Thread: Pack Test times

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    Default Pack Test times

    Just took the ARD. pack test for the first time this morning and passed with a time of 39:17.

    My dad blew my doors off with an amazing time of 34:06 (he's been a long time wildland firefighter).

    Just curious as to some other impressive times out there.
    MCFD Station 1- "The Second-Due Saviors."
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    I've always been told it was pass fail, so long as you made it in under the time limit, you're good, and they usually don't even tell us or record our times

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    It is pass/fail only. Some crews will have a friendly competition with their times.
    Last edited by RxFire; 03-29-2008 at 10:58 AM.
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    Eric H who is a BLM SMKJ holds the base record.

    As long as you finish, and feel good is all that counts, if you have guys start pushing themselves to where they have a high heart rate could be bad. So just have an AED on site.

    SMK

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    Quote Originally Posted by smketer View Post
    Eric H who is a BLM SMKJ holds the base record.

    As long as you finish, and feel good is all that counts, if you have guys start pushing themselves to where they have a high heart rate could be bad. So just have an AED on site.

    SMK
    The pack test is no different then any other physical test... while you should have medical support at any physical ability test. The pack test IS a pass/fail but I would rather see my firefighters push themselves are hard as they can for the test then just pass. The pack test is no different then someone running a 10K run, any healthy person can do it. If firefighters are not fit enough to work for 45 minutes at a higher heart rate then they need to start focusing on their cardio conditioning more. You may see people "blow up" and try to go out too fast which is an entirely different issue, but if a firefighter is NOT FIT ENOUGH to work for 45min at a high level they have NO business being on the fireline!

    I have seen a couple quick times, including a 29:18, but I a 99.9% sure there was some running there. The fastest time I have witnessed and I know there was no running was a 36:10.
    Last edited by aromania; 03-30-2008 at 03:11 PM.
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    I agree with you 100 percent aromania. Btw yes I do know the pack test is pass/fail, but like any other test, there are always going to be higher or lower scores.
    MCFD Station 1- "The Second-Due Saviors."
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    Yes I am all for pushing people, I am all for pushing people on the pack test. But just watch the people as your giving the test. Because I have seen in the past, people eat all winter, do very little PT then come on and try to do the Test and it looks like they are going to die.

    Now for you guys that drive Green trucks, or Yellow (USFS/BLM) and you old Shots/SMKJ I would expect your times to be a little better then city boys times.

    SMK

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    We all used to try to finish in under 40 minutes. Now I am happy to finish under 42 minutes. Several years ago my brother tested with a friend that was having some foot problems and they used a GPS to pace themselves to finish in just under 45 minutes. After they did it once they both decided to keep using their method with the GPS and finish as close to 45 minutes as possible. 2 years ago they had 9 seconds left. Their philosophy is they allow you 45 minutes so why no use it.

    It is just a personal challenge to beat a certain time whether it is a low time or as close to 45 minutes with out stopping. It still goes in the books as passed or failed. Good luck and stay safe.

    Brad

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    I'm not trying to get on a wildland team but I wanted to use the pack test as a measuring mark for my stamina. So my daughter and I went to the school track with a pack that weighted the amount needed and she timed me. I was expecting to maybe get it done the first time in about 50 minutes. WOW was I surpised that my very first time with no previous practice I completed it in 43 minutes 33 seconds. After I was done I wasn't really in any pain or sore either. SO now im going to do it once a quarter and work my time lower and lower. Just for personal fun.

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    Were you sore the next day volff034? Cause I sure as hell was!
    MCFD Station 1- "The Second-Due Saviors."
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    Yes some mostly the balls of my feet. I was expecting my legs to hurt but they didn't.

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    you certainly do feel it the next day

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    I haven't been red-carded in a few years and have not had opportunity to take the past test in a while..

    One year, I took the pack test along a track that was finished with these tiny little stones... I wound up getting a bunch in my sneakers.

    I finished, and couldn't put weight on my feet for 3 days, they hurt so bad. I was literally crawling around my apartment it hurt so bad.. turns out that those little stones got in my shoe and really chewed my feet up (although there were no physical marks).

    Now a few years later, I have plantar fascitis in both feet... and i've wondered if my feet were in some way damaged from that event or just from those pack tests? My feet were probably always low arch.

    After a year of stretching and working on them, they are better, but still give me grief from time to time.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    Moving post to another location.
    Last edited by TheEnginist; 07-16-2008 at 04:38 PM. Reason: delete

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheEnginist View Post
    Is there an upper age limit for wildland firefighters? I'm a 60-year-old firefighter in a large city. I'll retire soon and would like to supplement my pension with some wildland firefighting. I don't think fitness would be a problem. I run a 9:30 mile-and-a-half and often do stairs with a weight vest. If I passed the physical part of it, would they give me a job? Or is there an institutional bias against older guys?
    Really depends on where you go for. I know there are a few reserves out where I live that are pushing the 60 mark, and are still smoking kids my age on progressive hose lays.


    But more on topic, my pack for the OCFA's Hand Crew rounded in about 30:06, But I blame my long legs for that one.

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    Default City to Country

    Is there an upper age limit for wildland firefighters? I'm a 60-year-old firefighter in a large city. I'll retire soon and would like to supplement my pension with some wildland firefighting. I don't think fitness would be a problem. I run a 9:30 mile-and-a-half and often do stairs with a weight vest. If I passed the physical part of it, would they give me a job? Or is there an institutional bias against older guys?

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    Cool

    I Have Also Finished In 36.22 With No Running.
    1st Captain Joey Fowler
    Walnut Community Fire Dept.

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    I have known a few guys that are in their late 70's on engine crews that will keep pace with some of the young gung ho kids. If you can pass the pack test and have the right quals there should be no problem being hired.

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    The feds force you to retire from primary fire positions at 57. Other organizations (local gov, contractrors, etc) have their own requirements.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smketer View Post
    Yes I am all for pushing people, I am all for pushing people on the pack test. But just watch the people as your giving the test. Because I have seen in the past, people eat all winter, do very little PT then come on and try to do the Test and it looks like they are going to die.

    Now for you guys that drive Green trucks, or Yellow (USFS/BLM) and you old Shots/SMKJ I would expect your times to be a little better then city boys times.

    SMK

    Couldn't agree more, on every level. My advice, keep and AED and CPR mask handy. My agency has had two major heart attacks during the pack test in the last four years. The first was an inmate- 100 lbs overweight, years of drug abuse, etc. coded and ended up having to have a quadruple bipass. The second the employee had just passed the required doctors physical that included a stress test, ekg, heart & lung's x-ray's, blood, urine, the whole boatload. Needless to say, it can happen to anyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crwb4104 View Post
    Couldn't agree more, on every level. My advice, keep and AED and CPR mask handy. My agency has had two major heart attacks during the pack test in the last four years. The first was an inmate- 100 lbs overweight, years of drug abuse, etc. coded and ended up having to have a quadruple bipass. The second the employee had just passed the required doctors physical that included a stress test, ekg, heart & lung's x-ray's, blood, urine, the whole boatload. Needless to say, it can happen to anyone.
    If only the FS wasn't too cheap to supply us with AEDs. Luckily, the end of our pack test is right where an ALS Ambulance is stationed.

    I am all for pushing people on PT, but I tell my guys to take it easy on the pack test. It is Pass/Fail. PT is for getting strong. The pack test is for passing and not dying.

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    I have to laugh, we don't get AED's either- but coincidentally, our pack test location is two blocks away from an ALS Fire station.

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    Are pack test done on level terrain or hills? I filled up a backpack with 45 pounds of weights and took a walk around town, it wasn't bad at all. If it is done in the hills, I don't think I will do very well.

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    It sort of depends. My agency has always done it a measured track somewhere around town. The engine guys do it at the high school track, and us at the crews go to the nearby dirt track. HOWEVER, The video that I was shown at one time (can't seem to remember when exactly...) showed some poor Forest Service Employee's doing it on a trail over broken terrain.

    The other question to ask is whether or not your responsible for your own weight vest/ weight pack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanofWD40 View Post
    Are pack test done on level terrain or hills? I filled up a backpack with 45 pounds of weights and took a walk around town, it wasn't bad at all. If it is done in the hills, I don't think I will do very well.
    I think the choice of terrain is up to whoever is conducing the test. We do it 3 miles one way on a flat road. 45lbs isn't all that much, but it is a fairly fat clip. Were you walking at 4 miles/hour with that pack?

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