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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"You're just going to push the fire back inside the structure and ruin more property." Not with a smoothbore nozzle - and remember, you are the one advocating that quick extinguishment is the most important thing.

When you run, you limit the time available to obtain and maintain situational awareness.
My point was that if you're running, you don't have the time to get the situational awareness in the first place.
That's the point I was getting at Vic. You seemed to explain it a little bit better. The last thing you said is also a great point. There's no danger anymore if the fire is out.
It was said to me about 9 years ago and I lived by it that:

"We never run, we always walk briskly. Running looks unprofessional and if you fall and get hurt who will help the people in need?"
oh jeez, maybe its an emergency and someones life is on the line and we are trying to be in a hurry to save their life? call me crazy
I know I'm new on the forums but I'd like to add my 2 cents to the discussion. I actually have videographic evidence that running on the fireground is bad for all involved. Last month, in my home town, the FD was called out to job in the south side of town. Being that I know most of the guys on the job I buff here frequently and just happened to be shooting a video clip of the fire from the A/B corner of the building when it happened. The department's newest member, came running across the front yard at full speed and POW, tripped over an uncharged attack line and went face first into the asphalt driveway. Thankfully, the only thing hurt was his pride but he did earn a new nickname that day, Jack the Tripper.
Here's what I say. If you wanna run around wearing all of that crap, tire yourself out so you can fall down and bust your face, that's fine. I choose to walk.
We discourage running on the fire scene also. Our stance is that if you see me running things are going badly. Running is saved for getting out.
A lot of great comments. No running as an absolute isn't real though. You may have a time when you have to run. But as a practice it should be minimized. It ups the chances of getting hurt. You may miss something and get caught in a bad place, you may trip and get hurt, or you may just get too tired to do any useful work. All of those things will just serve to make the overall incident more complicated and difficult. Bad, Bad, and Bad.
I have commented previously on this topic, but since it is still pretty active, I will continue.

Many, many valid points have been made for and against running on the fire ground. Although there is nothing common about common sense, I will invoke the gods of common sense here:
Run if you have to, if the situation warrants it. Otherwise walk.

When you run: You no longer see things clearly, you have become single focused, you increase the potential for trip hazards (this, from someone who trips all the time even when walking), and you may gain a second or two.

So you have to ask yourself: “Is the risk worth the benefit of a second or two?” Are you helping someone within seconds of losing his or her life? Are there only seconds before a room flashes and you need to abandon a building? The RUN!

Are you bringing a tool to someone? Are you preparing to make entry to a building? Are you re-positioning to do roof operations? Are you positioning ladders for interior crews to provide additional egress? DON’T RUN!

Moving briskly and with purpose is good. Walk, look, listen. Observe. When entering a building, size it up yourself. Identify potential means of egress, because you might not be able to come out the same way you went in. Walking briskly instead of running gives you those extra seconds.

If you are running, you cannot be doing a good size up, so DON’T RUN if you don’t have to, and RUN when you do have to.

It’s really that simple, folks.
Some of you sound very narrow minded. Maybe it's bad to run at your department, but just because it's bad for one department, doesn't mean that it's bad for everyone. We operate differently than most of you in an urban large city. Not saying we are better, but the job just isn't the same. We have seen plenty of fire at our department over the years and we do what works. We always run. It's not as dangerous or chaotic as most of you think. This is because we all have jobs to do. When I go to work in the morning and assume duty, I know exactly what I'm doing for most scenarios. Many of you don't. I don't mean that you don't know your skills by that, I mean that you don't know what you will do on scene because you can be on an engine and start throwing ladders or doing a search. That doesn't happen here. We have 5 engines, 2 trucks, 1 rescue squad on every box alarm with even more units coming if its a confirmed working fire. So we have plenty of resources. When I get into a certain seat in the morning I know exactly what my task will be there. I'll run to do it, but its almost so repetitive because I've done the same thing so many times. If I'm the bar man on the truck, I run to the front door and gain access. I then go in and open up whatever else needs to be opened while searching. If I'm the line man on the engine, I pull the line and attack the fire. If I'm line man on 2nd due engine I go straight to the basement even if I know the fire isn't there. Everything is so protocol based to a point and it works for us.

What we do works perfectly for us and I think it's the best way. Would I recommend our tactics to most of you? Probably not. Is it because I think you're less skilled? Of course not. It's because big city departments and small city departments are nothing alike. You have different buildings, staffing and equipment. Certain things just won't work. That's why some of you see fires that we go interior for and you think it's crazy. It's really not. We might have a lot more people there where we have the time. If I was in charge of a small department then I would have another opinion.

So I'm saying do what works for you but don't try to say it's wrong and should never be done.
"Run if you have to, if the situation warrants it. Otherwise walk."

I think that's pretty logical.

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