Cool Under PressureResiliency Tactics

Dave Gillespie

Dave is a professional firefighter and educator who is passionate about teaching people how they can manage stressful situations with high consequences.

He draws upon his 25 years of front line experiences in extreme stress and the latest research in how this can be managed.

Dave is an adjunct College Professor, workplace Mental Health Trainer and former Chief Training Officer. He delivers keynotes and workshops in Canada and USA on resilience and high performance.

I help people prepare to face high pressure situations.

Learn how to pivot in the moment and develop resilience.

Cool Under Pressure workshops

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 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 a tough situation in professional or personal life.

Cool Under PressureResiliency Tactics

Drawing on his 25 years of firefighting, rescue work, and leading teams, seeing people on their “worst” day, Dave shares his observations and evidence-based research in handling tough times minute-by-minute.

Performance in Crisis

The Art of Situational Awareness

Recognizing and taking control of the situation.

Physiological Stress & Control

Understanding the physical effects of stress reaction, and how to recognize the body’s response in other people.

Breathing Drills

Proven stress-crushing breathing techniques you can apply in the crisis moment as things hit the fan.

Self Talk & Micro Goal-Setting

Taming the voice in your head, anchoring, and establishing the pathways for resolution.

Dynamic Mental Rehearsal

Preparing for real-life high stress situations with visualization and build internal videos.

Science of Composure

Learn how to keep it together, show calm in the storm, and maintain composure.

Choose from three Keynote Presentations

Resilience in a Covid-19 World

Through the “Resilience in C-19 World” workshop, we identify situations, stresses and moments that staff in your industry face related to Covid 19, clients, and potential scenarios. This presentation starts with understanding those situations, how the perceived consequences and real consequences impact your business operations, then how to prepare for it mentally and physically. We will look at neuroscience and hormone release like adrenaline and cortisol affecting your long term health. Most importantly how to get past your amygdala going for a rollercoaster ride, and apply relaxation breathing, mindfulness, sleep, and use cognitive stress management aids and apps.

• This is a 1.5 hour Virtual Presentation.

Cool Under Pressure for Industry

In the “Cool Under Pressure” workshop we identify large scale and small scale situations that staff in your industry face day to day. This experiential workshop starts with the neuroscience of when your body and brain face critical stress, what’s involved when our amygdala is hijacked, our fight, flight, or freeze. We will look at how it impacts the effectiveness of staff and influence on clients, and ultimately your corporation. We will look at strategic resilience techniques to handle those moments and build the resilience of your personnel, which will support your team’s business continuity.

• This is a 2 hour Virtual Experiential Workshop.

Mental Performance for Athletes

Through the “Mental Performance for Athletes” workshop, competitive athletes can draw from real life examples presented in various sports and high risk occupations. We will learn the neuroscience involved when our amygdala is hijacked, our fight, flight, or freeze response starts a rollercoaster ride which impacts your competition. Most importantly we will do a deep dive into athlete-centred strategies that can be utilized the month before in pre-competition mental preparation, also used the night before, or the moment of performance. These evidence based practices help build the 6 inches of real estate between your ears.

Learn how to perform better today, practice tonight, and apply by tomorrow.

• This is a 1 – 2 hour Virtual Experiential Workshop.

Sessions are for leaders, corporate leadership teams, and agency staff who face high impact situations, where there are high stakes riding on their performance.
Past clients/industries include:
National athletes, educators, ship Captains and Chief Officers, courtroom witnesses, OHL hockey players, teenage athletes, mixed martial art athletes, NHL prospect, pension fund auditors, speakers, firefighters, nurses, police officers, zookeepers, and fishmongers in Seattle.

Currently booking only virtual presentations


Contact Dave

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Past clients include:



Peterborough firefighter authors book on techniques to deal with high-stress situations

Peterborough firefighter Dave Gillespie has authored a book to teach people techniques to deal with high-stress situations. He says the techniques aren’t just for firefighters, but for anyone who finds themselves in a stressful situation. – Lance Anderson/Metroland