I have a question for other departments regarding firefighters running on the scene. I see many news clips and even some clips here showing firefighters running from building to pumper, pumper to building and accross lots and yards. What, if any, are your policies for running on scene? 


When I was on the department, we were trained never to run on scene, and especially when carrying equipment. When I was in training, I was on a scene helping with overhaul. One of the officers asked me to get a fire ax from the rig. Well, to be so helpful, I took off running to the rig. I didn't get far across the lawn before I was yelled at by the IC. He told me we don't run on scene as it gives an perception we are not in control. (Firefighters never panic, right????). Anyway, I discussed it with our own department folks later, and they all agreed, it isn't safe, and it doesn't give the impression we are in control of the scene.


What are your thoughts on this issue?  Do you allow, encourage or restrict the running of firefighters on your scenes?

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Capcity. my friend I'm gonna have to throw a BS flag on this one! Everyone knows the Indianapolis Fire Dept. Does it faster and Better than anyone else!

As for running on the seen......Our rule is, while running don't fall! There are 2 reasons for this rule. 1. The other Firemen running past will point and laugh at you. 2. They will all get in the fire before you.
Tony P

There may be circumstances where a quick jog may be deemed appropriate. Call it a jog, running, walking expeditiously, whatever works but still, sometimes shaking a leg may be required.

I don't get some of the absolute statements posted, such as that one should 'never' run. Why? It's dangerous? Uh huh, and?

About my comments about police and military running, are they so much better trained than us, or are we just a bunch of soft nellies that we can't be trusted to, much less be capable of, running on scene?

Seems to me that training, physical fitness and common sense should be our best guides. So yeah, for fat people (and I'm thinking that it runs at least 5:1 vol vs paid) running may not be the best tactic but those that are in shape, it's just another tool or tactic .
I've run any number of times on a fireground - sprinted, really - especially as a pump operator. I've run carrying a 16' ladder. (I've run up a 16' ladder). I've run while carrying hose line, tools, equipment, an infant.

Having said that, I usually walk - with a purpose - but running is absolutely appropriate in many instances.
Most of the time, if putting the fire out fast is the primary goal, you don't need to go inside the structure at all, let alone run there. Just hit it from outside. Now THAT is fast!
And I will throw a BS flag to both CapCity and 55 Truck we all know that Baltimore does it better and faster then anyone else.

And 55 Truck I have done that was my turn to ride leadoff pipeman fell droped the pipe I picked it up and got the fire : )
Yea, cops run, but they also drive right up to a possible hazmat scenes too. And they seem to enjoy big funerals. My commitment as an officer and IC is that EVERYBODY goes home safe.
"So yeah, for fat people (and I'm thinking that it runs at least 5:1 vol vs paid)". Do you have any statistics for that? Or is it just an anti Vol statement? I'm overweight (almost over age, as well), I've seen career guys as overweight as me - and about the same age. Most people I see on the job do not seem overweight to me.

Again, I say "we do not run at incidents, but we can walk pretty damned fast at times". We do not run as a mattter of course, we move fast when the need exists. DCFD seem to run as a matter of course whilst apparently being very successful, I believe their method to carry unwarranted risk with it; I do not think that is an aspersion, just an opinion. We do not run, we do though have a pretty good record service wide of putting fires out (looking at percentage kept to the room/area of origin). I've been to three surround and drown jobs, none of them houses. We have people inside putting water on very quickly, it's the first thing we do. I think that the other FD's that oppose running are quite probably pretty successful to, even with a percentage of overweight members.
We do not allow running either....it is strictly a safety issue
Comments like this:
"There is fire school/.academy/way things are taught, then there is reality."
make the hair on the back of my neck stand up..

There should only be one way things are taught in the academy: the way things are done on the street. Otherwise, what is the point of training?

This attitude (and I have seen it time and time again, since the time I was a rookie, to now) of two ways of doing things should not be tollerated. If training does not reflect what goes on in the street, then either training need to change, or the way we perform in the street needs to change. DO NOT allow people to propagate this attitude.

Running on scene? Never say never. As a practice, it is a poor behavior, and will lead to trips and falls, unless all of your calls occur at noontime, in fair weather, and you do not require the extra burden of SCBA use by your members. Otherwise, the word is hussle, but be careful. As is explained here, sure there are times when a few seconds DO matter, but I would venture a guess that we haven't had teenagers hanging by their thumbs in the last batch of calls.

Extreme measures are called for periodically, not constantly.

And again, if what is taught in the classroom is very different from what happens in the street, that needs to be remedied.... quickly!
Well running USUALLY DOES make you faster. So yea, don't see what the big deal about that is. Not really criticizing anyone. We are very quick and a lot of people know it and come train at camps/take classes from our guys. I call that having pride and see nothing wrong with it. You can't point out once sentence where I say you're department isn't good.

I did mention that if you don't want to run on the fire ground/can't do it then don't come here, but that's just how it is. Sorry we won't change what we have been doing for years just for you. We have over 2000 firemen that work just fine the way things are.
We compete with other engine/truck companies, but not other fire departments. We don't really work with other fire departments except for extremely large events like when the train crash happened or 9/11/01.

Though your reply was amusing, it also mis-represents the cause/effect of things.

To someone who wants to shut down the discussion, your solutions apply.

However, I offer different solutions that are more grounded in reality.
Firefighting is dangerous: I agree.
We have to accept injuries as a part of the job: I disagree.

Fire/combustion produces smoke. This is dangerous. We don't want to breath it in. Your solution is to walk/run away. My solution is to wear your SCBA.

Falling off a ladder - Don't climb ladders.
OR- Learn ladder safety and apply those pricipals when working with ladders.

Serious cuts using a chainsaw - Don't use chainsaws.
OR- Be cautious and learn proper techniques.

Back injury lifting a heavy objects - Don't lift heavy things.
OR- Apply good body mechanics when lifting heavy objects.

Twist an ankle climbing off the rig - Don't get off the rig.
OR- Step off cautiously.

Back injury swinging an axe or haligan - Don't use the irons.
OR- Use them appropriately to avoid injury.

Hearing damage using power tools - Don't use power tools.
OR- Use proper technique to protect your hearing.

Attacked by combative patient - Don't treat patients.
OR- Prepare to handle all patients, including the combative ones.

Burns from fire - Don't go near fire.
Or- Wear proper PPE and follow SOP/SOGs and don't do anything stupid on the fireground.

Cancer from anything that burns - Move to Antarctica and stay out of the sun.
OR- Again, use SCBA and caution.

Fall over when running - Don't run
Well, that's the FIRST thing you say that I agree with.

etc etc...

I agree with your overall conclusion; there is a time and a place for all, including running.
I reject the conclusion that we should accept risks and dangers and injuries as part of the job.

The risks and dangers are, but not the injuries.

The topic of this discussion is about wanton, apparently needless running. I do not believe it was the author's position that running is NEVER appropriate, just that there seems to be nothing BUT running on the fire scenes lately.

And of course, train, train, train!

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