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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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 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 »

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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