In Honor of The Charleston 9: A Study of Change Following Tragedy


Monday, June 18, 2007. Nine firefighters lost. Many grieving families. An organization spiraling into crisis. Significant reasons for change.

The Sofa Super Store Fire, one of the nation’s deadliest incidents for firefighters since 9/11, marked the beginning of change. Change for people and the global landscape of emergency services. But how, specifically, did an emergency services organization in South Carolina learn at the individual, team, and organizational levels following this tragedy, and consequently, institute the needed changes for
organizational development?

After more than three years of in-depth research, Dr. David Griffin, the engineer on the first due engine of the Sofa Super Store Fire, studies how organizational processes and employee behaviors changed following this multiple line of duty death incident. The study centered on firefighters who officially responded on June 18, 2007 to the deadly Sofa Super Store Fire in Charleston, SC. This is a scientific research study, not a story.

Change did come. Find out how the concept of organizational learning led to the changes, and how you can institute this powerful concept in your organization.

This study will save lives.

A portion of all proceeds will benefit The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

About the author:

Dr. David Griffin is a captain and fire service training officer in Charleston, SC and the owner of On A Mission LLC, which offers speaking and instructing services for public, private, and non-profit organizations around the country. He is a graduate of The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, where he played baseball for four years. Upon graduation, David went on to play minor league baseball for two seasons in the Frontier League, where he earned the Fran Riordan Leadership Award for his service to the community. Upon his release from professional baseball, David returned to his alma mater to assist in coaching the team he once played for.

David then joined the fire service in 2005. During this time, he has been promoted from firefighter, to assistant engineer, to engineer/acting officer, to his current position as captain and training officer.

David has a Bachelor of Science in education from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, a Master of Science in executive fire service leadership, and a Doctorate of Education in organizational leadership and development. He is a certified Fire Officer through the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) and is currently a student in the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy.

David has been a featured speaker at the Fire Department Instructor’s Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, a keynote speaker at The National Fallen Firefighters Tampa 2 Summit, Firehouse Expo, South Carolina Fire Rescue Conference, and the Maryland Firefighters Association Conference. He has taught at hundreds of organizations and universities around the country focusing on organizational behavior, change, leadership, and development.


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