Health Sciences Division Justice Institute of British Columbia Paramedic Academy School of Health, Community & Social Justice

Be the one saving lives


Justin Woodroff thrives on the type of calls that give him an opportunity to use the education and problem-solving abilities he gained while a student at the JIBC Paramedic Academy. Beyond technical skills, his JIBC instructors taught students numerous lessons based on their lengthy experience in the field. (Story by Wanda Chow / Photo by Jimmy Jeong)

 

The call came in as a biking injury in northern Chilliwack, recalled Justin Woodroff, a 24-year-old paramedic with the BC Ambulance Service. The patient had crashed on one of the jumps at the bike park.

When he and his partner arrived, Justin could see this was no routine injury.

“He was under a blanket but we could tell as soon as we got there that his femur was obviously fractured and angulated up towards his torso.”

Thanks to his education in the primary care paramedic program at Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), and his work experience since graduating, Justin was able to make the right decisions to care for the patient. They called for an advanced life support unit and a helicopter staffed with critical care paramedics to fly the patient to hospital.

It’s the sort of case he thrives on, the type that gives him the opportunity to use a lot of his education, tools, skills and problem-solving abilities to help someone in need. Paramedicine is a career path Justin started on at age 19 when he began volunteering with the Cultus Lake Fire Department.

“After responding to various emergencies with the fire department I was hooked on emergency medicine,” he said, adding since high school he had always envisioned working in a science or medical-related field so it was a natural fit.

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Bachelor of Law Enforcement Studies Justice & Public Safety Division School of Criminal Justice & Security

JIBC law enforcement degree opens doors for recent grad

JIBC’s Bachelor of Law Enforcement Studies program helps recent-graduate Louise Lathey combine her passion for helping animals with her desire to make a difference in her community. (Story by Wanda Chow)

 

Louise Lathey always knew she wanted to make a difference. She always figured she would accomplish that through a front-line role in policing or paramedicine.

In preparation for that, she completed several programs at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), from the Emergency Medical Responder Certificate, and Bylaw Compliance, Enforcement and Investigative Skills course, to the Investigation & Enforcement Skills Certificate and Law Enforcement Studies Diploma (LESD).

Louise had applied for a policing job after her first year of LESD, but was told to reapply after gaining more experience in a related role. It was while searching for such a role that she tapped into her longtime love of animals. She landed a job at the BC SPCA as an on-call night emergency officer.

“This job was intense and incredibly rewarding. I responded to calls of sick or injured domestic and wild animals, and had to rescue and transport these animals to vet clinics, wildlife facilities or wherever else they needed to go. Thanks to this position I learned that skunks love peanut butter and raccoons are not as cute as they look.”

She began to explore the field of animal law. She transitioned into the BC SPCA’s cruelty investigations department, became a Special Provincial Constable doing cruelty investigations, worked in the Vancouver SPCA animal shelter as an animal care attendant, and had a chance to work in shelter management.

“At this point I think I had taken a break from school as I was sort of re-evaluating my career path. This is when I started realizing that the law enforcement world was bigger than just policing.”

Louise returned to JIBC to finish the LESD program and continued her studies to complete the Bachelor of Law Enforcement Studies (BLES). 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 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 »

Law Enforcement Studies Diploma Police Academy

Officer aims to draw on own experience to be role model and help others

Just as she was once made to feel safe by police officers in her time of need, Const. Shauntelle Nichols wants to help others the same way. A graduate of JIBC’s Law Enforcement Studies Diploma program she is now an officer with the Saanich Police Department. (Story and photo by Wanda Chow)

 

When Shauntelle Nichols needed help, the police were there for her. Today she’s a police officer herself, ready to be there for others in need.

For the last several years, Shauntelle has drawn on her experience of officers helping make her feel safe to motivate and inspire her in her studies and efforts to be hired by a local police department.

“Because really, that’s what policing is. You’re at your worst day, somebody’s coming to help you. That’s what’s inspiring to me. I want to be that person [to make others feel safe]. And I see a lot of women, Aboriginal women, Aboriginal youth, in stressful and horrible relationships. They don’t know how to get out and sometimes all it takes is somebody listening, being supportive and being strong for you and guiding you in the right direction.”

It wasn’t long before her personal experience pointed her in the direction of the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) where she applied to the Law Enforcement Studies Diploma (LESD) program.

“I remember the day I got my acceptance letter I cried my eyes out because I was so happy to be going to this program. It’s the top public safety institution in BC. It’s well known and I knew that if I got in here and I worked as hard as I could it would give me a strong, strong reference to apply to police departments.”

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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 »