Kayla HowardActing Captain - Otonabee South Monaghan Station 4, Dental Assistant - 2032 Dentistry, Cycle Instructor - Full Tilt Cycle, Course Coordinator - NFPA FF1 & FF2 Program - Eastern Ontario Emergency Training Academy Norwood
Kayla's Story :
1. Who are you ?
My name is Kayla Howard, born and raised in Hiawatha First Nation. I’m currently a full time Dental Assistant at 2032 Dentistry, Cycle Instructor at Full Tilt Cycle Ptbo and Course Coordinator for the NFPA FF1 ; FF2 program at the Eastern Ontario Emergency Training Academy in Norwood. I have been a volunteer Firefighter with OSM for 6 Years now and recently one of the Acting Captains with OSM Station 4. I enjoy playing sports such as hockey, lacrosse and baseball and all things outdoors!
2. Why did you become a firefighter ?
I became a firefighter because I wanted to give back to my community. I also wanted to keep challenging myself physically and mentally with something new.
3. What is your best/happiest/proudest moment as a firefighter ?
Proudest moment as a firefighter would be that I am able to help and volunteer with such a great department. I’m also proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish so far in the last few years by obtaining my certificates for NFPA 1001 FF1 & FF2, NFPA 472 Operations & Awareness, NFPA 1201 FO1 ; NFPA 1041 FI1. The proudest moment I believe is still yet to come, when I get to serve with a full time fire department.
4. What are you proudest of in your life ?
My proudest moment in life is proving to myself that I can do anything I set my mind too. I’ve done it many times before and will continue in the future on my journey for full time fire fighting.
5. What is it like being a woman in a non-traditional career ?
Being a woman in a non-traditional career is honestly what you make it to be. It can be definitely challenging at times but I’ve been so fortunate to be apart of a department that as no judgement and it doesn’t matter your gender you still get an equal opportunity. Sure there will be times where you might have to prove yourself to somebody but don’t let that fear stop you from reaching your goals in your career and in life. I never want to be given a position or an opportunity because of my gender, I want to be able to show up, work hard and really deserve it.
6. What inspires YOU ?
What inspires me is all the Women that have gone before me, all the Women that have been successful in their careers and in life. They are the ones who have paved the way to show other women like myself that it can be done.
7. What would you say to young women of today about life, jobs, dreams?
I would tell young women of today that whatever it is in life that they want or whatever goal or dream they have- find others who are already there, who have the experiences and the knowledge. Surround yourself with these people who lift you up and show you the way- find a tribe and never give up.