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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 Fire Fighting Technologies Certificate School of Public Safety

Top reasons future firefighters complete their training at JIBC


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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