Author Archives: Wanda Chow

Firefighter secures dream job after JIBC program

A year after completing the Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate program at JIBC, Ashley Long was promoted to a career firefighter position with a local fire department. 


Ashley Long has always wanted to be a firefighter, to be able to help someone on what could be one of the worst days of their lives.

But straight out of high school, Ashley thought she would be too young to be considered seriously for a firefighter job. So, in the meantime she decided to pursue her other passion ­– cooking. She completed the Culinary Arts program at The Art Institute of Vancouver and went on to earn her Red Seal in the field.

Then with that career backup plan in hand, she decided to focus on firefighting by taking the Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate (FFTC) program at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC). The program came highly recommended by her uncle, who is a training officer with a fire department in Metro Vancouver.

“My uncle attended JIBC and was very happy with the education he received,” Ashley said. After attending a JIBC information session, she decided to take the plunge despite some reservations about her age.

“I took it when I was 19, it was intimidating as I was one of the youngest in the class but I didn’t want to wait any longer to pursue my dream job.”

Ashley loved the program, which is comprised of up to 12 weeks of online, knowledge-based courses, followed by seven weeks of hands-on, live-fire training at the Maple Ridge campus, Western Canada’s most extensive firefighting training facility.


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JIBC students gain life experience through international exchange to UK

JIBC Bachelor of Law Enforcement Students Dayton DiSalvo and Emma Smith say they gained valuable life experience while on an exchange for a semester at the University of Portsmouth in the UK. 


For Emma Smith and Dayton DiSalvo, the chance to study abroad was not just about augmenting their schooling, it was about gaining life experience.

Both are students in the Bachelor of Law Enforcement Studies program at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC).  Upon receiving the Irving K. Barber One World International Scholarship and additional financial support from The JIBC Foundation, they participated in an exchange program where they studied at the University of Portsmouth in the UK for a semester.

“I have always wanted to study abroad, although I did not want to take time off my studies at JIBC,” said Dayton. “This opportunity allowed me to study abroad, and work towards my degree at JIBC and was affordable.”

They took courses in forensic science, youth probation and crime scene management.

“There were many things that Canada and England practise similarly, and many in which the two countries differ which I was able to bring back and share with my fellow Canadian classmates,” said Emma. read more »

JIBC grad takes paramedic skills to Downtown Eastside streets

After completing his studies at JIBC’s Paramedic Academy, Ryan Vena hopes to work as a paramedic but plans to carry on using his skills in the Downtown Eastside with the outreach society he founded.


Ryan Vena is taking the skills he learned at the Justice Institute of British Columbia’s (JIBC) Paramedic Academy to the streets of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, through an outreach society he founded.

Ryan recently completed JIBC’s Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) program, after finishing the Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) program at the Institute the year before. What he appreciated most about his JIBC experience is the fact their instructors are working paramedics.

“I fully believe a lived experience gives you a step up on someone who’s just learned it from books … you can relate it to a sort of real-life situation.”

Ryan has drawn on his own lived experience for years. Prior to attending JIBC, he worked in the trades then studied social work before sinking into drug addiction. It was while he was in recovery about three years ago that he realized he had lost numerous friends to fentanyl overdoses, part of the recent opioid overdose crisis. Since part of recovery is giving back, he decided to help fill a void, of volunteers providing outreach to people on the ground.

“So I grabbed a backpack full of sandwiches and a Narcan kit, went to the Downtown Eastside and started helping. I had no idea it was going to grow to what it is now.”

Street Saviours Outreach Society was born. Eventually, Ryan recruited other volunteers from his recovery house and then determined the overdoses they were frequently encountering were getting more severe. That’s when he decided he needed more medical training and became a student at JIBC. read more »

JIBC student among 40 international students selected to go on exchange to Taiwan

Jordan Wagner, a JIBC Bachelor of Law Enforcement Studies student, took part in an unforgettable international study experience in Taiwan this past summer.


Having the opportunity to spend two weeks in Taiwan this summer was an invaluable experience that Jordan Wagner isn’t soon to forget.

The JIBC Bachelor of Law Enforcement Studies student was one of 40 international students from eight different countries selected for the annual two-week Discovery Camp offered through the University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific (UMAP) Consortium, of which JIBC is a member.

This year’s camp was held in early August 2019 and was co-organized by Taiwan’s Ministry of Education, UMAP Taiwan National Secretariat and Fu Jen Catholic University in Taiwan.

“UMAP exceeded my expectations,” Jordan said. “They planned everything from class lectures to field trips and also provided us with free time to explore Taiwan. It was a fun, easy and exciting program that allowed a well-rounded experience.”

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Part-time JIBC program helps aspiring firefighter make career change

Thanks to JIBC’s part-time Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate program, Patrick Conley was able to pursue his dreams of a career in firefighting while continuing his full-time job as a carpenter.
(Photo by Jesse Erlich)


While Patrick Conley has a long-established career as a carpenter, he’s always wanted to be a firefighter. Thanks to the part-time Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate (FFTC) program at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), he’s now making that dream job a reality.

“I have family and an established career and couldn’t feasibly take time off to complete the full-time (FFTC) program, so was excited to learn that the JIBC was offering a part-time program to meet the needs of a full-time working dad/husband. The part time offering helped me make my long-time goal of firefighting that much more achievable.”

The part-time FFTC program offers the same level of applied education and hands-on training as the full-time version ­­– up to 12 weeks of online knowledge-based courses followed by seven weeks’ worth of hands-on, live-fire training at JIBC’s Maple Ridge campus spread out over three months on evenings and weekends.
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International students gain valuable skills and experience at JIBC

Emily Bird, left, and Rachele Cabboi saw their international exchange experience at JIBC as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that enhanced their studies through a hands-on learning approach and instructors still actively working in law enforcement. 


When the opportunity to study at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) came up for two students from the University of Portsmouth in the UK, they jumped at the chance.

Emily Bird of Salisbury, England is working on a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Forensic Studies, while Rachele Cabboi of northern Italy is enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Criminology with Psychology program at the university in southern England.

Rachel liked the idea of studying abroad for a year to make the most of her studies before starting a career. She considered studying in Vancouver as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a part of the world that interested her. She appreciated JIBC’s hands-on approach to teaching, and the fact JIBC offered subjects she could not have studied otherwise.

Similarly, Emily saw the exchange program as a way to explore all her career options.

“I saw that JIBC has instructors still actively working in the law enforcement field; it can only be beneficial to learn from such experienced individuals,” Emily said. “Practical policing modules were also offered at Portsmouth, however due to taking other units it was not possible to study these. I believed coming onto the exchange program would offer something different to study whilst also learning about another country and exploring Canada.”

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JIBC degree grad takes lessons to UK law school

Pavan Dhaliwal’s passion for the law translated into completion of a Bachelor of Law Enforcement degree at JIBC and now to law school in the UK.


Coming from a family that includes several lawyers, it is perhaps not surprising that Pavan Dhaliwal has always held a passion for the law. He believes in the powerful role the law plays in holding society accountable and ensuring fairness. That interest translated into completion of a Bachelor of Law Enforcement (BLES) degree at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) and his current legal studies in the UK.

He first heard about JIBC’s BLES program while he was studying criminology at another university and volunteering with the Surrey Crime Prevention Society.

“I visited the JIBC campus in New Westminster and spoke to the admissions staff and realized that JIBC had instructors with immense experience in the criminal justice system. Whether that be lawyers, police officers, or correctional officers. I was ecstatic at the fact that I would be receiving education from experienced professionals whom have achieved great success in the community and are leaders in our society.”

Pavan says the BLES program was crucial in his growth academically and personally, and helped him develop skills in conflict resolution, research, and time-management, which are benefiting him now as he pursues a law degree. He added his legal courses in the BLES program gave valuable insight into what to expect in law school. 
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LESD grad makes a difference drawing on refugee experience

Two years after graduating from JIBC, Mansoor Sahak was hired as an RCMP officer, a role he hopes will help him to give back to Canada for taking in his family as refugees.


Mansoor Sahak hasn’t wasted any time in pursuing his goal of giving back to Canada as a police officer.

Two years after graduating with a Law Enforcement Studies Diploma (LESD) at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), he was hired by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in early 2017. Then in his first year as a general duty officer with North Vancouver RCMP, he took 42 impaired drivers off the road, and was recognized as a member of “Alexa’s Team.”

The honour is named after four-year-old Alexa Middelaer who was killed by a drunk driver in 2008. It is awarded to police officers in BC who make an extraordinary contribution to reducing the number of impaired drivers on the province’s roads.

Mansoor believes the lessons and skills he gained from the LESD program at JIBC was a great foundation in his pursuit for a law enforcement career, along with his experience as an RCMP auxiliary and a bylaw officer, volunteering with the Vancouver Police Department, and being part of police judo at JIBC.

He also had a deeper purpose in his career choice. It all comes back to his family’s experience as refugees, and his desire to give back to the country that took them in. read more »