Some D.C. firefighters have come up with a unique way to stay fit and connect with the community. When they need to get food they run to the store and back to the station — with their fire truck in tow.
The group of firefighters at Engine 25 in Congress Heights say they started the daily runs to get their steps in.
"I was kind of sitting around thinking we go to the store all the time, you know, and I got this cool little watch [counting my] steps. … So we started running and we turned it into an everyday thing,” firefighter Saquan Spencer said.
It's quickly become a way for them to get to know the neighborhood better.
"Let 'em know we're out here in the community," Lt. Berlin Hiligh said. "It builds the relationship between us and [the residents]."
But since the group is still on duty during their runs, a couple of their fellow firefighters follow closely behind in the firetruck.
They had to hop on the truck twice for emergency calls when News4 tagged along for their run Thursday morning.
"I mean, it is what it is. We’re here to serve the citizens. So, they’re our number one priority. We’ll get back to our run after we take care of what we have to take care of,” Hiligh said.
The firefighters said the morning runs aren't competitive, but have opinions about who's the fastest.
“I kind of lay back and just let them run ahead and keep an eye out doing the officer thing, but they don’t know the old guy still has a lot left in the gas tank,” Hiligh said.
“Once this thing comes out hear me and we’ll see who is really the fastest,” Kevin Campbell said.
“I may not run long distances but, sprinting - I’m your man,” Spencer said.
The firefighters also say their runs help them memorize neighborhood streets and alleys and where every hydrant is located.