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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Well, unless it's windy out.
Hey capcityff, these guys will argue that black is white given the opportunity. Just let them walk casually around the fireground and probe the ground ahead with a hook just in case there's a 2 inch depression that will be a trip hazard. You know, the one that the safety officer might have missed on his topographical survey of the scene and not put caution tape around. We all know that fire doesn't move quickly and time is not important....
Running on the fire ground? Probably rarely warranted. However, moving at a fire ground pace and acting w/ a purpose, always. This rarely involve actually running though.
I wouldn't be surprised that, for many that say there should be no running on the fireground they may however think that exceeding the posted speed limit (even by 10 or 15mph) is acceptable. Or wearing their face piece in the rig. Or 'speeding' to the firehouse.

Cops run when chasing a suspect, often through woods, fields, down alleys or into empty or abandoned buildings. Soldiers run often, it's part of how they operate. And, surprisingly, soldiers run through very dangerous terrains and environments, all the while carrying loaded (and off safety) weapons.

Yet so many think that a firefighter running is like the worst possible thing to do. One person even said that a person running on the fireground could cause panic and cause others to run as well! WTF?

Would you expect firefighters to approach a building, slowly, in a circle and holding hands, maintaining a group-situational awareness all the while looking out for hazards and threats?

A quick jog from the engine to the house, over to the hydrant, around to the back of the building, all carefully executed and considered but done to expedite certain actions. Isn't this whole "no-running" thing just a bit out of focus? And couldn't 'running' be considered just another tool in the tool box to use as and when, necessary?
In my EMS days, we were taught to not run... I only remember ONE call where I broke into a jog for about 10 feet then caught myself and walked very quickly the rest of the way. Mostly to get myself out of the path of mall traffic!

People were holding doors open for me, waving frantically yelling "come on, he's in here, they're doing CPR, hurry!"

It was good I didn't run because it showed confidence in my skills and ability and I was able to keep the adrenaline dump at bay.
Helped me think clearly and size up the scene properly.
Sure enough, there was CPR in progress on a cardiac arrest victim in the middle of a major shopping mall on a Saturday. Hundreds watching (including the cardiologist and nurse shopping in the mall that witnessed the arrest and started CPR) what turned out to be my rural volunteer ambulance service's first dfib save! (we had transported a cardiac patient into the city and were the closest available unit having just cleared our stretcher.)

I didn't run and STILL brought him back!
Only cops look professional and in control while running ;P

You know, the guys and girls that get awards and comendations for running into burning buildings without BA or bunker gear?

Part of a cop's job to run (after bad guys, the bag of day-olds hitting the counter at the local donut shop, etc).

The rest of us should "move with a sense of urgency".
But don't run - unless you are doing your cardio conditioning.
It can be part of the job. In my 23 years no one on our department has gotten hurt by running. If you feel you may get hurt running don't do it. But our dept. will keep up the fast pace. There is lives and property to save and sometimes being fast on your feet may save both. Its a battle thats why it is called fire FIGHTING! In good old VA. you have 1 min. to get full gear on. (per VDFP). Being fast and SAFE can be done. We do it everyday.
This is the best reply to this post yet! We sign up to be firemen! You know the risk. If you don't want the risk don't sign up! Yes we need to keep safety in mind. But come on people be serious this is not a safe occupation!
That's the way I see it! putting the fire out quickly is the fastest way to achieve safety for everyone on scene! DC still does it the right way! If you can't keep up, take a desk job!
Quick, to the Bat Cave!
Jack, as I posted above "we do not run at incidents, but we can walk pretty damned fast at times". That's the way I was trained and the way I train others and the way we operate. Do I think it OK to excede the posted speed limit? Why, yes, I do, when running lights & siren. There is no legal limit for us to obey when on lights & siren, but there is an SOP that says we must not exceed a limit by more than 20km/h (about 12.5 mph). I will exceed speed limits when I think it safe to do so - which means not often, and not by much. "wearing their face piece in the rig"? No. "speeding' to the firehouse" - no.

Police and soldiers running? Yes, when deemed necessary by them I suppose. Though I have never been a police officer and I am no longer in the Army. In the Army we ran when we had to - there was more importance placed on situational awareness and moving in such a way as to not alert a foe. We learned to walk extremely bloody slowly in fact, about the only way to move in jungle and rubber plantations.

"a firefighter running is like the worst possible thing to do"? No, I don't think so, and I haven't read that in any of the posts, either. I could have missed the reference of course.

"Would you expect firefighters to approach a building, slowly, in a circle and holding hands" - not at all, I don't believe I've said that. "maintaining a group-situational awareness all the while looking out for hazards and threats" - leave out the words I've crossed out and I'd say 'yes'.

Yes, I think the whole "not-running" thing is being looked at out of focus. But by whom? We don't run, but we can be walking pretty damned fast. 'Not running' doesn't mean walking slowly or dawdling.
What no running? I guess you pansies are gonna want me to start wearing my seatbelt in the rig next...sheesh

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