Improving Safety At RVC

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) is one of the newest departments at RVC. The department was created just before the fall 2022 semester and will oversee all emergency management aspects for the college, as well as OSHA compliance, NFPA, ANSI, and several others for compliance, safety training, event action planning, property damage incidents, and personal injury incidents.

Leading the charge for EHS is Theresa James, Director of Environmental Health and Safety. Theresa transitioned to the director role after helping the college navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Theresa holds multiple certifications in emergency management from the Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and Texas A & M University Extension Office. Her certifications include areas of diverse emergency management and environmental health and safety fields.

“Theresa, who transitioned to the director role last August, has been a part of the Golden Eagle family for almost three years. She is a collaborative community leader in Emergency Management and advocates for employee safety and compliance,” said RVC Chief of Police Thomas Yehl.

Theresa came to RVC from Winnebago County, where she served as a director of public health preparedness for various response projects across Winnebago County. During her work with Winnebago County, Theresa had several opportunities to work on the RVC College campus, where she assisted with projects related to active shooter response and strategic national stockpile deployment.

The timing of Theresa’s hiring didn’t allow for much time for her to acclimate to the college. Not only did she join RVC at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it was just a few months before the campus was ravaged by an F1 tornado. Her areas of expertise include emergency response, planning, and mitigation, as well as infection control, regulatory compliance, and design and implementation of emergency and industrial safety-related training.

(Pictured: Lloyd Johnson and Theresa James)

In addition to Theresa, the newly formed department also includes Lloyd Johnson, RVC Risk Management Coordinator. Lloyd comes to us from MercyHealth and the Freeport Sheriff’s Department. He has extensive training in the emergency management field as a training coordinator. In his role, Lloyd coordinates all OSHA and safety training and serves as the lead investigator for any incidents involving property damage or personal injuries.  

At RVC, if you have an incident involving property damage or personal injury, you should contact the RVC Police Department as well as the Environmental Health and Safety Office at If an incident happens after hours, call (815) 921-4357 to reach the RVC Police Officer on duty.