The YES Effect podcast

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TYE 115: What a 21 y/o female firefighter can teach you about possibility with Cassandra Chyz

Jan 17, 2022
cassandra-chyz, female-firefighter, young-female-firefighter


Barely 5-feet tall and just 21 years old, Cassandra Chyz defied every conventional thought - even her own mother’s - to become a fulltime firefighter in Canada’s biggest city, Toronto. From going all-in on training and moving across the country to learn, to failing entry tests and nearly giving up, her remarkable story is proof that all as long as you’re willing to put the work in, success is inevitable.


Cassandra was a pupil of Shelli’s - a trailblazer among female firefighters in Canada, herself. Here, Chyz joins The YES Effect to share her inspirational journey that all began with a spontaneous decision to attend a week-long firefighter camp. She shares how she worked to stand out amongst her male-dominated competition, and even replays the highly emotional voicemail left for Shelli when she was finally offered the job.


In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How Cassandra discovered firefighting after dropping out of school and working odd jobs
  • How seeing Shelli for the first time changed everything for Cassandra
  • The list of things Shelli advised her to do to stand out and get hired as a firefighter, including in the final interview
  • Why Cassandra moved across the country to volunteer
  • How even Cassandra’s mom didn’t think she could be a firefighter  
  • The outside things Cassandra took on to advance her skills 
  • The event that almost caused Cassandra to give up
  • The ah ha moment that encouraged her to keep going and eventually land her dream job in her hometown



There were a few women who helped at (firefighter) camp and in my head ….I was like ‘if all of them did it why can't I do it?’”

I remember just feeling like ‘Okay, I got my school done, this is something I really want, I'm hungry…what do I have to do next?’

What she said was: in my body this is a ‘hell no’…. when you found your ‘hell yes’ that was the thing you tripled down on.’ -SV

I remember you (Shelli) saying … you need to separate yourself. You helped me realize I really needed to stand out. In all my interviews I told them things I thought they wanted to hear. The mindset you gave me was ‘show them that you're the type of person that they want on their team.’

When you say YES and you take action, you become the thing you need to be. -SV

A belief in the limitation is more powerful than the limitation itself. -SV


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