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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I already assumed that it was common sense that it's better to push the fire from the inside out than the other way around. I don't see what's so hard to understand about that.

So do you refuse to search for people? You can't pour water in when you have your guys inside looking for people. I guess you also don't care about putting it out to save property since you damage a lot more doing it your way. Especially if you do wait to put water on it while your guys are searching.
capcity, you're just making that up when you say. "I guess you also don't care about putting it out to save property since you damage a lot more doing it your way. Especially if you do wait to put water on it while your guys are searching." I didn't say that, you did. I asked a question - I didn't say that I did it that way, nor do I.

You argued that running on the scene is necessary for fast extinguishment. I just pointed out that if that's the goal, you can extinguish many fires more quickly from the exterior.

To respond to the above, you can do it without pushing the fire anywhere - if you use smoothbores and if your nozzlemen are trained properly.

You don't necessarily damage more property with exterior extinguishment - once again, if the nozzlemen are properly trained.

Every firefighter that attends the fire academy in my state is trained to extinguish fires from the interior by simply putting enough water on the fire to get the knock without pushing the fire anywhere.

The techniques we teach are essentially the same as the ones I learned at MFRI 35 years ago.

And capcity, what you assume is common sense isn't going to work for the average department. The average department doesn't have your city's levels of manpower, short response times, and ability to have other units cover for units that are exhausted from running instead of saving some energy for the second ten minutes of the fire.
capcityff - "I decided to state my opinion though. I guess that was a mistake.", I think it isn't that you state your opinion, it may be more that you do so indicating that if others don't do it your way, then they must be from a small place, or a non-aggresive FD. It seems more that you cannot accept that others are of a different mind-set to you.

The fire service I'm with isn't small, about 60,000 Ff's and over 1200 stations. Some of the stations are busy, many are not. Some are State capital stations others are tiny towns right out in the country.

Now, the use of the word 'aggressive' when talking about firefighting. Is there a definition? I feel that you would not use the word for my fire service. We do things very differently to you. So what is aggressive? We get to a fire, we nearly always send our first team (we do NOT go internal alone) in with a hose attacking the fire while searching around and up to the fire for anybody still inside. Subsequent teams will do searching away from the fire, some may take in second attack lines. Our statistics show that most fires are contained to the room/area of origin. So what is 'aggressive'?
The only people I see run on a fire scene are usually probies. I think they learn after a while to slow down. I think running goes along with losing self control. Just add a little screaming on the radio and caos brakes out. It's contagious.
So if the only reason you would stay outside would be manpower, then why would you be telling me I should do it when we do have the manpower. If that's what's holding you back then you also agree that an interior attack is better if possible, correct?

Your responses are full of logical fallacies. You used a straw man (putting words in my mouth, then responding as if I said something I didn't) in a post above, then use another straw man combined with a false dilemma here. I didn't say that the "only" reason I'd stay outside would be manpower - manpower is rarely the only reason I do - or don't do - anything.

You also went for another logical fallacy here - a false dilemma. You keep painting this issue as if there are only two choices, when there are clearly a wide range of options about how fast to move, how much manpower is present, the degree of situational awareness, and whether to choose a offensive, transitional, or defensive attack...just for starters.

An interior attack is a good choice if the fire is small enough, if there's adequate manpower, time, and water power to keep it that way, and if the building is built solidly enough that it's not going to collapse on the interior team(s).

If the fire is well-advanced, water supply is poor or nonexistant, manpower is lacking, backup is far away, and the building is a lightweight engineered wood construction with fire in a truss void, then that's a completely different set of options and I'd be inclined to choose another option.

I'm unsurprised that the fires are still extinguished, the savable victims rescued, and the firefighters aren't exhausted in 10 minutes in the places that teach their firefighters to move with a sense of purpose rather than running on the fireground.
Two thumbs up.
Might explain the injury rate in the fire service. Maybe?
Curious, why are you the only one from your district proclaiming these virtues? Are you really on that department? Can anyone validate this guy? Seems to be a gung-ho maverick. He wouldn't be on my team, no matter how fast he was! I want smart, not fast.
If you put the fire out fast, and some of your folks take a ride in the ambulance, than who really wins?
I trained at MFRI almost 20 years ago, and they taught us that you don't extinguish fire, you push it. I have no idea how to put a fire out through a window and not either push it back into the house, or have the steam and smoke blast right back in your face. Admittedly, we don't attack exterior unless it's already pretty far gone, so I don't have a lot of experience there, but I think CapCity has a valid point.

Hitting it fast and hard is a good place to start. The fire won't get smaller, and the building does not become safer the longer it burns.
Here's another take on the detail you miss when you run yourself through the ability to maintain situational awareness.

It's called "1st Due Battalion Chief", and was recently in Fire Engineering online.

It was written by Daniel Sheridan, a FDNY Battalion Chief. The article makes it pretty obvious that he knows what he's talking about.
Never once said others do it wrong. I'm just defending my department because most on here are small town fireman and agree on one way. Then most on here go against any other way because they don't realize how different other departments are. I've worked in both big and small. Most haven't done big city stuff and think that their small town "safe" way is the only way.

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