Tag Archives: PCP

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

JIBC grad takes paramedic skills to Downtown Eastside streets

After completing his studies at JIBC’s Paramedic Academy, Ryan Vena hopes to work as a paramedic but plans to carry on using his skills in the Downtown Eastside with the outreach society he founded.


Ryan Vena is taking the skills he learned at the Justice Institute of British Columbia’s (JIBC) Paramedic Academy to the streets of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, through an outreach society he founded.

Ryan recently completed JIBC’s Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) program, after finishing the Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) program at the Institute the year before. What he appreciated most about his JIBC experience is the fact their instructors are working paramedics.

“I fully believe a lived experience gives you a step up on someone who’s just learned it from books … you can relate it to a sort of real-life situation.”

Ryan has drawn on his own lived experience for years. Prior to attending JIBC, he worked in the trades then studied social work before sinking into drug addiction. It was while he was in recovery about three years ago that he realized he had lost numerous friends to fentanyl overdoses, part of the recent opioid overdose crisis. Since part of recovery is giving back, he decided to help fill a void, of volunteers providing outreach to people on the ground.

“So I grabbed a backpack full of sandwiches and a Narcan kit, went to the Downtown Eastside and started helping. I had no idea it was going to grow to what it is now.”

Street Saviours Outreach Society was born. Eventually, Ryan recruited other volunteers from his recovery house and then determined the overdoses they were frequently encountering were getting more severe. That’s when he decided he needed more medical training and became a student at JIBC. 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 be able to use his JIBC paramedic training 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)


Just a week after Matt Anderson successfully completed his paramedic licensing exam he was 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) were to be the  main regular providers of health care to the approximately 800 residents.

It was 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 Indigenous 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-Indigenous residents, from a family that’s called Moricetown home for almost 40 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 eventually community leaders agreed they wanted him to pursue further training.

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 »

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.

read more »

Paramedic Academy School of Health, Community & Social Justice

Training that makes a difference: UBC medical student puts her JIBC paramedic training to work in Africa


This past summer, Tika Okuda spent five weeks in an African country helping to support a local organization providing community health care and education for local health care workers.

A JIBC Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) graduate who is now a second year medical student at UBC, Tika was part of a team that had the opportunity to explore ways to improve hand hygiene in the community, teach community health care workers, and shadow medical professionals in two local hospitals.

She recently shared a story illustrating the value of her paramedic training when she had to help a nurse during the birth of a newborn in a local hospital.

“Since our return, I have been considering the benefits of my paramedic training, and I wanted to acknowledge the amazing instructors that helped build my practical first aid skills and my personal confidence. read more »

Paramedic Academy School of Health, Community & Social Justice

JIBC Primary Care Paramedic Program going paperless

JIBC PCP students with their iPad mini tabletsStudents in the Primary Care Paramedic Program at JIBC’s Chilliwack campus were the first class to have their required reference materials available in a digital format (Submitted photo)


Student teams in the Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) program at JIBC don’t have to lug around heavy binders anymore. The program has taken a significant step closer to being completely paperless.

Last month, teams of four PCP students in Chilliwack started using Apple iPad mini tablets to access their required reference materials. The change was part of an overall redesign of the PCP program and eliminated the need to carry printed materials, particularly 2,400 pages of course materials required per team that describes more than 400 paramedic simulations practiced as part of the curriculum. read more »