Imagine a lifetime of dedication in public service, from firefighting to military service, and a number of services in between. This is the life of Christopher J. Sichra, the emergency management, risk and safety consultant for Lewis and Clark Community College, public safety administrator for Godfrey, Illinois, and owner of Sichra Consultation Services L.L.C.
“In addition to the 30+ years of emergency services that Chris brings to the table, he is a great liaison and ambassador for the college,” Lewis and Clark Director of Campus Security Brad Raish said. “Chris’s role with the city as the public safety director bridges a gap when the college may need assistance from the city or county regarding emergency services. I look forward to continuing the relationship between Sichra Consultation Services and Lewis and Clark Community College.”
Sichra’s 30+ years of emergency service is worth exploring.
He started his life of public service as a volunteer firefighter for the Village of Godfrey, while he was attending Alton Senior High School. After graduating he enlisted in the army where he served as a Specialist E-4 and reenlisted at the start of the Persian Gulf War to work as a military intelligence analyst at W. Fort Hood Texas.
After the military, Sichra went on to volunteer and work in various fields of service, safety and security. Another notch in Sichra’s belt is his time with the St. Louis City Municipal Government-Civil Service System in which he wore many hats over a 20-year span. Back in 2014 Sichra started working for the Village of Godfrey as the public safety administrator and emergency manager.
Thanks to Sichras work, Godfrey has been given the “Ready to Respond Community” award, an accreditation from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency made in 2016. With rigorous criteria for these credentials, Godfrey managed to be the second community in the state to receive this validation.
These services in the community led to his current position at Godfrey’s Lewis and Clark Community College. Sichra works with staff and faculty alike to develop a National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS) campus emergency and risk plans.
These plans are ever-evolving, depending on a change of staff, additional maintenance truck, or any other conceivable resource. Sichra works with members of L&C to create adaptable “McGuivers” for a plethora of emergency situations.
L&C Manager of Media Services Laura Inlow continually works with Sichra to ensure a well-prepared campus and played a pivotal role in preparing for a recent full-scale disaster exercise of tornado damage assessment.
“Chris is wonderful to work with,” Inlow said. “He is highly skilled at Emergency Operations Planning, not to mention incredibly detail-oriented and organized. He has made the process of rolling out Lewis and Clark Community College’s Campus EOP smooth and seamless. Personally, I feel much more confident about my ability to react effectively in an emergency situation because of the information that is being laid out for us and the discussions we are having as a part of our training. The college is much safer for having worked with him.”
Another aspect of his duties at L&C is to teach the security and maintenance teams everything he can about NIMS, ICS and EOP.
“The level of preparation that maintenance and security has impresses me,” Sichra said.
A student, instructor, custodian or just a concerned community member might wonder just how and what is L&C prepared for.
“The college is highly prepared for single resource incidents similar to EMS calls, fire alarms, and calls for assistance via security. I was also impressed with their storm response operations,” Sichra said.
What’s in store for Sichra and L&C?
I am looking forward to conducting more complex exercises and developing additional procedures to making the campus response even more efficient than it is now, I also advocate for additional technology that could better protect the campus community,” Sichra said.