 and love all the diverse communities in the GTA.
After attending a female police recruiting seminar, I realized that policing was a career I would like to try and make a positive difference in. At the age of 32 with a 3 year old child, I became a York Regional Police Officer and have been serving the community for 14 years.
Q: Where did you go to school to learn to be a first responder?
A: I attended the Ontario Police College in Aylmer Ontario.
Q: What has been the highlight of your career?
A: I have a few significant highlights of my career so far. These include providing first response assistance for a cardiac arrest emergency. I also was priviledged to save a choking child and provide help in the delivery of two babies. One final highlight occured while serving in the Human Trafficking Unit. My efforts in this particular unit enabled me to help 12 girls from working in the sex trade and breaking their association with those individuals who prey on vulnerable young women.
Q: What do you do to keep physically fit and take care of your mental wellbeing?
A: I try to commit myself to regularly go to the gym. I also think it's important to surround myself with family and friends. If I require therapy or mental health support, the YRP has services available on call for their constables.
Q: What’s your favourite thing to do outside of being a first responder?
A: First and foremost I love being a mother and a bird owner. I also enjoy working on home renovations and gardening in my yard. When I can, I enjoy playing tennis, vintage thrift shopping and bike riding too.
Enjoy more first responder stories: York Region Community Open House - Celebrating First Responders and IWD 2022
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Blog and Photos by Caroline Wiley. Caroline bridged her 20+ years of professional experience in the sport and recreation industry together with her passions for photography and supporting women in sport to create SeeWhatSheCanDo. Her vision is to create a welcoming space where active women find a sense of belonging within their own local community, see themselves in authentic and awe-inspiring ways and find resources to help them be their best active selves.
On behalf of the Ontario Provincial Police, York Regional Police, Central York Fire Services, and York Region Paramedic Services, SeeWhatSheCanDo would like to sincerely thank YRP Constable Dezy Jones for sharing her first responder story as part of our collective IWD 2023 celebrations
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