Lessons Learned from the Charleston 9 LODD incident with Dr. David Griffin

On this show, we discuss a major line-of-duty-death incident: the loss of the Charleston Nine.

It happened on the evening of June 18, 2007, at the Sofa Super Store in Charleston, South Carolina.

The initial fire was located in a loading dock, but extended into the showroom.

There was a 911 call from a trapped employee, who was found and rescued.

Then, about 40 minutes into the call, there was a flashover, and the roof collapsed.

The firefighters caught in the flashover were unable to escape and were trapped under the collapsing roof.

The firefighters killed were:

Captain William “Billy” Hutchinson, 48, 30 years of service; Captain Mike Benke, 49, 29 years of service; Captain Louis Mulkey, 34, 11.5 years of service; Engineer Mark Kelsey, 40, 12.5 years of service; Engineer Bradford “Brad” Baity, 37, 9 years of service; Asst. Engineer Michael French, 27, 1.5 years of service; Firefighter James “Earl” Drayton, 56, 32 years of service; Firefighter Brandon Thompson, 27, 4 years of service; Firefighter Melvin Champaign, 46, 2 years of service.

It was a horrific situation. And it was the first time Charleston firefighters had been killed on duty since 1965.

My guest today was there.

Dr. David Griffin is a battalion chief today, but he was the engineer on the first-due engine on June 18, 2007.

David holds a doctorate of education in organizational leadership and development. He runs On a Mission, LLC.


David’s article: Remembering the Charleston 9: Still Riding

Article: Remembering the Sacrifice of the Charleston 9

Wikipedia entry on the fire

David’s books:

Trivia question:
Where are battery packs in hybrid vehicles usually located?

Battery packs in hybrids are usually found in the rear of the vehicle or under the back seat