Fire & Safety Division Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate School of Public Safety

JIBC firefighting grads give and receive in El Salvador


From left: Norm MacLeod, Assistant Fire Chief, Mission Fire Rescue Service; Jeffrey Moore, Honorary Consul of El Salvador; JIBC fire graduates Yousif Safar, Jennifer Simmons, Phoenix Gordon, Ryan Tostenson and Ava Gartner; Alex Moore, Humber College Fire Academy grad; Kim Saulnier, City of Coquitlam fire inspector and JIBC lead instructor; and Capt. Derek Dickson, North Vancouver City Fire Department, at the presentation by 2017 One World students at JIBC’s New Westminster campus. (Story and group photo by Wanda Chow)

 

Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) firefighting graduates recently travelled overseas to support basic firefighter training in El Salvador.

They returned having learned lessons of their own, and gained a greater appreciation for the firefighting systems and resources back home in Canada.

The five students, all graduates of JIBC’s Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate program, travelled to the Central American country on a two-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 JIBC One World students went into the trip believing they would be the ones teaching and training local firefighters, said Phoenix Gordon, one of this year’s One World participants, all of whom shared their experiences in a presentation at the New Westminster Campus recently.

“When we were actually there we got to feel what it was like to learn more than anything. Their people have experienced it, actually been on the job. Of course we’re all students and we’re still learning. While we have all the techniques, fresh in our minds from literally having read every page of the book, they’ve actually been out there at fires where they have to figure out how they’re going to put out that structure fire when they have a sole tanker’s worth of water.”

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

Desire to give back leads to pursuit of firefighting career

JIBC Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate grad Yousif Safar credits local firefighters with helping keep him on the right path as a kid. Now he wants to follow in their footsteps to do the same for others in the community. (Story and photos by Wanda Chow)

 

Yousif Safar credits firefighters for keeping him on the straight and narrow as a teenager. Now he wants to follow in their footsteps to give back to the community in the same way.

Yousif, 25, came to Canada as an Iraqi refugee when he was just a few months old. He grew up in a low-income neighbourhood where it was really easy to get into trouble, he said.

But then he discovered wrestling.

His older brother used to wrestle competitively and Yousif would always go to watch when he was still in elementary school. One day at a practice, he was given a chance to try out the sport, wrestling with another team member’s sibling.

He loved it. He loved the strategic aspects of the sport as well as the fact it helped him burn off so much energy.

“When I got to Grade 8, the coaches were firefighters. They set up this whole program, they had been doing it for years, all on their own time. They were giving so much back to the community.”

His coaches encouraged him to focus on wrestling instead of other, less positive distractions, even paying for him to attend training camps and helping him fundraise.

Eventually, Yousif became a member of Team Canada, wrestling at the 2007 Pan-American Wrestling Championships in Panama City, and representing Team BC in Japan. These opportunities to represent Canada and BC were all because of the firefighters who mentored him. read more »

Bachelor of Law Enforcement Studies Justice Institute of British Columbia Law Enforcement Studies Diploma School of Criminal Justice & Security

JIBC Law Enforcement Studies students launch #ThisWomanMyHero challenge

Every day all around the world, women and women-identified people act bravely, face danger, put others’ needs before their own, create life-saving innovations, and bring about remarkable and meaningful change. International Women’s Day is our opportunity to raise awareness, honour and celebrate these women who we look up to as the heroes in our lives.

Our JIBC Law Enforcement Studies students have launched a month-long social media challenge to encourage people of all ages and genders to recognize and acknowledge the women leaders, first responders, caregivers, elders, visionaries, artists, mothers, activists, friends and social justice champions who have influenced their lives.  read more »

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

Fire grad thrives being outside his comfort zone

JIBC Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate grad Deryck Lafortune was happy to step outside his comfort zone as part of a planned career change. (Story and photos by Wanda Chow)

 

At age 34, Deryck Lafortune had already spent more than a decade working as a service advisor at an auto dealership. He was experienced and good at his job.

What he wasn’t, was fulfilled.

“It didn’t pay my soul well, I guess.”

What Deryck did find fulfilling was what he did on his own time – volunteer work as a coach for men’s, women’s and high school rugby teams, community service. He was also very active, involved in sports and other activities.

“Firefighting seemed like the perfect marriage of the two, being able to help people needing help, to make other people’s lives better while at the same time maintaining the physicality of everything I really enjoy,” he said.

It didn’t hurt that he has friends who are local firefighters and they really sold him on firefighting as a career option.

“The fraternity, the camaraderie is definitely very appealing. I like the idea of working on a team, working with a bunch of people that work well together, have each other’s backs. That appeals to me quite a bit.”

With that career change in mind, Deryck enrolled in the Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate (FFTC) program at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC). read more »

Justice Institute of British Columbia Law Enforcement Studies Diploma

LESD grad aims to draw on refugee experience

Mansoor Sahak becomes a police officer to give back to Canada for taking in his family as refugees. (Story by Wanda Chow / Photo by Richard Chu)

 

Mansoor Sahak knew he wanted to be a police officer ever since volunteering at a community policing station and attending the New Westminster Police Department’s Student Police Academy.

He always figured it was because policing is exciting and different from most careers. But eventually, he uncovered a deeper reason. It’s because he feels privileged to live in Canada.

He was too young to remember much of it, but his parents have told him stories. Of how his family fled Afghanistan when the Taliban took power and the war started. How they left almost everything behind. How they escaped to Pakistan where his family of seven shared a home with three other families, all relatives.

“My parents always talk about it. They always wanted to go back to Afghanistan, to go back home. It was the home we grew up in but it was destroyed, there was nothing left of it.”

Mansoor, 22, does remember how, at age nine, he and his family came to Canada as refugees, knowing no English, having to rebuild their lives again. But always his parents would talk about the destruction taking place in their native country, and what continues to be lost.

“You realize that was you at one point, that could have been you,” he said. “But you made it, it’s literally a lottery ticket for my family to come out here.”

He hopes one day to become a police officer to give back to the country that took in his family. To help him to that end, he completed a Law Enforcement Studies Diploma at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC).  read more »

Bachelor of Law Enforcement Studies Justice & Public Safety Division Justice Institute of British Columbia Law Enforcement Studies Diploma

JIBC experience life-changing for law enforcement degree grad

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Ramandeep Randhawa says his JIBC Law Enforcement Studies instructors went “above and beyond” in helping him achieve his career goals. (Story and photo by Wanda Chow)

 

Like many kids, Ramandeep Randhawa grew up wanting to be a police officer.

For much of his life, though, he was also overweight.

That has changed for the better, he says, with much thanks to his instructors at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC).

As a teenager, Ramandeep attended a youth cadet program and the New Westminster Police Department Student Police Academy which helped him confirm he wanted to work in law enforcement. He set about working towards his goal by spending two years studying criminology at a local university.

Then he learned about JIBC’s Law Enforcement Studies Diploma (LESD) program, and how it is specifically geared towards those interested in policing and other law enforcement careers.

When he started the LESD program over four years ago, he weighed 325 pounds. By the time he graduated with a Bachelor of Law Enforcement Studies (BLES) four years later, he had lost 125 pounds.

His instructors put him on a simple diet plan and workout routine and kept him accountable.

“They went above and beyond,” Ramandeep said. “They actually care and want to see you be successful.”

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

Fire chief’s recommendation led fire grad to JIBC

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JIBC Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate grad Lindsay Anderson says the program’s length gave her the time to develop ways of completing firefighter tasks that work for her. (Story and photos by Wanda Chow)

 

Lindsay Anderson’s path towards a career as a firefighter really started with insight gained during more than a year spent as a spa coordinator.

“It was a lot of desk work and I realized I wasn’t happy doing that,” recalled Lindsay, 26.

The Ontario native had come out to the West Coast, to Victoria, to continue representing Canada in women’s rugby, playing and training full-time with Rugby Canada’s national women’s sevens team, with which she was capped to compete at an international tournament in the US.

After deciding the spa gig was not for her, Lindsay switched to a landscaping job that allowed her to work outdoors. In between, she volunteered with Saanich Search and Rescue, putting in the required 150 hours to be fully certified in ground search-and-rescue techniques.

“I love being physical and challenged. A couple calls out and I really realized how much fun it was being on a team and searching and helping. I really felt like I was making a difference.”

So she turned to her father, a veteran firefighter in Ontario, and expressed an interest in following in his footsteps. Her dad, in turn, talked to his fire chief who recommended the Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate (FFTC) program at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC).

“It was recommended and I thought it would be best to take the fire chief’s recommendation. It would be silly of me not to,” she said with a laugh.

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Justice Institute of British Columbia Office of Indigenization

Planning for a future through education

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Malcolm Stewart, of the Nisga’a Nation, is a student in the Justice and Public Safety Certificate program at JIBC. Here he works on an essay in JIBC’s Aboriginal Gathering Place as a house post by Nisga’a artist Mike Dangeli looks on. (Story and photo by Wanda Chow)

 

Malcolm Stewart has always wanted to further his education. Ironically, it took an injury to give him the opportunity.

Malcolm, 47, hails from the Nisga’a Nation in northwestern BC. He’s spent the past 20 years working in the construction industry as a carpenter, and most recently as a construction safety officer/occupational first aid attendant at local highrise projects.

Restless while on medical Employment Insurance, off work due to an injury, he sought a way to be constructive with his time.

It was on Facebook where he learned of Justice Institute of British Columbia’s (JIBC) Justice and Public Safety Certificate program for Aboriginal learners which started in January 2016. Run in conjunction with Native Education College, it concludes in April 2017.

The program, from tuition to textbooks, is fully funded by government through the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, the Employment Services and Supports (ESS) stream of the Canada-BC Job Fund Agreement, and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. To be eligible, students must identify as being of First Nation, Metis or Inuit heritage and have an interest in justice and public safety careers.

“Going back to school has always been on my mind but financially it was just not viable for me,” Malcolm said.

Then the opportunity for free post-secondary education at JIBC came up and he jumped at it. read more »