Tag Archives: firefighter

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 »

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 »

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 & 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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