In Honor of The Charleston 9: 

A Study of Change Following Tragedy

On June 18, 2007, nine firefighters perished in a furniture warehouse fire in Charleston, South Carolina.  The engineer of the first-arriving engine, David, relates how this experience has changed education and training on a national level.  David gives a riveting account of what he witnessed that day, and the crisis that ensued in the fire service and his personal life as well.

Also included in this powerful program is David's doctoral research on organizational crisis and how an organization can utilize organizational learning to improve upon crisis.  Attendees will share in not only the pain of this occurrence, but also the triumph reflected in changes in numerous aspects of organizational culture.  This program has been presented to over 200 organizations internationally, including private industry, public service, for profit, and non-profit organizations.  While this is a course regarding a fire service event, it is relatable to all organizations.

Let David share his knowledge of organizational learning and how it can improve your organizations performance with this high-intensity program.

Turn PTSD into PTG:  It Will Change Your Life

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects firefighters all over the world.  Many times firefighters do not want to discuss incidents that may have had lasting effects on them or know where to go for help.  Research indicates that this is both unhealthy physically and mentally not only for suffering firefighters, but for their family and friends as well.  Furthermore, PTSD has led to an alarming increase in firefighter suicides.  Research from the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) indicates that fire departments are four times more likely to experience a suicide of one of its members than a line of duty death (LODD).        

So how do we mitigate this ever growing problem in the fire service?  We teach our members how to turn PTSD into PTG, Posttraumatic Growth.  Research indicates that PTG is defined as a phenomenon where a person becomes stronger and creates a more meaningful life in the wake of tragedy or trauma.  The instructor of this course suffered from PTSD after his involvement as the first due engineer on June 18, 2007 where 9 firefighters perished in the line of duty in Charleston, South Carolina. He was then able to overcome PTSD, turning the tragedy into PTG.   

During this course, David will discuss the signs and symptoms of PTSD from clinical research and from his own personal experience with the disorder.  He will then outline the necessary steps to educate firefighters on making the transition from PTSD to PTG and where they can go for the proper help.  To make this possible, attendees will complete the survey entitled the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI).  Following the completion of this survey, the attendees will be able to identify their level of PTG, but more importantly, they will know how to administer the survey to their respective organization and how to identify signs and symptoms of PTSD within themselves and their co-workers.  This is a tangible tool that attendees will take away from the class to assist in the fight against PTSD and firefighter suicides. 

Attend this class to learn from a firefighter who actually experienced a traumatic event, was diagnosed with PTSD, and was able to overcome it with PTG.  This is proof that PTSD can be reversed and that individuals suffering from it can live a mentally healthy and successful life.  

That’s The Way We’ve Always Done It!

It's all too common that we hear the phrase, "That's the way we've always done it".  Unfortunately, in our profession, this can lead to deadly consequences.  Why do we continue to make this statement?  How does it affect our decision making and open-mindedness to progress?  These two important questions will be focused upon with examples from a line-of-duty death incident in Charleston, SC on June 18, 2007 as well as research from firefighters who have fallen prey to this statement.  Furthermore, steps will be given to overcome this deadly phrase for all levels of rank. We all have said this in our life.  It doesn't make us bad people, it makes us human beings.  However, we must still identify and understand methods to overcome this phrase so it does not lead to irreversible consequences.

Organizational Learning:  Victory Starts Here

This course includes team building and developmental activities to increase work performance and job satisfaction. Scientific survey instruments are also utilized throughout the course.  This is a great choice for the organization looking to provide an exciting meeting  along with  a motivational ride. 

Servant Leadership:  More Than Just The Color Of Your Shirt

This course details research on the effectiveness of the servant leadership model and also includes developmental activities to allow the employee to practice this type of leadership in a learning environment. 

ACTION:  ​9 Missions for Personal and Professional Growth

We always hear people saying what they’re going to do to be successful.  They have these elaborate plans that they’ve been talking about for years but never act on them due to fear of failure or lack of motivation.  Basically, talking about making the necessary evolution to be successful, will not make you successful.  However, taking ACTION with a plan, will. 

So, how does one develop this plan?  Simple, “ACTION:  9 Missions for Personal and Professional Growth”.  This course is based on the book with the identical name that will motivate individuals to strive for excellence in everything that they do.  Specifically, the course focuses on 9 missions that the attendees can embark upon to embrace the changing nature of the environment that they work in.  These 9 missions will challenge the attendee to perform certain tasks that they may shy away from due to a fear of failure or resistance to change.  During the course, attendees will utilize interactive classroom discussions as well as team building drills to make significant changes both personally and professionally.  

Unconscious Competence:  Do You Train To Live?

There are four levels of mastery according to Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman:  unconscious incompetence, conscious incompetence, conscious competence, and unconscious competence.  Studies indicate that operators in the military, police force, and fire service must have unconscious competence to be at the top of their game at all times.  This class will discuss the different levels of mastery mentioned above and provide training techniques for personnel ranging from the chief level officer to the firefighter on how to achieve unconscious competence.  

Motivation or Inspiration?

Ask yourself this:  Are you motivated or inspired to do the work that you’ve been called to do?  Do you motivate or inspire your colleagues?  More importantly, which one will allow you to be a better professional, mother, father, brother, sister, son, or daughter?  The choice is yours when you arise every morning.  You can motivate yourself to do your work or you can be inspired to be the best at everything you do with passion that burns steady in your bones each and every day.  Do you have this passion for your chosen profession?  Let us re-energize you and your organization with this powerful program.


The Industrial Athlete:  Why Are You Not Training Like One?

​​This course utilizes essential skills that will allow you to perform at the top of your game and make you ready for the physical situations that you will encounter in your profession.

Stress Inoculation Training:  Preparing For The Worst

Developing skills for every day situations as well as for the worst day of your career.

Physical Fitness Programs and Testing:

 How To Implement An Organizational Initiative

Developing and implementing a physical fitness program and the measures that must be taken to assess the progress of the employees on a yearly basis.


Don't Bore Me!

Developing exciting presentations and delivering them with energy and passion.  Research indicates that learning is connected with emotion. This course specifically identifies how to make that important connection with the attendees.  


Keynotes, 1-2 hour breakouts, 1/2 day workshops, full-day seminars, and multiple day programs. We can also design any course to fit your organizations specific needs.  Contact us for more information. We provide speaking services to all types of organizations including corporate businesses, industrial companies, law firms, universities, hospitals, as well as military, police, and fire departments.

David and THE MISSION at the Indiana Emergency Response Conference 

David delivering a keynote speech at the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Tampa II Life Safety Summit

David speaking at FDIC in Indianapolis, Indiana.


On A Mission

David teaching at Firehouse World in San Diego, California. 

David and Comandante Barroso from the Hermosillo Fire Department in Sonora, Mexico before their Mexican National News interview about "The Mission". 

David delivering a keynote speech at the International Association of Fire Chiefs Symposium 

David and Melissa "On A Mission".  Photo shoot from Oblique Magazine. 

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Dr. David Griffin