Gary L. Sigrist, Jr., is the CEO and President of SafeGuard Risk Solutions. He is a nationally known speaker, consultant, author and expert on emergency preparedness. His career spans more than 30 years as an educator, administrator and police officer. Gary’s background in both education and law enforcement gives him a unique perspective on safety and preparedness, which he brings to his work with clients of Safeguard Risk Solutions.
Gary was an educator and administrator for South-Western City Schools (SWCS) for 30 years. In 2008, he was named Project Director for Readiness and Emergency Management in Schools. SWCS is only one of a handful of school districts to win the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Grant two times in 2008 and 2010, under his guidance. Gary coordinated efforts between SWCS and federal, state, and local agencies, and worked with district and building safety teams to refine and implement safety plans. He secured almost $1M in funding and resources through federal and state grants for SWCS to enhance safety, security and crisis management programs, as well as implementing the district’s visitor ID system and developing its Continuity of Operations/Disaster Recovery Plan and Food Defense Plan.
Gary also led the re-engineering of the districts two-way radio communication system and oversaw the implementation of its Mass Notification Plan. In addition, Gary has extensive experience in emergency preparedness training and exercises. He designed, coordinated and conducted large district tabletop and full-scale exercises using funding from Ohio Homeland Security that included SWCS, the five fire departments and four law enforcement agencies that serve the district. Gary is a police officer with more than 25 years of experience working with schools and communities throughout Ohio. Gary is a certified Department of Homeland Security trainer for both the Law Enforcement Active Shooter Emergency Response (LASER) and Screening of Persons through Observational Techniques (SPOT) organizations. He continues to present at school safety conferences across the country on the topics of emergency preparedness and teaching schools how to build relationships with their first responders.
He continues to present at school safety conferences across the country on the topics of emergency preparedness and teaching schools how to build relationships with their first responders. He has presented at industry conferences including the Campus Safety Conferences. Gary also developed the only course approved and endorsed by the State of Ohio Division of Real Estate on Realtor Safety. His work with Law Enforcement, training from New Mexico Tech and the US Department of Homeland Security, and his work with members of the Columbus (OH) Fire Department Bomb Squad lead to the current training “Bomb Threat Protocols for Schools” that is being delivered to schools across the nation.
Gary earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Ohio University and a Master of Science degree in education administration from The University of Dayton. He also completed Ohio Peace Officers Basic Training through the Central Ohio Peace Officer’s Training Academy. His specialized training includes courses in hostage negotiations, school violence threat assessment, terrorism and WMD in the workplace, event security planning, stranger abducted/missing children, and active shooter situations, among many others.