GODFREY – Alton Fire Chief Greg Bock is retiring from the fire department after almost 24 years of service and joining Lewis and Clark Community College’s Corporate and Community Learning division as Associate Director of Safety Programs this April.
“We are very pleased to have Mr. Bock coming aboard to manage our safety training business in general and our Contractor Safety Orientation offerings in particular,” said CCL Director Kathy Willis. “His background is exceptional and Greg is well qualified to meet a range of needs with our
customers, staff and across our district.”
With retirement from the fire department growing near, Bock said the move was a natural next step for him.
“In the last five or six years, I’ve really gotten into the safety and emergency management aspects of my job. I’m at a crossroads now where my career is really winding down as a fire fighter, and certainly fire chief. For years I’ve been working toward something different – a life after the fire department – this just seemed like a natural fit,” he said.
Bock started taking classes in Fire Science at Lewis and Clark in 1984 in hopes of getting a job at the Alton Fire Department, which he did in 1988. He eventually continued taking classes and earned his associate degree in Fire Science, followed by a bachelor’s degree from Greenville College within the last five years. Out of five children between him and his wife, four have attended Lewis and Clark – one stepson, Nick Hausman, even teaches web design as an adjunct faculty member.
Bock himself has taught classes as an adjunct Fire Science instructor, and has taught leadership classes at Conoco in the past through CCL – including one in the past year.
“I’ve always had that one foot in the door,” he said. “Lewis and Clark has beautiful facilities, great instructors, and some really cool and interesting classes.”
Bock says he will miss the life – after all, he’s provided fire protection around the world during the course of his decades-long career, which started in the United States Navy, where he was a firefighter from 1980-1984 on a submarine tender in Scotland. In 1985, he joined the Air Force Reserves at Scott Air Force Base, where he served as a fireman for 18 years. In 2001, he retired from the military.
“I’ll miss the people and the atmosphere around the fire station, and most of all, I’ll miss dealing with the public. I really enjoyed the emergency management part of the job, and working for the city,” he said. “This job at L&C will enable me to stay in contact with a lot of the people I’ve been
in contact with for years – Conoco, Valero and more – and my familiarity with those organizations will make this transition much easier. I’m excited about being a part of the Lewis and Clark team.”
Bock’s last day with the Alton Fire Department will be April 13, and he will start with Lewis and Clark on April 16. Current Safety Program Coordinator Don Hill will stay on with CCL until his retirement on April 30.
As Associate Director of Safety Programs, Bock will be responsible for the creation and operation of a best-in-class contractor safety orientation facility for businesses and associations within the St. Louis area, with an emphasis on those located within the Lewis and Clark Community College
district. The position, which is similar to Hill’s but with added responsibilities, requires business development activities, and is responsible for managing the needs assessment and delivery of general safety training on a wide variety of OSHA related topics.
“For me the key is that safety should never be ‘just another training topic,’” Willis said. “It can literally mean the difference between life and death; between staying out of harm's way or being badly hurt. As a fire fighter, an incident commander and former fire chief, Greg gets that in a
way that transcends step-by-step safety instructions or quiz questions. It is that first-hand knowledge and passionate safety advocacy that illuminates his conversations, his classes and his managerial approach. We are happy he is coming to Lewis and Clark and we see it as one more way his dedicated career of service continues to benefit so many people.”