Tag Archives: Career Firefighter

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.”

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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 »

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

JIBC firefighting grad ready to serve in B.C.’s Peace Region

Jayden Ockenden - JIBC Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate Graduate - Class 5 - 2016

Kamloops native Jayden Ockenden has always wanted a career where he could make a difference in someone’s life. He had initially planned to pursue a career in law enforcement. But spending his summers as a wildland firefighter while he studied at SFU helped him discover his true calling as a firefighter.

“I loved the camaraderie, the team work, and knowing that I was doing something meaningful and important,” said Jayden who played on SFU’s football team in his first year. “I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else after that.”

To realize his career goal, Jayden was encouraged to complete his firefighter training at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC).

“I was fortunate enough to know a Captain from Kamloops Fire Rescue and was advised to go to JIBC as it’s one of the most prestigious fire academies around,” said Jayden, who was in Class 5 of the new Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate (FFTC) Program. “He was not wrong. JIBC was everything I was hoping for and more.”

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Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate School of Public Safety

JIBC firefighting grads make a difference in Belize

2016_OneWorldBelize_Collage1-blog-600x300smFive recent JIBC graduates of the Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate Program provided firefighter training in Belize earlier this year (Story by Richard Chu).

 

Each year, JIBC’s firefighting graduates have an opportunity to apply for a special course where they travel overseas to support basic firefighter training in a developing country.

This year, five students had the opportunity to travel to Belize on a three-week deployment that saw them travel across the country to visit each of the country’s 17 local fire halls, train local firefighters, and get involved in the community.

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.

For each of this year’s One World Scholarship recipients, the experience was an eye-opening one that made a significant impression in their lives.

“We traveled to all the different fire halls, and we quickly realized that while they don’t have all the equipment that we have at home, they have the same passion that firefighters here have: they want to go to work and are proud of being a firefighter,” said Cody DiSalvo, one of this year’s One World students who was among the other JIBC graduates who shared their experience in a presentation at the New Westminster Campus in April. “It inspired all of us, to be proud about what we were doing. We had a great experience and learned a lot.”

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

Top reasons future firefighters complete their training at JIBC

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Students who are accepted into JIBC’s Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate (FFTC) program come with varying degrees of knowledge and experience with essential firefighting skills. But a remarkable transformation occurs with every graduate who completes the program.

“By the end of the FFTC program, each graduate has become exceptionally proficient with the skills they need to earn their NFPA [National Fire Protection Association] qualifications,” said Richard White, a retired assistant fire chief and JIBC’s Coordinator of Firefighter Programs. “They are ready to serve as professional firefighters in the community.”

Just how effective the program prepares JIBC grads was illustrated in the fall of 2015, when a group of FFTC students, a few days away from completing their hands-on training, helped save the life of a teenager involved in a major motor vehicle crash in Maple Ridge.

“The training really paid off,” said Lance Masocol, from FFTC Class 3. “We got on scene and we didn’t even have to think about what we needed to do; we just knew what we had to do. That’s one of the things I gained going through the program.”

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Fire & Safety Division Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate JIBC in the Media School of Public Safety

JIBC firefighting grad defies the odds for a good cause

Stephen Sanderson, JIBC firefighting grad who completed the BMO Vancouver Marathon in full firefighting gearStephen Sanderson, graduate from Class 100 of the JIBC Career Fire Fighter Pre-Employment Program (now the Fire Fighter Technologies Certificate), ran the BMO Vancouver Marathon in full firefighting gear to build awareness and raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy Canada (Screenshot of BT Vancouver Athlete of the Week video; story by Richard Chu)

 

For many people, just crossing the finish line of the BMO Vancouver Marathon is an accomplishment. But Stephen Sanderson set himself a seemingly impossible goal: complete the 42-kilometre run wearing full firefighter turnout gear.

That means running one of the top marathons in the world wearing an extra 45 pounds of gear, including firefighting pants, jacket, helmet and air tank.

A JIBC firefighting graduate who completed his studies in 2014 and is now an on-call firefighter for Lions Bay Fire Rescue, Stephen decided to set himself this challenge to raise awareness and funds to support people living with muscular dystrophy, a neuromuscular disorder that causes symptoms such as progressive muscle wasting, weakness and loss of function.

In a Vancity Buzz story, he said, “Muscular Dystrophy Canada inspired me about a year ago when I met a person named Stephen who came out and talked to us when I was in firefighting school,” said Stephen.  read more »