Tag Archives: disaster

Emergency Management Division Justice Institute of British Columbia School of Public Safety

JIBC education helps grad pursue a career in emergency management

Kevin Skrepnek, the chief fire information officer for the BC Wildfire Service, recently completed a Certificate in Emergency Management at JIBC to get a better understanding of the industry for which he’s now a spokesperson. 

 

For several years now, Kevin Skrepnek has been the face of the BC Wildfire Service during the summer wildfire season. As chief fire information officer, he serves as the spokesperson for the service ensuring the public receives critical safety information when they need it most, when forest fires start bearing down on homes and people are forced to evacuate.

Armed with a diploma in public relations from Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Kevin had the background for his particular line of work. But being new to the world of emergency management, he wanted to get a better understanding of the industry he was now a visible part of.

When Kevin decided to go back to school for a Certificate in Emergency Management, he chose the program at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC).

“I found the courses refreshingly practical, and very hands on. Instructors came with significant real-world experience, which was a huge asset as a learner,” he said. “The program is very flexible, which is great for working professionals looking to expand their skillset.”

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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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