Before we introduce Jack Running, Chief, (Ret.) of the Township Fire Department, here is a brief history of volunteer firefighting in the United States.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, many American colonies formed volunteer fire brigades. When a fire broke out, members of the community would form bucket brigades, using leather buckets to pass water from nearby sources to extinguish fires.

In the early 19th century, volunteer fire companies spread to other cities, including New York City, Boston, and Baltimore. These companies were often privately organized and funded by subscription fees or donations from the community.

In the mid-19th century, many cities began developing municipal fire departments. These typically employed both career firefighters and a core of volunteer firefighters.

Currently, volunteer fire departments continue to play a vital role in fire protection across the United States. Volunteer fire departments are particularly prevalent in rural areas and smaller communities where budget constraints and population density make it challenging to maintain a full-time fire service. Today, an estimated 70% of American fire departments are staffed by volunteers.

This brings us to Jack Running, Adjunct Instructor at Chippewa Valley Technical College, retired Fire Training Coordinator, and Chief, (Ret.) Township Fire Department.

For 45 years, Jack Running has volunteered at the Township Fire Department. He served as Fire Chief for the last 21 years.

Coming from a farm family where it was common to help out neighbors, Running grew up helping others. When an opportunity to join the volunteer firefighters came up, Running knew this would be the perfect way to be active in protecting his community.

Since that time, Running has committed 25 hours a week, volunteering for the Township Fire Department, overseeing five stations with more than 30 vehicles, and training 100 volunteer firefighters.

Running retired from his daytime job but is still leading the Township Fire Department. In 2019, he received a Jefferson Award from our Media Partner WQOW News 18, Eau Claire, WI.