On Saturday, the Shawnee Fire Department hosted a presentation by Dr. David Griffin titled, "In Honor of the Charleston 9" at Gordon Cooper Technology Center.

On Saturday, the Shawnee Fire Department hosted a presentation by Dr. David Griffin titled, "In Honor of the Charleston 9" at Gordon Cooper Technology Center.

Griffin was a survivor of a tragic incident that claimed the lives of nine of his fellow firefighters in South Carolina in 2007.

Shawnee Fire Chief Dru Tischer said 82 attended the event — 34 of those being members of the Shawnee Fire Department.

“This was probably the most powerful fire service presentation I have ever seen as Dr. Griffin shared, with complete honesty and detail, the factors that contributed, both organizationally and personally, to the tragic events on June 18, 2007, when nine firefighters of the Charleston Fire Department were killed in the line of duty,” he said. “Dr. Griffin's mission is to share the story of this tragedy while emphasizing the need for organizational and personal accountability, professionalism, training and mental health support for firefighters with other members of the fire service so that we may learn from it and do everything possible to ensure it doesn't happen again.”

About Griffin

Griffin's bio states he was the driver of the first engine to respond to the disastrous 2007 Sofa Super Store fire.

“Plagued with survivor's guilt, he numbed himself with alcohol, painkillers and blood sports so much that it nearly cost him his life,” his biography reads.

Now Griffin — after completing a Doctorate of Education in organizational leadership and development — is training organizations across the world on the importance of moving away from "the way we've always done it" mentality.

He travels around speaking about the Sofa Super Store fire and has helped with massive reforms in how firefighters are trained as well as how executives lead their teams, Tischer said.

Griffin has dedicated his life to spreading the message of change to all types of organizations including for-profit, nonprofit and public service.

Griffin is a certified Chief Training Officer (CTO) and Fire Officer (FO) through the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) and is currently completing the Executive Fire Officer Program (EFO) at the National Fire Academy.