David delivering a keynote speech at the International Association of Fire Chiefs Symposium.
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 organizational culture, response, education, and training on an international 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 research on organizational crisis and how an organization can utilize organizational learning to improve. 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 course has been taught at over 600 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.
Principled Leadership from The Road Less Traveled
Principled Leadership has been a life-long guiding concept that I was taught as a young man at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. As I continue to make progress and lead in the modern age of emergency services, Principled Leadership has proven to be successful in developing leaders and organizations by focusing on 7 specific characteristics that have been evolving since 1842 when The Citadel was established.
So, what is Principled Leadership and how can this help you and your organization on your personal and professional journey? Ingenious of them, The Citadel utilizes the acronym LEADERS to express each characteristic of Principled Leadership. When each of the 7 characteristics are focused upon and matured daily, one will see the importance of leading with principles rather than rank or tenure.
L - Lead with humility.
E - Embrace a true, authentic self.
A - Act and speak with courage.
D - Develop and value people and resources.
E - Empower and hold others accountable.
R - Respect others by building trust and learning from mistakes.
S - Serve others before self.
(The above acronym quoted from The Citadel’s “Characteristics of Principled Leadership, Staged Development Guide - 1st Edition”)
During this course, attendees are taken on a descriptive journey of each of the 7 characteristics to build a foundation and then are provided interactive team building activities to highlight the specifics of each characteristic. Following this, group activities are utilized where leadership challenges are presented to the class, and each specific group must utilize the concept of Principled Leadership to guide them to a decision. These scenarios are based on challenges from emergency scenes, personnel issues, stress management issues, and a host of other scenarios from real life situations. This allows the attendees to prepare for these types of challenges before they occur.
This is a highly interactive and scenario-based course that allows the attendees to develop their leadership skills in a supportive environment with their peers and also with a modern leader who has 22 years of Principled Leadership experience with the education to coincide with it. The concepts taught in becoming a part of “The Long Gray Line” and on “The Road Less Traveled” from The Citadel are unique. I want to share this powerful experience with the attendees in hopes it will spark a fire inside of them and to also offer them a chance to develop in a fun, interactive, productive, modern, and challenging class.
It’s important for you to know that the information you just read was not from some random concept I want to teach about with no experience in it whatsoever. It’s how I live my life. Every day. I would be honored to share how this concept can improve your organization and its personnel dramatically.
Resiliency Is The Way
Have we done a good job of developing resilient firefighters? Have we given them the tools to succeed over 30 years in a profession where we respond to the worst day of someone's life? Unfortunately, the research on mental health and suicide rates of emergency responders indicates that we have an issue that must be addressed. Therefore, during this class we will focus on why post-traumatic stress, acute stress disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder affect emergency responders all over the world and how we as leaders can provide resiliency training to combat this. Quite often emergency responders do not understand why they are feeling a certain way mentally and physically from the trauma witnessed on emergency scenes. This creates many challenges both personally and professionally. Unfortunately, responders may not know where to go for help or are afraid to ask for help due to the stigma and the "suck it up" mentality plaguing emergency services.
During this workshop, David will discuss the signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress, acute stress disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder from research and from his own personal experience. Then we will discuss and practice self-help tools that can be utilized in the firehouse for self support and for peer support. These tools and techniques have been used for over a hundred years to combat stress and require no funding. It only requires a willingness to learn and take the information back to your department members to help save those who save others.
Health and Wellness for the Emergency Responder
Health and wellness in the emergency services profession is essential for a successful career but also a personal life that is not riddled with stress from the job. How do we, the ones on the frontlines, take care of ourselves and each other? This is a question that is multifaceted and includes many factors. Therefore, in this course we will discuss how stress impacts the body and mind, the importance of physical and mental wellness, healthy eating habits, working together through stress, and one of my favorites in battling the challenge of this profession, mindfulness. All of these factors will be presented with practical examples and skills for all students to utilize in their everyday lives. This class is based on real life examples of what works to deal with our stress from an emergency responder who is still in the emergency services profession as an Assistant Chief in a department that experienced one of the worst line of duty death incidents in fire service history. Therefore, there is practical evidence that with a focus on health and wellness, responders can have a happy and healthy career.
Stress Management for the Emergency Responder
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) affect emergency responders all over the world. Quite often emergency responders do not understand why they are feeling a certain way mentally and physically from the trauma witnessed on emergency scenes. This creates many challenges both personally and professionally. Unfortunately, responders may not know where to go for help or are afraid to ask for help due to the stigma and the "suck it up" mentality plaguing emergency services. Research indicates this is unhealthy both physically and mentally not only for suffering emergency responders, but for their family and friends as well. Sadly enough, this has led to an alarming increase in emergency responder suicides.
During this workshop, David will discuss the signs and symptoms of PTSD and PTS from clinical research and from his own personal experience. He will also discuss the differences between PTSD and PTS as there are important distinctions to be made between them when partaking in a stress management plan. He will then outline stress management techniques and where responders can go for help. This will assist an organization in developing and/or improving their stress management program to ensure mental and physical health are being focused upon.
This is a powerful workshop where emergency responders learn from a fellow emergency responder who actually experienced a traumatic event, was diagnosed with PTSD, has assisted hundreds of organizations in developing and/or improving their stress management program, is a current Peer Support Team member in his organization, and was able to overcome PTSD with proper stress management techniques. This is proof that PTSD and PTS can be successfully managed 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.
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 teaching at Firehouse World in San Diego, California.
A moment of introspection before The Mission begins.
David and Comandante Barroso from the Hermosillo Fire Department in Sonora, Mexico before their Mexican National News interview about "The Mission".
David teaching the 7 characteristics of Principled Leadership.
David delivering a virtual program. All of our programs can be done virtually.
Having some fun in one of our programs.
David and Melissa "On A Mission". Photo shoot from Oblique Magazine.