KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Normally, when we think of fire crews on the run, we imagine the scramble to put on the gear, the sound of the siren and the big red truck racing down the street.
However, on Sunday, April 2nd, several members of the Knoxville Fire Department will be showing off their skills in a different kind of run. As for the second year in a row, KFD will formally enter a team in the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon.
“It’s kind of become a thing now,” says Captain Matt Beavers.
In its first year, Team KFD was comprised of 27 runners. In 2023 it looks as though the number of competitors will again eclipse 20.
“To see the whole department jump on, it’s been a really good thing,” said Captain Thomas Cole.
So, how did the department get dozens of its firefighters to sign up? Beavers said it was as simple as someone just standing up and asking if anyone wanted to go for a run.
“That’s exactly how it happened,” Beavers said. “Someone came in one day and said I think I’m going to do it and everyone kind of piled on.”
From there, a team of runners was born. And just like the thousands that will be running alongside them, this team brings a little bit of everything to the table when it comes to skill.
“Some people have never run more than a 5k,” said Cole.
“I’m sure there are some that really try to have a competitive time. I’m not one of them,” added Beavers.
Then there’s the perspective of KFD Captain Brad Elliott. “There’s no set time when I’m going to finish. I’m going to socially run.”
For most that will dress out, that’s the overall motivation. Being a part of something big in the community while also bringing a close team even closer.
“I like to see the benefit that the guys get out of it. Promoting something healthy. Promoting activity and it does bring everyone together,” Elliott told WATE.
“Some people thought they would never run one of these,” added Cole. “But they get out there and they do it and you want to celebrate these guys and gals.”
Being there for each other, it’s an important trait that translates from one day on the marathon course to a day on the job when your life and theirs depend on it.