1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Physical agility requirements for hiring on a volunteer/combination department?

    What does everyone think about requiring applicants to pass a physical agility test before being accepted on a volunteer/combination fire department?

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Lt: I fully agree. I have just joined a combination dept. outside the Boston area with roughly 60 on-call members and 4 career members including the chief (other officers are either on-call or career in neighboring depts). The dept. takes very seriously the fact that volunteers are facing the same dangers as full-timers, and thus should be expected to perform at the same level of physical preparation and professionalism. The recruit training program I was a part of included live burns, search, rescue & fire attack evolutions in smoke-filled environments, 110 ft. aerial ladder exercise, SCBA dark-room drills, and multiple written and physical foot tests.
    We also ran laps before every training class. For the sake of everyone on the fireground, I believe all should have mutual confidence in the abilities of team members to handle all tasks.

    Stay safe!

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Our department is just starting an agility test for new hires. I fully support it because it saves time,energy, and money that could be used on someone that is more suitable for the job.

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I think agility tests are a great idea. However they're no good if there is nothing afterward. We've all seen people come on a Fire Dept., then in a few years put on 25, 50, or 75 pounds. What good is it to require new people to be in shape when a guy who has been on for 5 or 10 years can't get out of bed without breaking a sweat? I'm on a fulltime dept but am also on a part-paid/part volunteer dept. in the township I live in. The chief decided to have 2 classifacations for the volunteers. Combat and support. To be "combat" you would have to pass certian physical requirements with regard to wearing a SCBA, climbing ladders ect. Combat people would wear the new black helmets and support would wear our older yellow helmets.
    The only problem is that there are a few full time FF's that probably couldn't pass the testing. Support isn't an option for the fulltimers. There job description is quite clear.
    Well, to cut myself off lets just say we have a chief with no backbone, about 3 or 4 fulltimers with less than 8 years on and 1 or 2 with more than 20 years on who probably couldn't pass a job related physical test and a room at headquarters that has been full of new helmets for at least 6 months.
    The motto of our chief must be "If you don't do anything you can't do anything wrong!".

  5. #5
    Kelly Tool
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I agree with David, for a small rural department like mine agility tests could weed out quite a few of our members, making it tough to have enough members(it is bad enough) but we do require any applicants to receive a physical from a doctor.

    Put the wet stuff on the red stuff!

  6. #6
    Chief Taylor
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Red face

    We are only less than 1 year old as a Fire Dept, but I am going to start requiring a physical agility as I have been disapointed at some of our volunteers that even I (the Chief) beat a young 21 year old FF'r that is on our dept.
    It only helps protect everyone and I think is a fun motivational tool as well.

  7. #7
    Ski LFD-3
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Red face

    Im on a call dept. in Leicester MA. wich is right outside of Worcester. when i was appointed to a auxillary firefighter all we did was training ff1 stuff and i thought it was great this past january myself and another person in my company were appointed to regular firefighter possition adn it was under the condition that we past a dot physical and a physical agility test. at first i was kinda ****ed at this because we were like the ginny pigs no one else had to do it but we did but im glad we did it now im ready and i know i can handle the fire ground. i think my town should change the procedgere though in stead of investing all the time training people and paying my for people they should have them take a pysical agilitys test before even they start to train

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In the county I am from we are a combination system. New volunteers applying have to pass a physical and a Bruce Protocal Stress Test. This Stress Test watchs for the heart beats. It is very tuff. Currently I don't think I could pass the test.
    Just a couple weeks ago I complained about being dizzy on a call. Went to the doctors found that my artery on left side of my head was plug 99% . After the testI was operated and repaired the artery. I have two more weeks of healing but after 30 years of service. I think I might start doing some physical training. Stop smoking and hopefully be a firefighter for a little longer.

    Marlboro VFD, Co45
    Assistant Chief

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