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Preparing for the physical and practical tests

To be a firefighter you will need to have a good overall standard of fitness. As part of the recruitment process there will be series of physical and fitness tests.

If you would like to take part in our next Firefighter Fit 10-week training programme, with firefighter personnel trainers to guide you, subscribe to our mailing list.

Fitness tests

Run - A 1.5 mile run in timed conditions

Cooper Test, which is a test to determine VO2 Max (1.5mile run) by estimating the maximum amount of oxygen you can take in during maximum exertion. There are many factors that affect VO2 Max such as your gender, genetics, age and body weight. To find out the time you should be working towards add your credentials here: DOWNLOAD COOPER TEST CALCULATOR (XLSX)

Lateral pull-down

The individual will be required to pull a weight of 10kg for 15 repetitions, followed by a weight of 20kg for 12 repetitions (reps) and finally a weight of 30kg for eight reps. A lateral pull-down machine will then be used incorporating a rope hand grip, with a set weight of 60kg (approximately).

A single shoulder press of 30kg

The individual will be required to lift a weight of 5kg for 15 repetitions, followed by a weight of 10kg for 12 repetitions (reps) and finally a weight of 20kg for eight reps.

A barbell will be used, with a set weight of 30kg (approximately). The weight will need to be lifted from a height of 5cm below the individuals chin and pressed to full (overhead) extension.

Follow our shoulder press progression guide to work towards this lift.

Practical physical tests

Ladder climb

You will be tested on your ability to follow instruction. You will be required to climb two thirds of the ladder height, at which point you will be asked to take a leg lock, remove your hands and identify a symbol on the floor.

Crawl through a small tunnel wearing breathing apparatus

This will test your flexibility and your ability to deal with small spaces. You will be asked to find your way through a small crawl way whilst wearing full breathing apparatus.

Dummy drag

This will test your stamina and grip. You will be instructed of the best way to drag the dummy around the cones.

Equipment carry

This will test your stamina, coordination and grip. You will be instructed through this exercise on the day, spend some time training your grip as you will be asked to move some heavy objects.

Equipment assembly test

This is a logical test to see how you follow instructions. You will be shown a small video beforehand and you will be expected to remember the instruction and assemble the kit given.