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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"We get the job done faster than most departments"??? What else, you gonna criticiize wimps breathing bottled air? Never understood that "we're better than they are" atituded. Been doing this 25+ years and NEVER did get that. You see guys from other departments, buffing at your own fires and then you hear criticism about it from a friend over there. Well, EVERYONE does something wrong sometimes.
"There is fire school/.academy/way things are taught, then there is reality."

I couldn't agree more. There is the validated, time-tested, and proven safe fire academy way things are taught, then there are the unvalidated, shoot-from-the-hip, less safe ways that are sometimes used on the fireground.
capcityff, Is your department somehow in competition with other fire departments?

I thought our competition was "Rapid oxidation, accompanied by light and heat", not each other.
Chief, the issue isn't whether or not firefighters in shape to run at the scene; the question is whether or not it is smart or appropriate to do so.
I really like that line "We don't run at incidents..." I am so using that, it perfectly nails the approach we should take.

I'll give props to capcityff - DCFD is a good department with tough firefighters. They are the second best in the DC area! (sorry bro, had to say it!)
capcityff, you didn't respond to what I actually said, which was:

"There's a reason that NO state or national firefighter training program teaches running or how to do it." Your city fire academy isn't a state or national firefighter training program.

None of the firefighter basic training texts teach running on the fireground (IFSTA Essentials, Jones & Bartlett's basics book, etc.)

Just wondering, does your city fire academy offer IFSAC or Pro Board certification to the successful recruits?
That isn't accurate, especially for fire departments that can't throw a human tidal wave of manpower at every fire in the first five or ten minutes.

In the vast majority of U.S. fire departments there isn't adequate manpower to do all of the first-alarm tasks with the people they have available. That equals "save something for the second five minutes" and beyond for those departments.

That "quit the job" thing is B.S., especially for the departments that don't have the short response times and extra manpower that your department has.

An example is the San Bruno, CA pipeline explosion and group fire yesterday.
No running on that fireground on those videos, and no quick extinguishment there.
Well than, he must have wanted me to run. that or eat more fibre.
That's why you shouldn't run on the scene. You lose situational awareness when you run.
In the recruit class video, the "running" falls into four classifications:

1) Conditioning runs in shorts, running shoes, and traffic vests. That's not the same as running in turnout gear and SCBA in the poor visibility often found on the fireground.

2) Conditioning exercises in partial turnout gear. Same comment as #1.

3) Running while deploying hoselines or tools. The one time that the hose deployment was shown, the line ended up in a big tangle at the door. That's not exactly a ringing endorsement for running while deploying an attack line. The other running clips that start around the 10 minute mark don't show the entire drill, so the information for those is incomplete.

4) Some of the "running' was actually a fast walk. Those evolutions looked the smoothest and most realistic of any on the video. That's how we train our firefighters - show some hustle without running - and overrunning your situational awareness.

None of the running shown was under realistic fireground conditions, particularly reduced visibility from smoke.
So if a firefighter looks up and sees someone running (for reasons unknown) that firefighter is also going to start running, and so will any others that happen to see others running? I suspect your department has a bigger problem than just someone running.
If you don't run then no one can see your cape flowing behind you.

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