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January 14, 2019

JIBC to present honorary degree to retired fire chief

Don Jolley, whose career included service as paramedic and in emergency management, to be recognized at JIBC’s Winter Convocation

Don Jolley 2019


Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) will present a Doctor of Laws degree, honoris causa, to recently-retired Pitt Meadows fire chief Don Jolley in recognition of his three decades of multi-faceted leadership and service as a first responder.

“As we approach the conclusion of JIBC’s 40th anniversary year, it is our privilege to honour a leader in public safety who has dedicated himself to helping others in whichever way he can,” said Dr. Michel Tarko, JIBC President and CEO. “From firefighter and fire chief, paramedic and emergency management leader, to JIBC instructor and mentor, Don Jolley has served the people of British Columbia and proven that there is always more than one way to make a difference. In doing so, he exemplifies JIBC’s vision of safer communities and a more just society.”

Jolley started his fire service career in 1990 as a volunteer firefighter, progressing up the ranks at the Pitt Meadows Fire & Rescue Service to deputy chief. In 2006, he moved to serve as deputy fire chief for the City of Langley before returning to Pitt Meadows as fire chief in 2008. He retired from that city’s fire department in December 2018.

He also worked as a paramedic for BC Ambulance Service from 1986 to 2007, both part-time and full-time, retiring as an advanced life support paramedic. In addition, since 1991 Jolley has been influential in the success of emergency management both in Pitt Meadows and in neighbouring Maple Ridge through the Joint Emergency Program, which he helped initiate.

He has been active in helping to train other first responders at JIBC where he has served as an instructor, facilitator, mentor, evaluator and consultant for many Institute departments, subjects and disciplines for almost 30 years. That included being part of the team that initially designed and delivered the training program for the BC Emergency Management System – Incident Command System, as well as delivering programs for JIBC from Haida Gwaii to Newfoundland. He has served on advisory boards at JIBC for its Fire & Safety and Emergency Management divisions, and Paramedic Academy for many years. While serving as a paramedic he also acted as an examiner for the Province of British Columbia’s Emergency Medical Assistant Licensing Branch.

Jolley has long been an advocate for innovation and evidenced-based decisions in public safety. He has been elected seven times by his peers as vice-president of the Fire Chiefs Association of BC where he has worked toward modernizing and enhancing the delivery of fire service in the province. His leadership roles have also included representing the Office of the Fire Commissioner of BC for the provincial wildfire response in both 2017 and 2018.

The 2019 Winter Convocation ceremony will be held at the New Westminster campus on February 14 and will recognize approximately 380 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.

Tags: convocation, Don Jolley, honorary degree

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Last updated February 25, 2019