Training

Griffin leverages emergency management expertise to deliver critical training for public and private organizations. Training programs enable organizations to better serve diverse populations in daily interaction and times of crisis.

Pawsitive Interactions with Service Dogs

© 2021, Griffin LLC

Both emergency responders and service dogs share the same goal: to provide life-saving and stabilizing support to a person with a disability. Yet, because of the nature of a service dog’s training and the constancy of their work, it is difficult for people without disabilities to learn about service dogs through direct contact. Griffin's one-of-a-kind, audience-customized training breaks down barriers by offering hands-on handling training and demonstrations with working service dogs.

Service dog Noni being loaded in an ambulance with her handler by DC paramedics during a training.

The most helpful part of the training was "clarifying the difference between service animals and emotional support animals," Ellen Kurland, DC FIRE & EMS Paramedic (shared with permission)

In an emergency situation, there may be circumstances in which responders have to interact with a service dog that belongs to a citizen in need. "Pawsitive Interactions with Service Dogs" teaches responders how to interact with service dogs under the rules and regulations established by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and use the service dog to support the response mission, rather than viewing them as a complication or impediment.

Griffin's training is adaptable by both audience (such as police, fire, ems) and response operation (including evacuation, transport, crisis response).

"Pawsitive Interactions with Service Dogs During Response Operations" © 2021, Griffin LLC, all rights reserved

Hands-on & Up Close with Service Dogs

Service dog Noni being secured on a stretcher with her handler by DC paramedics during a training.

A member of DC FIRE & EMS Command reported that the training helped his "understanding [of] patient rights." (shared with permission)

The session includes demonstrations and role-playing of positive interactions with service dogs and provides opportunities for class participants to practice and witness hands-on training with live service dogs.

A slide image showing canine ambassadors on the job: Annabelle and Evie. Both are incredibly cute dogs.

Relevant & Practical Content for your Team

This training explains what service dogs are, what they do, how they contribute to individual and community resilience, and how to be an inclusive, supportive partner to those with disabilities while providing excellent care. Session participants learn from real examples of past fire and EMS response experiences as opportunities for improvement and best practices.

Training Developed by Experts

CEO Christina Garrard has a Master’s degree in social vulnerability to hazards, 18 years of emergency management experience, and has spent over a year training to be a service dog handler. Co-presented with Sophia Rutti, Service Dog Trainer, CPDT-KA, owner of Dogs Downtown. Legal review conducted by the experts at Wilkenfeld, Herendeen, and Atkinson.
Two presenters, Christina Garrard and Sophia Rutti, delivering training to DC Fire and EMS personnel.

Training participants reported an improved understanding of legal requirements for service dogs and showed a significant increase in topic understanding from pre- to post-testing.

Bring Service Dog Training to your Organization

Interested in "Pawsitive Interactions with Service Dogs" for your team? Contact Griffin at info@griffinworks.org to get started.

Population Awareness, Preparedness, & Resilience

Each community has unique needs for mitigation, response, and recovery in the face of natural disasters, climate change, disease, crime, terrorism, and many others.

Do your leaders know what is needed to build resilience, ensure continuity of operations, and effectively respond? How does your organization incorporate people with access and functional needs into its planning?

Griffin can help your organization become more inclusive thus stronger in the face of challenging times ahead.

Build Resilience for your Community

Customized to Fit Your Organization

Contact Griffin at info@griffinworks.org

or fill out the form here

Griffin LLC was the first DC Certified Business Enterprise to be approved for a Kiva loan through DC's Department of Small and Local Business Development!


Kiva is a global microlending platform recognized for its work in publications like TIME and by philanthropists like Oprah.


Griffin is proud to share that our campaign was funded within 3 days by lenders all over the world! Though our Kiva campaign is no longer active, you can always support our mission by sending money directly through PayPal at https://paypal.me/griffinworksdotorg!