Category Archives: The JIBC Foundation

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 on the recommendation of a friend in his Ontario hometown who had also taken the program, before being hired by his local fire department. (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 »

Fire & Safety Division Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate School of Public Safety The JIBC Foundation

JIBC firefighting graduates eager to support firefighting training in Central America

2015 One World Scholars Depart YVRRecent JIBC firefighting graduates Conrad Callagher, Nolan Pick, Ben Gutowski and Steve Oishi depart Vancouver International Airport February 8, 2015 to support firefighter training in Panama. (Submitted photo; story by Richard Chu)


Each year, four JIBC firefighting graduates have a special opportunity to gain valuable experience and make a difference overseas through a special course called Fire Protection in the Global Community.

Graduates of JIBC’s firefighting pre-employment certificate program apply for this unique course that includes a three-week deployment in Central America to support instructors from the Fire Rescue International Training Association (FRITA) as they provide firefighting training in the region. Students selected for the course receive the Irving K. Barber One World International Scholarship administered by the Victoria Foundation, and additional support from JIBC for the Central American deployment.

“It’s fair to say that the days are long and packed with activities and experiences,” said Kim Saulnier, a firefighter from Coquitlam Fire & Rescue and this year’s lead instructor for the course. “The aim is to instil a sense of connectedness to firefighters in the global community and gain a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the career these four graduates have chosen.” 

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