Author Archives: Wanda Chow

JIBC law enforcement studies helps grad keep communities safe

Courtney Lee has always wanted to work with dogs. After graduating from JIBC’s Law Enforcement Studies Diploma program, she was hired by Securiguard as a dog handler for Diesel, who specializes in explosives detection, at YVR. 

 

Courtney Lee has always loved animals, and dogs in particular. So when she became interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement, her goal of becoming a dog handler seemed a natural fit.

Courtney currently works for Securiguard at Vancouver International Airport as a handler for her canine partner, Diesel, who specializes in explosives detection.

She’s well on her way to achieving the career path of her dreams and she says it’s all thanks to the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), where she graduated from the Law Enforcement Studies Diploma (LESD) program.

“I decided to take JIBC’s LESD program because it was the only program I could find that offered more of a hands-on approach, and I thought that it would be valuable life experience,” Courtney said.

“I liked the program because it was a different approach to learning. The instructors were mostly ex-law enforcement officers and were able to offer hands-on experience. The courses were truly unique and offered information that students would not normally get, as well as experiences that no other schools offered, like the defensive driving course, applied law, and many others.”

It was at a career fair at JIBC where she learned about the career opportunities available at Securiguard. She had no prior experience working in the security industry but spent time volunteering with the company’s K-9 unit on its training days. The company hired her and eventually she was assigned to the K-9 unit and teamed up with Diesel.

 

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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).

She found all of her courses were applicable to life in general, citing emergency preparedness as one area she learned new tools that will prove useful one day. The program included simulated debriefings conducted with professional actors to help students practice what they learned.

“Throughout the coursework, it was very easy to imagine how the practice could be applied to my workplace.”

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Be the one saving lives

August 10, 2016 - Vancouver, BC - Photos for JIBC. Photos by Jimmy Jeong
Matt Anderson is keen to be able to use his JIBC paramedic training to serve his remote Central BC community. He also hopes to eventually train others to help provide a basic level of medical care for the town’s 800 residents. (Story by Wanda Chow / Photo by Jimmy Jeong)

 

Just a week after Matt Anderson successfully completed his paramedic licensing exam he was practically bursting to talk about the possibilities that come with his training at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC).

After all, as the lone certified paramedic in Moricetown, a Wet’suwet’en village in Central BC halfway between Smithers and Hazelton, he and a licenced Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) were to be the  main regular providers of health care to the approximately 800 residents.

It was yet another role in the community for Matt, who is also a high school teacher for at-risk youth, the town’s driving instructor, one of 12 members of its volunteer fire department, and one of only two certified EMRs.

As a first responder, he said, “It’s 24/7. I have a radio on me and I just go when I’m called.”

The town’s fire chief asked him to become the fire department’s “medical guy” because no one else wanted to do it. In a First Nations community, the close knit nature and location can often result in Indigenous firefighters and first responders attending to emergencies involving their own families. This can lead to some uncomfortable situations, unique to a small community.  Matt, however, is one of the few non-Indigenous residents, from a family that’s called Moricetown home for almost 40 years. 

He agreed to the role, was trained in Occupational First Aid Level 1 and enjoyed it so much he started thinking about becoming a paramedic. He attended JIBC to get his EMR certification and eventually community leaders agreed they wanted him to pursue further training.

His school supervisor and the fire chief both gave him leaves of absence so he could go through the eight-month process of training for the Primary Care Paramedic Certificate at JIBC’s Chilliwack campus and completing the licensing requirements; the Moricetown Volunteer Fire Department and the Kyah Wiget Education Society he works for helped cover some of the costs; and the Moricetown Band is also behind him.

The JIBC training was everything he’d hoped.

“I just loved it. I ate that program up. I loved the instructors. The instructors in Chilliwack are phenomenal and I hear that from everyone. Really great course.” read more »

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?”

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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.”

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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 »

Be the one fighting fires

August 10, 2016 - Vancouver, BC - Photos for JIBC. Photos by Jimmy Jeong

Adam Iwama credits his JIBC training with helping him successfully transition from work in kinesiology to a second career as a firefighter. (Story by Wanda Chow / Photo by Jimmy Jeong)

 

Every day on the job with Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service, Adam Iwama is reminded of the lessons he learned during his firefighter training at Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC).

Adam was part of a fire crew recently called out to a fire at a rubber mat-manufacturing plant.

“The call came in as a small smoldering fire and naturally, we expected just that. However things took a quick turn when we pulled out of the hall to a large plume of thick black smoke coming from the area.”

When they arrived, they found a huge blaze outside fuelled by pallets loaded with rubber mats. They were very close to the side of the building which threatened to catch fire too.

It would be a big job to tackle in any case, but since they were responding to what was reported as a minor fire, they were the only fire engine on scene until additional crews could show up following his captain’s update.

“Being understaffed for a period of time at such a fire called on us to be extremely efficient with our resources and left us with absolutely no room for error in our techniques employed in efforts to keep the building from catching,” Adam recalled.

“During this fire more than any other one to date, it was critical for me to utilize the training I received from JIBC. How to individually manage a 2.5-inch fire hose line for an extended period of time, to conserve your air intake while exerting high energy, and how to communicate in a very dynamic and challenging environment are but some of the skills taught to me at the Maple Ridge campus that I employed.”

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Community Care Licensing program paves path to new careers for former child care workers

Ashley Minifie and Amy Laughren took their work experience in child care and turned it into new careers as Community Care Licensing Officers, thanks to JIBC’s CCLO program.

 

It would be something of an understatement to say Amy Laughren and Ashley Minifie have much in common when it comes to their careers.

They both have educational backgrounds in Early Childhood Education. They both worked in childcare facilities – Amy in Ontario and then Alberta, where she was Program Director of a facility before going on maternity leave and moving to Victoria; and Ashley as owner and operator of her own In-Home Multi-Age childcare facility, also in Victoria.

Each became interested in Licensing Officer roles when considering their next career goals. After learning about the Advanced Specialty Certificate in Community Care Licensing program at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), they both enrolled.

They met after signing up for their first online course with JIBC, when they were paired together for an assignment.  They ended up taking all the same courses and became fast friends.

Upon completion of JIBC’s Community Care Licensing program, the only program of its kind in Canada, they were both hired by Island Health as Child Care Licensing Officers within a month of each other.

Community Care Licensing Officers (CCLO) are employed through provincial health authorities, providing regulatory oversight to support the health and safety of the most vulnerable members of our society – children, seniors and people with disabilities – in licensed facilities such as child care, youth residential care, adult residential group care and long-term care facilities in BC. CCLOs conduct inspections, complete investigations, and provide education and support to licensees of such facilities. read more »