First Responders

First Responders

The First Responder Career Development Program is passionate about supporting British Columbia’s fire departments and firefighters. Since 2011, we have worked with fire departments in various cities including: Burnaby, New Westminster, and Vancouver as well as the Corporation of Delta. While we are located in the Metro Vancouver area, our assistance is extended to any fire department in Canada.

Current programs offered:

1. Industry Certificate in Fire Executive Management

2. Advanced Placement into the Business Management Diploma


We understand that each fire department is different and has its own unique set of challenges, strengths, and opportunities. The First Responder Career Development Program helps fire departments identify the training necessary to meet their immediate and forecasted needs. Working collaboratively with the fire department and other stakeholders, we develop professional development training plans to build the non-fire related knowledge, skills, and abilities of their employees.

If your fire department is interested in working with the First Responder Career Development Program on a career development or succession plan, please contact Sonia Dhaliwal, Program Developer by email or at 604-456-8018.


For individual firefighters looking for professional development, we have a number of academic programs and individual course offerings available through BCIT’s part time studies catalogue, including a specially developed Industry Certificate in Fire Executive Management. The First Responder Career Development team provides advice on what opportunities are a best fit for the individual firefighter’s needs and goals and will help them create a plan to get them there.

If you are a firefighter interested in developing your career through education, please contact us and we will be happy to advise you.

[BCIT’s] training is an excellent addition to the department’s succession development process. It has helped Delta move away from a fire fighting focussed management style to a broader management approach more suited to the effective administration of the department. Students’ ability to transfer previously acquired credits/qualifications from both firefighting and secondary educational organizations has been well received. […] The management courses give insight into working with Human Resources, Labour Management and other Agencies/Departments and general administration practices.[…] Delta Fire & Emergency Services has had an excellent working experience with Sonia/BCIT since 2011. We have several students enrolled in the program and they have expressed a high degree of satisfaction with both the course structure and preparation for management roles.
Dan Copeland, Fire ChiefDelta Fire & Emergency Services