Columbia Launches Innovative Rescue Technician Program

Categories: News, Uncategorized

Program Director Chris Dyck, instructing students in avalanche safety skills.

~ Abbotsford, BC ~

Columbia Bible College is pleased to announce the launch of its newest educational program: the Emergency Rescue Technician certificate. This unique program will train students in emergency first-response skills, including emergency medical response, search and rescue operations, technical rope rescue, and avalanche safety. At the same time, it provides foundational Bible and theology courses intended to foster Christian faith and character. The ultimate goal is to provide graduates with experience, skills, and certifications that will give them an edge as they pursue careers in the emergency services.

The Emergency Rescue Technician certificate was developed by Chris Dyck, director of Columbia’s reputable Outdoor Leadership program. “We noticed an increasing number of our Outdoor Leadership graduates going on to do emergency service work: police, fire, ambulance, Coast Guard.” Chris explains. “And those organizations absolutely love our grads because of the training they receive here.”

Daniel Inskip, an Outdoor Leadership graduate and career firefighter in Alberta, agrees. The selection process for his firefighting department was fiercely competitive and he believes his Columbia education is what got him through.  “I sold myself based on the soft skills I learned at Columbia – conflict management, counselling, leadership,” Chris recalls, “as well as hard skills like rope rescue and first aid.”

Columbia students practising advanced rope rescue scenarios

Stories like Daniel’s are what prompted Chris Dyck to create the Emergency Rescue Technician program. He drew on his extensive first-responder experience directing ski and mountain bike patrols to design scenario-based training that’s as close to the real thing as possible. “It’s going to be a dynamic, changing environment that reflects the actual workforce. Student can expect to show up on a day we’re doing operations, not knowing what is going to happen. A call will come in – one example might be a stranded kayaker – and students will respond.” Students will have the opportunity to locate the emergency, receive briefing, then design and execute a rescue plan. “It will be an exciting environment to work in,” Chris notes, “and an exciting adventure for students.”

Chris is also eager for students to spend time in the classroom as they tackle subjects such as biblical studies, spiritual formation, and theology. He highlights the natural fit between Columbia Bible College’s core curriculum and emergency rescue training.

Columbia students engaged in emergency medical response training exercises

“I see the emergency responder as a front-line worker who’s on scene when someone is having a really bad day. I think having that passion for service, that focus on helping others, brings the two together. The Bible college curriculum develops soft skills and the passion to serve your community, which is an enormous asset in life.”

The Emergency Rescue Technician program launches September 2017. For more info on the program and how to apply, visit the ERT webpage.