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Career Expo West 2023: Expanding horizons for emergency services and aviation professionals

October 31, 2023  By Brittani Schroeder

Photo credit: Brittani Schroeder

After years of success in the Greater Toronto Area, the Security · Police · Fire Career Expo made its first foray out of Ontario. Though it was a cold, snowy day, on Tuesday, Oct. 24, industry experts from emergency services, in partnership with aviation professionals, arrived at The Best Western Premier Calgary Plaza Hotel and Conference Centre in Alberta bright and early to discover prospective talent for recruitment at the inaugural Career Expo West.

The expo floor opened at 9 a.m. Attendees streamed in, and the conversations started flowing.

Humming with energy from both exhibitors and attendees, the event garnered over 225 pre-registrations and saw over 340 people in the room. Exhibitors were visited by a wide demographic of attendees—from students about to graduate, to experienced professionals looking for a career change.

At 10 a.m., a mock interview session with the event’s mentors began. Attendees were able to sign up for a timeslot to interview with experienced police officers, firefighters, security professionals and aviation professionals, and receive feedback on how they presented themselves and their answers during that time. Each industry mentor was able to share advice for how these candidates could perform optimally in future job interviews. Over 35 eager attendees were able to test their interviewing skills over the span of two hours.

The event’s police, fire and security mentors included Deputy Chief Raj Gill of the Calgary Police Service; Cst. Kinsi Steiger of the Medicine Hat Police Service; Cst. Allison Enkirch of the Lethbridge Police Service; A/Sgt. Hadiga Little Wolf of the Blood Tribe Police Service; Lonnie Croal with Shield Coaching/Canadian Criminal Justice Academy, and a retired Edmonton Police officer; Deputy Fire Chief Devin Capcara with Strathcona County Emergency Services; Deputy Fire Chief Keri Martens with Canmore Fire Rescue Services; Ian Clavelle, Firefighter/Paramedic with Strathcona County Emergency Services; Kritin Boisjoli with the Calgary Fire Department; Curtis Gellings with the Calgary Fire Department; Mike Soberal, Security Manager with De Havilland Canada; Vladimir Batinic, Acting Team Lead of Security Technical Services with City of Calgary; and Parnell Lea, Director of Security with Brookfield Properties.

In the afternoon, attendees were given the opportunity to speak with the event’s mentors to ask them questions, for example, what a day in the life of a first responder or security professional is like, and what career progression might look like.

Exhibitors were visited by a wide demographic of attendees—from students about to graduate, to experienced professionals looking for a career change.

The show also featured a variety of emergency response vehicles on display outside the expo hall. Though it was -9°C outside, attendees were excited to see where first responders spend time every day.

Some of the event’s exhibitors included Alberta Correctional Services, Alberta Protective Services, Alberta Sheriffs, Blood Tribe Police Service, Bow Valley College, Calgary 9-1-1, Calgary Police Service, Calgary Stampede, Canadian Criminal Justice Academy, Canadian Fire Rescue College, Calgary Transit, Calgary Fire Department, College of the Rockies – Fire Services Training, Commissionaires, Correctional Service Canada, Edmonton Police Service, Canadian Armed Forces, GardaWorld, Justice Institute of British Columbia, Lac La Biche County, Lakeland College, Lethbridge Police Service, MacCon Public Safety, Medicine Hat Police Service, Ontario Fire Academy, Paladin Security, Prepared for Duty Recruitment Service, Regina Police Service, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Saanich Police Department, Shift Work Nutrition, Strathcona County Emergency Services, Surrey Police Service, The City of Grande Prairie, and Vancouver Police Department.

The event ended at 3 p.m., with attendees and exhibitors departing with smiles on their faces. “I have attended the same event in Ontario the past two years, and it is Canada’s best career expo for anyone interested in a career as a police officer, peace officer, security officer, or in emergency services,” said Cst. Brennan Martin, recruiting unit, Calgary Police Service.

This day wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our sponsors. Thank you to our platinum level sponsors, Commissionaires and Porter; our gold level sponsor, Lakeland College; and to our silver sponsors, CAE and Diamond Aircraft. Thank you to our Thought Leadership sponsor, Alpine Helicopters Inc., and our charging station sponsor, Alberta Aviation Council. We’d also like to say thank you to our lanyard sponsor, Edmonton Police Service, and our registration sponsor, NicheRMS365. A special thank you goes out to our industry partner, Calgary Police Service.

Stay tuned for details on our next three career expos, taking place across the country in 2024!

Scroll through the gallery below to see more pictures from the event.

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