Captain Dave Gillespie

Author, speaker, and Firefighter who lights things up.
Play Video

Dave is an author, speaker, and professional Fire Captain who helps people learn how to manage stressful situations that have high risk and high consequences.

Dave draws upon his 27 years of front line experiences in extreme stress and the latest research and evidence-based practices used by police, special forces, aviators, and Olympic Athletes in how these “fires” can be managed. Perfect for post-pandemic situations in a chaotic world.

As a current firefighter, College Professor, workplace Mental Health Trainer, he delivers conference keynotes and workshops in Canada and USA on resilience and high performance. Tactics taught in the conference keynote or workshop can be practiced right there, then adopted by that night, and applied by tomorrow.

Programs By Captain Dave Gillespie

Through the “Cool Under Pressure” workshop we identify situations, stresses and moments that staff in your industry face day to day. This experiential workshop starts with the neuroscience involved when our amygdala is hijacked, our fight, flight, or freeze response starts a rollercoaster ride, and how to manage it. We will learn and practice specific Mental Toughness strategies utilized by Firefighters, SWAT Police Officers, Special Operations Forces, and Olympic athletes. These cognitive and physical strategies can put you back in control of your body’s response and move forward. We will utilize 5 specific strategies against customized scenarios to engage high performance skill sets. This is a fast-paced interactive session to practice the points of mental toughness for new or experienced staff who may face tough situations in professional or personal life.
The success of any team, an organization, or an agency comes down to the leadership in crisis situations. The culture that is promoted and accepted. Is it one of complacency day-to-day, or rah-rah-rah at semi-annual meetings? A highly functional and resilient team comes from understanding how to be in Command & Control of chaotic situations, and how failure is processed, and pivoted into to post-traumatic growth. This keynote looks at parallels by highly resilient teams, and the moment-by-moment actions that make the team stronger in tough times.

Books By Captain Dave Gillespie

Developing Firefighter Resiliency

Training ordinary people to do extraordinary things requires an understanding of how we learn. Developing Firefighter Resiliency starts with the basic psychophysical aspects of learning. The fire service has unwittingly used a failure-based training model for many years. Hands-on training exercises are often based on unachievable objectives. Trainers are often not educated about the psychology of adult learning or the effect of stress during learning. Consequently, participants face learning activities with mastery-level skill requirement to succeed when competency has yet to be established. This amounts to a never-ending diet of tests without actual skill development or high performance. Accessing knowledge under extreme circumstances cannot be left to chance, because the penalty for failure is severe. This book provides the roadmap for a journey to train, develop competency in the skills, manage physiology under stress, and capitalize on confidence to achieve mastery. We study the impact of a stressful environment on the ability to learn and function to a high performance level.

Captain Dave Gillespie Photo Gallery

Attention Meeting Planners!

Don't leave before joining our monthly Speaker Showcase & speaker updates list

Secure conference success! We’ll send you period speaker updates so you can be the first to book top talented keynote and conference speakers for your next event.

Your info will not be shared. Unsubscribe any time (but you likely won’t want to).