First responders training at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) have access to a new fire engine with the latest technology at the Maple Ridge campus.
“Firefighters hold a special place in our hearts in B.C.,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “This upgraded equipment means the next generation of firefighters will learn using the very latest tools and on the exact engines used in today’s fire stations. Firefighting students have chosen admirable careers, and they deserve the very best equipment to train on. With this modernized training, they’ll be better prepared to join a legacy of incredible firefighters working to keep B.C.’s communities and people safe.”
The fire engine will enhance training opportunities each year for more than 100 students in JIBC’s fire fighting technologies certificate program. Students can practise and sharpen their skills during live fire conditions and re-enactments, using facilities such as a three-storey burn building and equipment like the Jaws of Life – a battery-operated vehicle rescue tool. The engine can also be deployed during major disasters and wildfires.
“At JIBC, we take great pride in preparing our students for real-world situations through our scenario simulation training,” said Michel Tarko, president and CEO, JIBC. “Our hands-on, B.C.-based training experience is further enhanced when firefighting students have access to the latest in fire engine technology already used by B.C.’s firefighters in the field. We are pleased to do our part in helping train the next generation of qualified firefighters to meet British Columbia’s needs in the years ahead.”
The $900,000 engine was funded by the provincial government and delivered to JIBC for student training. The new engine offers modernized equipment that mirrors the tools and apparatuses currently used, instead of relying on out-of-service engines, most of which are approximately 20 years old. With this newer gear, students can better prepare for promising firefighting careers.
Firefighters also engage in fire-prevention activities and help with other emergencies, such as hazardous spills and motor-vehicle accidents. B.C.’s fire services will be seeking to replace more than 1,000 firefighters who will be retiring over the next 10 years, and this investment will help with the access and affordability of training equipment to prepare incoming firefighter crews.
Supporting skills training aligns with StrongerBC’s Future Ready Plan. Future Ready is making education and training more accessible, affordable and relevant to help prepare British Columbians for the jobs of tomorrow.
- The engine model is Spartan Metro Star.
- In 2021, there were approximately 4,600 people employed as firefighters and as a high-opportunity occupation, this number is expected to grow steadily.
- By 2031, 1,630 job openings are expected.
A backgrounder follows.