Rule #1

Unless your life is in imminent danger, never, ever, run on a scene.

Running back to your truck because you need some equipment? You look unprepared, and should have either brought the equipment with you, or take the patient to the ambulance.

Running with the stretcher towards the ambulance? You look like you don’t have the situation under control.

Basically, you look silly.

Sixteen years, and I have never been faced with a situation that made me want to run while on a scene.


  1. Jay Fisher says:

    Wholeheartedly agree. There is enough drama from bystanders/family without us adding to it.

  2. tek6029 says:

    Yes! I usually end up telling the story from “Colors”…with Sean Penn and Robert Duval…about the bulls. Usually gets the point across quite nicely!

  3. Mcgrubbs says:


    Look professional, be professional.

  4. Running is a recipe for falling on your ass

  5. I’ve only run once while on scene and my life was endanger. I’ve had people running across highways and never ran after them . Why have two patients and I always want to go home in the same state as to came to work, if not better.

  6. Flash Larry says:

    Spiderman (my former partner) ran the other day. He chased a patient who ran from the ambulance. It was one of those mental health patients who was unstable, needed zero medical care, but was put into the ambulance by the police so they wouldn’t have to bother. The patient became increasingly agitated and at the hospital, jumped from the ambulance and ran towards the wall that surrounds the ER ramp. Spiderman chased him and tackled him at the wall and with the assistance of some firemedics there, subdued him.

    If the guy had jumped the wall, it’s about a thirty foot drop.

    I think running was ok in this situation.

    We won’t talk about police procedure. That’s a different discussion.

  7. I’ve can only think of a couple of times when I ran at a scene. They were certainly the exception and most of the time I walked deliberately.

    I agree about running with the stretcher. Most of the times I witnessed that fire fighters were involved and my major task was to act as a sea anchor to slow them down.

    Panic is contagious and nothing says panic like the people who are supposed to control the scene running like chickens with their heads cut off. It does not inspire confidence in the people who called for help.

    As I used to tell eager young paramedics and EMTs, the emergency should be over the minute we arrive.

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