Category Archives: School of Public Safety

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

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.”

read more »

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

JIBC degree helps grad find purpose and realize passion to keep communities safe

Melodie Hutmacher is now working in her dream job in emergency management after learning of the growing field and completing JIBC’s Bachelor of Emergency and Security Management Studies program.

 

A few years ago, Melodie Hutmacher was searching for a career where she could make a difference. She found it at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC).

Today, Melodie is working in her dream job in emergency management helping to keep communities safe. As the Regional Emergency Systems Coordinator for the Regional Emergency Management Partnership, her role is to coordinate projects on Vancouver Island that strengthen and enhance emergency plans in the Capital Regional District.

It’s a role filled with purpose: to help communities prepare, mitigate, respond and recover from all sorts of emergencies and disasters. JIBC’s Bachelor of Emergency and Security Management Studies is Canada’s first degree of its kind in this growing field that Melodie didn’t even know existed prior to visiting JIBC’s website.

“Upon reading the description for the degree, I instantly knew I had found the path I wanted to take. It was as if the write-up was speaking directly to me: this field was everything I was looking for all my adult life. I was so excited, I filled in my application that same day.”

Through the program, she developed “a great sense of being a part of something bigger. I knew that what I learned at JIBC would take me into a career that I love. And it did. The instructors and staff are knowledgeable, helpful, and engaged. They made themselves available to provide insight and perspectives on their experiences and to answer questions. It was also a wonderful opportunity to meet and learn from other students from all over the world.”

read more »

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

El Salvador training trip filled with learning experiences for JIBC firefighting grads

From left: Kim Saulnier, FIre Prevention Inspector at District of North Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services and JIBC lead instructor, JIBC fire graduates Ryanna Smith, Spencer Kyte, Tommy Robertson, and Douglas Race, and Jenn Dawkins of Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services, at the presentation by the 2018 One World students at JIBC’s New Westminster campus recently.

 

Firefighting graduates from the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) recently completed a special deployment to El Salvador to support essential firefighter training in the Central American country.

While they provided training demonstrations, public education sessions and performed community work, they returned home having learned a great deal themselves, and gained a greater appreciation for the resources firefighters have available to them in Canada.

The five students, all graduates of JIBC’s Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate program, travelled to El Salvador on an almost three-week deployment, to visit numerous local fire halls and train local firefighters. This special program is made possible with support from the Fire Rescue International Training Association (FRITA) and student scholarships from the Irving K. Barber One World International Scholarship administered by the Victoria Foundation with additional support from JIBC.

The five 2018 One World Scholarship students, Spencer Kyte, Connor Llewellyn, Douglas Race, Tommy Robertson and Ryanna Smith, became four when Llewellyn had to return home a few days into the trip, upon learning he had been hired by Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services. read more »

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 »

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.”

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 »

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

JIBC firefighting grad from Ontario ready to be a firefighter

After years of working as a mechanic, Paul Lio decided it was time to pursue his boyhood dream of becoming a firefighter. He recently completed JIBC’s Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate program and is now serving as a firefighter with Markham Fire & Emergency Services. (Story by Wanda Chow) 

 

Growing up, Paul Lio was like many young boys – he dreamed of being a firefighter. 

But also like many youngsters, he listened when adults in his life discouraged him from trying to join the fire service, telling him it was too competitive, that he should pursue a more practical vocation. So, Paul became a licensed mechanic in Oakville, Ont.

But after years servicing and repairing vehicles at an auto dealership, Paul, now 28, started to have second thoughts about the dream he left behind. 

“I started to realize, you know what, if I’m passionate enough about something I’m going to do what it takes to get there. I don’t let anything stand in my way now, no matter what anybody says. I chase my dreams.”

A longtime friend of his father is a fire captain in Oakville. His son recently got hired on as a firefighter in Oakville after attending the Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate (FFTC) program at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC).

“He highly recommended it. He got great training out of it, telling me you get lots of hands on [experience] and lots of repetition in the program so it’s not like you get taught something and move on. No, you actually get a lot of work time on it.”

The respected fire captain also had really good things to say about the FFTC program, and after doing his own research, Paul decided it would be a good fit. For one thing, the fact the initial three months of training is done online allowed him to continue working full-time as a mechanic. He only needed to take a leave of absence from his job for the seven weeks of hands-on training in Maple Ridge.

And to top it off: “I love BC, I was here last year on vacation, absolutely loved it. I had no problems with coming out here for seven weeks,” he said with a laugh. read more »