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The JIBC Foundation’s Giving Tuesday campaign is raising funds for new immersive learning worlds that support current and future public safety heroes

As technology changes, new ways of learning are rapidly developing that can make emergency responder training more effective, easier to access and safer for students. They can also reduce the environmental impact of vital training.

That’s why this year, The JIBC Foundation Giving Tuesday Campaign is raising funds to “deliVR” new worlds of learning for JIBC students. Our goal is to raise $25,000 to expand the use of immersive technology in teaching and increase opportunities for students to practise their specialized skills in safe learning environments.

Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality, mixed reality and 360 video are what’s called “immersive simulation-based learning." While these may look fun to use and resemble video games, they have the power to teach students critical skills and enhance their learning experiences.

“Immersive learning technologies help pack more of an emotional punch than more passive learning typically associated with a traditional classroom lecture,” says Bob Walker, Director, JIBC Centre for Teaching, Learning & Innovation. “It’s been demonstrated to be very effective in helping students develop the specialized and critical thinking skills they need, particularly for public safety professionals.”

These technologies can also increase access to certain training. “Incorporating immersive technologies into our courses helps with flattening the inaccessibility curve by making our courses and training available to communities throughout B.C.,” adds Charlene Jordan-Jones, Director, Fire & Safety Division.

Better preparing students for life on the front lines

Eric McConaghy, a Regional Training Coordinator for JIBC’s Primary Care Paramedic program, notes that VR training simulations provide audio and visual elements that are more difficult to experience with traditional simulations, which enable students to make clinical decisions based on these sensory clues rather than the instructor’s description. “The more we can incorporate this into our education the better the transition will be into the real-world setting,” Eric explains. “As the program and profession evolve, I see a major need for more advanced VR in paramedic training, that will help students increase their resiliency and be able to work through their training while keeping mental health in mind.”

Using immersive learning technologies in emergency responder training will also protect student health and the environment. Fire investigators, for example, have historically practised how to discover the cause of a fire by examining purpose-built, intentionally burned structures filled with furniture, fabrics, and fixtures. This exposes students and instructors to harmful chemicals. "Utilizing a digital learning environment like VR or 360 videos allows students to gain this experience in a much healthier way," according to Nathan Walker, a JIBC Fire & Safety Division instructor and Acting Assistant Fire Chief for the District of North Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services. “It also reduces our impact on the environment by not burning and disposing of unnecessary materials.”

Your support can make a difference

A donation to our Giving Tuesday Campaign will help our current and future public safety heroes fulfil their mission to help others in times of urgent need. Your support will help fund equipment and resources needed to expand our capacity to design and incorporate immersive learning experiences for students at JIBC. Donations will be matched up to a total of $10,000.

This Giving Tuesday, help prepare our students – your emergency responders – to make a difference on the front lines in our communities. For more information and to donate, visit the JIBC Giving Tuesday page at



For almost 30 years, The Justice Institute of British Columbia Foundation (The JIBC Foundation) has inspired giving for important needs that enhance education, training, student learning, and applied research at JIBC. These needs most often include student financial support in the form of awards and bursaries, highly specialized training equipment and technology, and funding for innovative new initiatives. The JIBC Foundation is proud to be building meaningful relationships with communities to support Canada’s leading public safety educator.