Fire & Safety Division Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate Justice Institute of British Columbia School of Public Safety The JIBC Foundation

JIBC prepares Olympian to be a firefighter

Britt Benn, a member of Canada’s 2016 Olympic bronze medal-winning women’s rugby team, is all smiles after completing JIBC’s Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate program. (Story and photos by Wanda Chow)

 

Olympic rugby player Brittany “Britt” Benn was looking for the makings of a new team to join and she’s confident she’s found it, thanks to Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC).

Britt, a member of Canada’s bronze medal-winning women’s rugby team at the Rio Olympics, decided to pursue a firefighting career and enrolled in JIBC’s Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate (FFTC) program. She completed the online portion from home in Victoria, where she trains with Rugby Canada, and then recently completed seven weeks of hands-on training at JIBC’s Maple Ridge campus, one of the most comprehensive firefighter training facilities in Western Canada.

“It’s a different team and I’ve been only training with women my whole life, so to come into a male-dominated class, I just had to adapt,” said Britt, 28. “That being said, nothing’s different. Women versus men, it’s just teamwork … You learn unity and how to work with each other to achieve one common goal and it’s the exact same on the rugby team.”

The time at the Maple Ridge campus was physically challenging, partly because Britt followed her 10-hour days at JIBC with three additional hours of daily workouts to maintain her fitness levels to the standards of the national women’s rugby team.

As for the hands-on training itself, Britt said, “The past seven weeks has been an incredible experience but it hasn’t been easy. They’re long days with many challenges you have to push through physically and mentally.”

Her class became her new family and she confirmed that firefighting is the right fit for her future plans beyond rugby. read more »

Emergency Management Division Justice Institute of British Columbia School of Public Safety

Japanese student takes JIBC lessons home to Asia

Hitoshi Igarashi recently completed course work in New Westminster as part of JIBC’s Emergency Management Certificate program. He hopes to adopt elements of the North American system of disaster response in Japan and other countries that he works with through the Community Emergency Management Institute of Japan. (Story and photo by Wanda Chow)

 

Hitoshi Igarashi is no stranger to natural disasters. From the 2011 Fukushima incident and the Tohoku tsunami that followed in Japan to Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines and numerous disasters in Indonesia and Sri Lanka, he’s seen it all.

“I’m like a disaster chaser,” Hitoshi, 51, joked while completing course work in New Westminster as part of the Emergency Management Certificate program at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC).

With a master’s degree from the University of Oregon and an undergraduate degree from Eastern Washington University, Hitoshi was looking for a short program to expand his knowledge and skills and learn how emergency management is done in Canada, which has a similar government structure to that in Japan.

He chose JIBC’s program in particular because he wanted to learn from experienced instructors who were well versed in preparing for, and responding to, the types of natural disasters faced in British Columbia. This includes earthquakes and forest fires, which are similar to those of the west coast of the United States and in Japan.

The fact that most of JIBC’s program is conducted online meant he could learn at his own pace, as long as he was meeting deadlines, while still being able to communicate with instructors, which was a particular benefit when he was working in Indonesia. All that remained was one week of intensive coursework at JIBC in person on campus.

“It’s very flexible for working professionals and international travelers.”

read more »

Centre for Graduate Studies & Academic Planning Justice & Public Safety Division Justice Institute of British Columbia Office of Applied Research & Graduate Studies School of Criminal Justice & Security

Be the one gathering intelligence

Casey Solis is an investigations manager at Canada’s largest risk mitigation and investigation firm. Thanks to her JIBC education in intelligence analysis, she assists clients in a wide range of areas, from mergers and acquisitions to threat risk assessments. (Story by Wanda Chow / Photo by Jimmy Jeong)

 

The uncovering of fraud, the safety of a community, the fate of billion-dollar corporate deals, protecting intangible assets, ensuring operational continuity, and reducing risk and minimizing loss. They can all depend on the work done by the growing number of intelligence and research analysts like Casey Solis.

Casey completed Justice Institute of British Columbia’s (JIBC) Graduate Certificate in Tactical Criminal Analysis a few years ago and is now an Investigations Manager at Xpera Risk Mitigation & Investigation, Canada’s largest such firm.

She specializes in due diligence and special projects in areas such as mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property issues, threat risk assessments, protest monitoring and insurance or liability claims. Clients range from private corporations and government agencies, to insurance companies, and clients in the telecommunications and energy sector.

“Every day is different and challenging, from formulating investigation plans and exploring new social media platforms or technology to actively engaging in covert investigations. Each file is unique, and treated as such,” she said. “And because no two situations are the same, I am actively using the skills I acquired at JIBC to assess situations, solve problems, and identify solutions. It is addicting.”

read more »

Fire & Safety Division Justice Institute of British Columbia School of Public Safety

Be the one fighting fires

Steve Oishi arrived at the scene of a serious crash where the driver was pinned inside. Thanks to his JIBC firefighter training, he knew just what to do. (Story by Wanda Chow / Photo by Jimmy Jeong)

 

Steve Oishi was working at the Big White Fire Department when the call came in of a car that had crashed head-on into a tree on the side of the road. On arrival, the fire crew found the dash had crumpled and pinned the driver inside.

As a graduate of the pre-employment firefighter training program at Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), he knew just what to do at the scene.

“JIBC had taught me several techniques for auto-extrication, so when we couldn’t fit the hydraulic ram into the door to roll the dash off, we had to come up with a new plan of action,” said Steve, who was a resident work experience program firefighter at Big White at the time. All the techniques we used to remove the patient had been taught in some respect during my time at JIBC, and it no doubt made the process more efficient having those foundational skills.”

Steve had originally planned to become a physiotherapist, completing a bachelor’s degree in human kinetics, and working in the health and fitness field to move towards that goal. But then he realized that career choice wasn’t a good fit.

“I needed something a little more hands-on, exciting, and where I could really give back and be a big part of my community; firefighting hits all those points better than any career I can think of.”

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Centre for Conflict Resolution Justice Institute of British Columbia School of Health, Community & Social Justice

Be the one building relationships

There was a time when Anna Richards had a tendency to avoid conflict. Thanks to JIBC’s Conflict Resolution training, she now faces it head on and incorporates those lessons into her work as a counsellor. (Story by Wanda Chow /  Photo by Jimmy Jeong)

 

Anna Richards was working as a wildland firefighter when she got promoted to leader of a fire crew. But while she knew how to dig a fire line and use a chainsaw, negotiating interpersonal matters was all new to her.

“My strategy was to be ‘easy going.’ I thought that if I treated everyone like they already knew what to do, that they would feel comfortable and motivated and would just ask questions along the way,” she recalls. “When conflict arose, I just hoped it would take care of itself.”  

Ultimately, she learned that in that kind of leadership vacuum, people get confused about their roles and responsibilities. That experience helped her recognize that conflict intimidated her and that by avoiding it, she had not been as effective a leader as she wanted to be.

Anna left her firefighting career and went on to earn her master’s degree in counselling.

“When I decided to become a counsellor, I promised myself that I’d do whatever it took to gain the skills I needed to face conflict head on.”

Anna learned about the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) from a JIBC instructor who gave a workshop at her workplace and impressed her with his skills and ability to hold a room.

She was inspired to pursue a certificate in conflict resolution, specializing in third-party mediation. The Centre for Conflict Resolution emphasizes experiential learning, where students role-play difficult conversations with each other under the guidance of a coach. read more »

Bachelor of Law Enforcement Studies Justice & Public Safety Division Justice Institute of British Columbia School of Criminal Justice & Security

Be the one keeping communities safe


Sebastien Therrien’s pursuit of a career in policing led him to JIBC. Thanks to his JIBC degree, he’s now enrolled in graduate studies to further his education. (Story by Wanda Chow / Photo by Jimmy Jeong)

 

Sebastien Therrien’s pursuit of a career in policing led him to the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) and now his JIBC degree is helping him expand his career opportunities as he pursues a graduate degree.

Growing up in Quebec, Sebastien, now 27, always wanted to be a police officer, a career where he could make a difference while working directly with the public.

That determination was strengthened after he graduated high school and joined the Canadian Forces Army Reserves, while completing a diploma in Police Foundations at La Cité Collégiale in Ottawa. It was at La Cité where he learned of a new agreement between that school and JIBC, where he could apply his education towards completion of JIBC’s Bachelor of Law Enforcement Studies (BLES) degree.

Sebastien says his JIBC education helped open his mind on many subjects, particularly the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada, how they were treated and how that continues to impact that community today.

“In high school I cannot remember learning about that and it’s so important to learn about it. That’s what struck me, like wow, I’m 25, 26 years old and I’m just learning about this?”

read more »

Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate Justice Institute of British Columbia School of Public Safety

Olympic medallist seeks new team through JIBC firefighting program

Britt Benn won a bronze medal in women’s rugby at the 2016 Olympic Games. Now she’s enrolled in JIBC’s Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate program as she pursues her career goal of finding another team to join, this time as a firefighter.

 

It took years of work and dedication for Brittany “Britt” Benn to earn an Olympic bronze medal as part of Canada’s women’s rugby sevens team at the 2016 Rio Games. Now that her dream of competing in the Olympic Games is complete, she’s looking for another team to join.

Britt, 28, has always seen a future career as a firefighter or other first responder as a good fit due to her desire to connect with the community.

“That’s all I’ve done my whole life and it’s all I know how to do is be a team member and that’s exactly what I’m seeking in this career, to become part of a new team, a new family, work together to achieve one common goal. Honestly, firefighting to me, I know it’s a perfect fit and I’m going to continue pursuing it.”

The native of Napanee, ON is taking strides towards her new career goal by enrolling in the Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate (FFTC) program at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC). Britt is currently on leave from Canada’s women’s rugby sevens team, which trains out of Victoria, to attend the seven-week hands-on portion of the program at JIBC’s Maple Ridge campus, one of the most comprehensive firefighter training facilities in Western Canada.

She chose JIBC’s program based on word-of-mouth recommendations and a desire to meet the high standards of a competitive field.

“I’m here to learn the skills to the best of my abilities and to apply them in the real world. There’s no better school to do that than JIBC in my humble opinion. I would love to be one of the best and they say if you want to be one of the best you have to come to the school that’s the best, so here I am.”

read more »

Centre for Counselling & Community Safety Justice Institute of British Columbia School of Health, Community & Social Justice

Be the one rebuilding lives


Lana Fox’s peers and colleagues were suffering from the trauma of losing clients from the Downtown Eastside to the opioid overdose crisis. Thanks to JIBC’s Critical Incident Stress Management program, she learned how to help. (Story by Wanda Chow / Photo by Jimmy Jeong)

 

Lana Fox was working at the Portland Hotel Society in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside when she noticed her peers and colleagues were suffering.

Her role involved supporting clients with mental health and addictions issues through housing, safe injection and other programs. But before the opioid overdose epidemic made national news headlines and was declared a public health emergency, there was already an obvious change.

“I saw a definitive increase in the trauma being suffered by my peers,” Lana said. “They were attending significantly more overdoses and having increased negative outcomes. Our tenants and program participants were dying at an alarming rate.”

Wanting to help support her colleagues and community, she enrolled in the Critical Incident Stress Management Certificate (CISM) program at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC). read more »