Tag Archives: first responder

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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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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Justice Institute of British Columbia Office of Indigenization

Planning for a future through education

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Malcolm Stewart, of the Nisga’a Nation, is a student in the Justice and Public Safety Certificate program at JIBC. Here he works on an essay in JIBC’s Aboriginal Gathering Place as a house post by Nisga’a artist Mike Dangeli looks on. (Story and photo by Wanda Chow)

 

Malcolm Stewart has always wanted to further his education. Ironically, it took an injury to give him the opportunity.

Malcolm, 47, hails from the Nisga’a Nation in northwestern BC. He’s spent the past 20 years working in the construction industry as a carpenter, and most recently as a construction safety officer/occupational first aid attendant at local highrise projects.

Restless while on medical Employment Insurance, off work due to an injury, he sought a way to be constructive with his time.

It was on Facebook where he learned of Justice Institute of British Columbia’s (JIBC) Justice and Public Safety Certificate program for Aboriginal learners which started in January 2016. Run in conjunction with Native Education College, it concludes in April 2017.

The program, from tuition to textbooks, is fully funded by government through the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, the Employment Services and Supports (ESS) stream of the Canada-BC Job Fund Agreement, and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. To be eligible, students must identify as being of First Nation, Metis or Inuit heritage and have an interest in justice and public safety careers.

“Going back to school has always been on my mind but financially it was just not viable for me,” Malcolm said.

Then the opportunity for free post-secondary education at JIBC came up and he jumped at it. read more »

Justice Institute of British Columbia Office of Indigenization

Justice and public safety program for Aboriginal students a lifesaver

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Jessie Jensen is a student in the Justice and Public Safety Certificate program. In addition to fuelling her dream of becoming an RCMP officer, the CPR training in the First Responder course already helped her save a life. (Story and photo by Wanda Chow)

 

When Jessie Jensen enrolled in a new program at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), she saw it as a way to gain new skills and take steps toward a new career.

She never dreamed her courses would help her save another life so soon.

Jessie, 20, lives with her parents who care for a six-month-old foster baby. Recently, the infant girl had a fever that spiked before she suddenly stopped breathing.

Despite having only just completed her JIBC First Responder course, it was Jessie who performed CPR and got the baby breathing again before paramedics arrived.

“You don’t think you’re going to use these things right away,” she said of the course, just days after the incident. “It was the scariest moment of my life.”

The First Responder course is part of JIBC’s Justice and Public Safety Certificate program for Aboriginal learners which started in January 2016 in conjunction with Native Education College (NEC). The program, from tuition to textbooks, is fully funded by government through the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, the Employment Services and Supports (ESS) stream of the Canada-BC Job Fund Agreement, and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. To be eligible, students must identify as being of First Nation, Metis or Inuit heritage and have an interest in justice and public safety careers. read more »

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

Be the one saving lives

August 10, 2016 - Vancouver, BC - Photos for JIBC. Photos by Jimmy Jeong
Matt Anderson is keen to take his JIBC paramedic training home to serve his remote Central BC community. He also hopes to eventually train others to help provide a basic level of medical care for the town’s 800 residents. (Story by Wanda Chow / Photo by Jimmy Jeong)

 

It’s just a week after Matt Anderson successfully completed his paramedic licensing exam and he’s practically bursting to talk about the possibilities that come with his training at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC).

After all, as the lone certified paramedic in Moricetown, a Wet’suwet’en village in Central BC halfway between Smithers and Hazelton, he and a licenced Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) will be the main regular providers of health care to the approximately 800 residents.

It’ll be yet another role in the community for Matt, who is also a high school teacher for at-risk youth, the town’s driving instructor, one of 12 members of its volunteer fire department, and one of only two certified EMRs.

As a first responder, he said, “It’s 24/7. I have a radio on me and I just go when I’m called.”

The town’s fire chief asked him to become the fire department’s “medical guy” because no one else wanted to do it. In a First Nations community, the close knit nature and location can often result in Aboriginal firefighters and first responders attending to emergencies involving their own families. This can lead to some uncomfortable situations, unique to a small community.  Matt, however, is one of the few non-Aboriginal residents, from a family that’s called Moricetown home for the past 36 years. 

He agreed to the role, was trained in Occupational First Aid Level 1 and enjoyed it so much he started thinking about becoming a paramedic. He attended JIBC to get his EMR certification and then started asking community leaders whether they’d like him to get his paramedic training.

The community leaders agreed and his school supervisor and the fire chief both gave him leaves of absence so he could go through the eight-month process of training for the Primary Care Paramedic Certificate at JIBC’s Chilliwack campus and completing the licensing requirements; the Moricetown Volunteer Fire Department and the Kyah Wiget Education Society he works for helped cover some of the costs; and the Moricetown Band is also behind him.

The JIBC training was everything he’d hoped.

“I just loved it. I ate that program up. I loved the instructors. The instructors in Chilliwack are phenomenal and I hear that from everyone. Really great course.” read more »