1. #1
    Ed Shanks
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Physical Agility test

    I think our Physical Agility test - the one that's part of the hiring process - is too easy. See if you agree, and if you would, jot down what your department does.

    We make the prospective hirees do 2 minutes of jumping jacks, nonstop. We make them run an 8-minute mile. We make them climb a ground ladder up to a school roof and step off the ladder and retrieve a spanner wrench. It's about 15 feet up. We make them trot 50 feet out a 2 1/2 hose, uncouple it and roll it towards a pumper truck, and raise the roll to the bed, in 2 minutes. We make them carry a rolled 2 1/2 along a 10 foot 4 x 4 without falling off. We make them crawl along about 200 feet of 1 1/2 hose in blacked out air pack mask, and retrieve an object. We make them do 50 situps in 2 minutes. We make them do 25 pushups in 2 minutes. We make them dead lift 150 lbs. (to the waist). AND as long as you can do the ladder and the blacked out mask, you can blow off any one of the rest.

    I'm going to talk to the chief about recommending to the Civil Service Board that we at least use our 95' Sutphen tower to make the prospects climb up 50' into the bucket, pull a length of 2 1/2 up into the bucket and lower it, and climb back down in a certain time. This would be a better reflection of ability to work at heights, and a more accurate gauge of chest/upper body strength than pushups.

    IAFF 1176

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest



    Hit this link to view the P.A.T. given to all Civil Service fire candidates in Massachusetts.


    Each applicant is given a booklet with a 16 week exercise program to prepare for the test. Hope this information helps you.

    Mike Gentili

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Ed - how is that test job related? I've never climbed to a roof to get a spanner wrench - they're on the truck or in my pocket. Seriously though - that is not an example of a "job related" test and you may have a problem should anyone feel the need to fight the test in court.

    To get hired at Barberton a candidate must be able to run 1.5 miles in 13 minutes (NFPA 1001), and climb our ladder 70' at a 70 degree angle without stopping. If they can do that they take the Akron FD agility test consisting of these steps...forgive me if I make a mistake, I'm going by memory...
    1. Drag a bundle of 2.5" with tools 50' to a hydrant
    2. Open hydrant with 13 turns (they torque it down - it never gets easier as you go)
    3. Walk back to truck and pull preconnected 1.75" hose 75'
    4. Pick up charged 1.75" line and drag 100' through the training tower.
    5. Pick up 150' bundle of 1.75" hose and carry to 3rd floor hitting all steps and using the hand rail, come back down.
    6. Take 24' extension ladder off rack at truck, walk around truck with ladder and replace it.
    7. Put on blacked out mask, crawl through maze (30 feet?)
    8. Pick up dummy (185lbs?) and drag 40'
    9. Hit three spots on a high wall with a sledge 15 times each (45 good swings) - hit it hard or they will keep counting 1, 1, 1, 1, etc.
    10. Pick up electric smoke ejector and hang it on door of training tower.
    This test is done wearing street shoes with ankle weights, turnout pants and coat, helmet, gloves and an old steel SCBA. They out the blacked out mask on you when you get to the maze, you never go on air. You have 8:33 to complete all the steps. I think the record is in the 3+ minute range. The test has been tested by law and found to be appropriate.

    Ed - contact the AFD training bureau at Station 14 - they can set up a time for you to see the test run and maybe you could adapt something like that for your department. Also, check with the IAFF on the new IAFF/IAFC wellness thing - I think it includes a "job related" and SAFE testing procedure.

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Hey Ed, it should be interesting to see the difference in testing. Our depts physical agility test for the new applicants is the same as the one we have to take every year. The applicants have to do it in less than 7 min, and we are asked to try and do it in the same time, but it doesnt allways happen. Here goes.

    The test is done in full turn out gear.

    Pull a charged 1 3/4 line 150 feet long, pull it 50 feet.
    then walk over to the training tower and pick up a bundle of hose ( 3, 1 3/4 hose ) carry it up 3 flights of stairs, when you get to the top put the hose down and then pull a rolled up section of 3 inch hose 3 flights. At this point we give them a break for 90 seconds ( not timed ). Next they place a roof ladder against the building, then they go around the building and climb a ladder 2 flights and come back down, then they walk around the building again, then they use a sled like they use at the combat chalange, after that they have to crawl through a small maze, and then they are off to the fun part of the test the dummy drag, 185 pounds for 50 feet. We used to have a 5 foot wall, that we had to jump over, but we had to take it out becouse some one was afraid that it could be a problem if some one took the test to court.

    Have a good day and be safe.

    Local 3905

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    After taking our test, we had several applicants complain that our test was biased against females. They were mid 20's in age. It was put together by our local Occupational Health Center using several sources for data (NFPA, IAFF, etc).
    Our Mayor is very supportive of the FD, and actually kind of cool. After the Mayor came to the FD for a personal assessment of the test. The complainers dropped their complaints when they saw that not only did the Mayor take the test, SHE passed it--and at 53 years of age! Oh...by the way, for anyone who thinks we're "sexists", we hired a female and she's one of the best rookie firefighters I've had the privilige to work with.

    Steve Gallagher
    Chillicothe (Ohio) Fire Department

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    The physcial for moat of the Valley of the Sun FDs consist of the following (or they did before this IAFF test that has been validated by the justice department). I might have the order off a little.

    1. Raise a 24' ladder
    2. Turn a hydrant 8(?) times (it has a gas cylinder to keep the pressure on)
    3. Pull 200' of 2-1/2 hose until it is all flaked out.
    4. Ventilation prop: hit a pressure sensor with a double-jack (sludge) 50 times, with enough force that is.
    5. Crawl through an attic (approx 15') and back.
    6. Take a roof ladder of an engine and replace it.
    7. Drag a 185#(?) manikin about 100'.

    You must complete this in 7:20, not a difficult task at all, even with a Helmet, coat, and SCBA on (not breathing air).

    Alan Romania, CEP
    IAFF Local 3449

    My Opinions do not reflect the opnions of the IAFF or Local 3449.

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    This what the new hires have to do in the department recruiting program where I work. We (everyone that is envolved in supression) also have to perform this TWICE ayear with the exception of task 1.

    First you have full turnout (coat,pant,boots,gloves,has to be firefighting gloves not leather work gloves,hood and helmet) and 30 minute SCBA w/ mask

    Task 1. - Climb aerial 70ft at aleast 70 degrees of angle with out stopping in 3 minutes. After the recruit is down he/she has 1 minute to done the mask. Yes, the rest of the test is done with mask on flowing air.

    Task 2.- Walk to apparatus and take roof ladder off of apparatus setting it on the ground. Stand straight up and put hands in the air. Put ladder back on apparatus.

    Task 3.- Walk to 35ft extention ladder and raise to full extention. Retract ladder without letting halyard slip through fingers. This has to be in a controlled manner.

    Task 4.- Stretch 2 1/2 200ft (uncharged).

    Task 5.- Crawl through a simulated attic space 10ft and crawl back out the way you came in.

    Task 6.- Keiser Sled (enough said)

    Task 7.- There are 5 individual tightly rolled 2 1/2 (cotton jacketed w/brass couplings) on a table 2 ft high. Transfer to other table. Distance of appro. 8-10ft.

    Dont forget! You are on air!

    Task 8.- Rescue Randy! Drag that heavy S.O.B.
    30ft around a cone then back. You have the option of using a strap or just pick him up and drag.

    Now you just thought you where done.

    Now you have to option to breath the rest of the air down to zero OR go into the break station and great a drink and change bottle. Yes! Change bottle. While you are in the break station you have a 4 minute break time.
    Now that you have had your 4 minute break.

    YOU DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN (except the aerial climb)

    The great thing about it, is that you have no time limit. The object is to not run out of air.

    Be safe J.B.

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Escambia County Fire Rescue adopted the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue's entry test. As did the Pensacola Fire Dept.. The test has been validated and is 100% JOB RELATED. Here's how it goes...

    In a turnout coat, helmet, gloves & SCBA the firefighter applicant shall...

    1. Pull a charged 1 3/4" hose 100' in less than 20 sec..

    2. Walk to the "sled". With a dead blow 8# sledge hammer, strike the sled moving it 5'.
    Do this in less than 45 sec.. This is to demonstrate forcible entry.

    3. Immediately proceed to 2 50' sections of 2 1/2" uncharged hose. Pick up one of the sections and pull it 50'. Place it on the ground, turn and walk back to the other section and pull it 50'( the object is to get the bend out of the hose so it lays straight on th ground).

    4. Walk directly to the outside stair well.
    Pick the High Rise Pack consisting of, 150' 1 3/4", gated wye, nozzle and reducer. Place the pack on your shoulder and proceed up to the 4th floor landing. Remove the high rise pack from your shoulder and put it on the deck. Walk to the end rail of the landing. There you will pull a rope with a storage rolled 50' section of hose tied to the end. It must be pulled hand over hand and brought completely over the railing onto to the deck.
    Walk back to your high rise pack and place it on you shoulder. Proceed down to the ground. There you will drop the pack and go straight to the dummy drag. With a fireman's carry, drag the 165 lbs dummy all the way the 25' mark.

    At this time your time stops.

    If the applicant goes over 5:40 sec., the applicant fails.
    If the applicant cannot complete any one of the task, the applicant fails.


    I hope this helps you with your P.F.T..
    Our dept. also has an annual P.F.T. that is similar to the entry test. F/F's not passing it will be remeediated. If that fails they receive disiplinary action and could lose their job.

    '99 National Champs #1

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    the agility test for the dept. I work at consists of the following:

    1. 8 sec. hang or 8 pull-ups (if you hang your nose must br above the bar).

    2. 35' ladder raise (using the halyard and it is tied off to the roof of the sta.)

    3. walk a 4" 12' long beam carrying a rolled 2.5" hose without falling off.

    4.drag a wooden sled containing 2 50' sections of 5" supply hose 75'

    5. 35 bent knee sit ups in 2 minutes.

    6. climb the 75' aerial at a 70 degree angle without stopping.

    7. run 1.5 miles in 16 minutes or less.

    this is the same for full time positions as well as for part time candidates. I think it is a fair test except for the run. we lose a lot of good people because of the run. AND YOU CANT WALK A MILE AND A HALF IN 16 MINUTES!!!!!! I TRIED IT!!!!!

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