Physical Testing

Last updated: Jun. 05, 2015 at 2:53 PM

Physical fitness is an integral component of firefighting. A commitment to a life-long fitness regime is essential to safely performing firefighter duties. Once you are a Full-time Firefighter with the Spruce Grove Fire Services it is a requirement to complete the physical testing once a year.

To prepare for the intense physical demands as a firefighter, you should already be following and maintaining a total body program specific to the job that focuses on:

  • Flexibility
  • Cardiopulmonary endurance
  • Muscular strength and power
  • Muscular endurance
  • Healthy body composition

The physical test simulates tasks that are similar to the duties of a firefighter. This will evaluate a Firefighter's strength, endurance, stamina and fortitude. A Firefighter is expected to complete this in under eight (8) minutes. The Firefighter will wear full bunker gear (including liner) bunker coat (including liner), bunker boots, firefighter helmet (including liner), balaclava, firefighter gloves which are provided. The Firefighter will perform the test while wearing a breathing apparatus that consists of SGFS issued approved Scott Breathing Apparatus with a “45 minute bottle”. This must be performed on air.

Effective Preparation

  • Arrive well nourished and well rested (strenuous exercise on the days immediately before is not recommended)
  • Practice in advance to know the amount to eat and drink during three hours of intermittent, extremely strenuous exercise (optimal nutrition and hydration strategies are individual)
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages for at least 24 hours prior to the test
  • Avoid smoking and caffeinated beverages for at least 2 hours prior to the test
  • Avoid eating for at least 2 hours prior to the test (for early morning appointments, do not skip breakfast but eat a light meal 3 hours prior)

Tasks are performed one after another on a continuous basis and are described below:

  • Orientation/Walk-Through
    The orientation to the job simulation tests consists of a "walk-through" session to practice each of the tasks. 
  • Immediately prior to and after the physical test a full set of vitals shall be completed.
  1. Firefighter with hose photo. Carry 1 length of rolled 3.5 inches (65mm) hose a total of 100 feet (30m). Changing hands after 50 feet (15m) and returning to the line.
    a) 50 foot walk.
  2. 10-foot(3m) or 12-foot (3.6m) ladder carry for 50 feet (15m), and raise against a structure.
    a) 100 foot walk.
  3. Firefighter training - Charged hose advance test Charged Hose Advance Test
    Candidate drags a charged (full of water) 38 mm (1.5 inch) hose a distance of 45 m (125’). Three 15 m (50') lengths of hose are "flaked" behind the starting line. The nozzle is held over the shoulder and candidate advances to the finish line as quickly as possible. This test assesses lower body strength and anaerobic power.
    a) 50 foot walk
  4. Firefighter on ladder photo.Ladder Climb Test #1
    The candidate climbs a 7.3 m (24’) ladder to the 10th rung touching both feet on 10th rung and returns to the floor as quickly as possible. This task will be repeated three times. This test assesses muscle strength, endurance, and anaerobic capacity.
    a) 50 foot walk.
  5. Drag a skid
    With 2 – 35lb weights by a rope over the candidate’s shoulder a total of 50ft (15.24m), candidate then returns the skid using either a hand over hand or a one or two hand pull technique back 50ft to the line.
    a) 50 foot walk.
  6. Firefighter training - Forcible Entry Simulation TestForcible Entry Simulation Test
    Using a 4.5 kg (10 lb) steel sledge hammer, the candidate strikes a rubber tire as rapidly as possible to complete a simulated entry task and must move a rubber tire weighing approx 225.5lbs (102.5kg) (large tire with 35lb weight) a distance of 12 inches (30.5cm). The tire lies on a piece of plywood on top of a picnic table. The sledgehammer may be held in any manner while hitting the tire but not pushing it. This test assesses muscle strength and power, particularly in the upper body.
    a) 50 foot walk.
  7. Firefighter training - Dummy dragVictim Drag Test
    The candidate carry/drags a Rescue Randy mannequin weighing 68.2 kg (150 lb) a total distance of 30 m (100'). The test starts with the mannequin lying "face-up" on the floor and the candidate standing. The mannequin cannot be dragged by its clothing. The candidate lifts the mannequin and walks backwards for 15 m, turns around a traffic cone and returns to the start line as quickly as possible. This test assesses strength, power, and agility.
    a) 50 foot walk.
  8. Ladder Climb Test #2
    The candidate climbs a 7.3 m (24’) ladder to the 10th rung touching both feet on 10th rung and returns to the floor as quickly as possible. This task will be repeated two times.
    a) 50 foot walk.
  9. Lower the 12ft (3.6m) ladder and carry it 50ft (15.25m) touch the line and lower the ladder to the ground.
    a) 50 foot walk.
  10. Firefighter training - jaws of life Equipment Carry/Vehicle Extrication Test
    The candidate lifts and carries small (18 kg or 40 lb) vehicle extrication tools (the “Jaws of Life”) a distance of 30 m (100’). The tool will then be returned to the starting location. This test is designed to evaluate the strength required to lift, carry and work with heavy tools in rescue situations.

 

Immediately after the physical test a full set of vitals shall be completed.