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February 10, 2020

JIBC to recognize fire chief with honorary degree

New Westminster fire chief honoured for contributions to public safety and emergency management

2020 Honorary Degree recipient Tim Armstrong


The Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) will present a Doctor of Laws degree, honoris causa, to Tim Armstrong, fire chief for the City of New Westminster, in recognition of his contributions to public safety in Canada and internationally.

“It is our privilege to honour Tim Armstrong, a public safety leader who has dedicated his career to leading and supporting the advanced training of firefighters and search-and-rescue teams, as well as cooperative emergency management efforts on both sides of the Canada-US border,” said Dr. Michel Tarko, JIBC President and CEO.

“Mr. Armstrong’s community service also includes serving as a director of the Honour House Society, part of a longtime commitment to the work of the organization, which provides free accommodation for serving and retired Canadian military and emergency services personnel and their families while receiving medical treatment in Metro Vancouver.”

Tim Armstrong began his firefighting career at the age of 21 with Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services where he served for 28 years reaching the rank of Deputy Chief Special Operations. He became the fire chief at New Westminster Fire & Rescue Services in 2009. He also currently serves as Director of Emergency Management for the City of New Westminster.

As a strong advocate of emergency management and cross-border relationships, he is the chair of the Cross Border Emergency Management Working Group which engages emergency responders and law enforcement agencies in British Columbia and the State of Washington in multi-agency emergency preparedness initiatives.

He has spent much of his career focused on training and advancing specialty skill sets within the fire service. This has included leading training in Canada, the United States and Taiwan. Mr. Armstrong was recognized by both the Premier of British Columbia and the United States Ambassador to Canada for outstanding performance while leading a search-and-rescue team mission to Louisiana, in response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

In 2017 Mr. Armstrong was named Fire Chief of the Year by the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs in recognition of his outstanding service. Since 2010 he has also served as the President of the Greater Vancouver Fire Chiefs Association. He served on the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Winter Olympics and in 2017 and 2018 was extensively involved in the provincial response to BC’s wildfires.

The 2020 Winter Convocation ceremony will be held at the New Westminster campus on March 12 and will recognize approximately 350 graduates who have completed certificates, diplomas and degrees at JIBC.


About Justice Institute of British Columbia

Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) is Canada’s leading public safety educator with a mission to develop dynamic justice and public safety professionals through its exceptional applied education, training and research. JIBC offers internationally recognized education that leads to certificates, diplomas, bachelor’s degrees and graduate certificates; exceptional continuing education for work and career-related learning and development; and customized contract training to government agencies and private organizations worldwide. Our education provides professionals with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to excel at every stage of their career contributing to safer communities and a more just society.

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Last updated February 11, 2020