Fitness and practical tests

Fitness and practical tests

As part of your journey to become a firefighter, you’ll have to pass a number of activities that will test your fitness and the fire in your belly!

It’s natural to feel nervous about them, which is why we’ve created an eight-week fitness schedule to help you get on track before your test.

Our ‘Have a Go’ days are open to potential applicants and allow you to come and ask questions and test out some of the practical tasks you’ll have to do as part of your role. Our recruitment fitness sessions for female applicants are dedicated spaces for women to test out the exercises in preparation for the real thing.

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"You don't really find those true friends unless you're in a life or death situation. When you go into those places where it is critical, you've got someone there beside you that will do anything and everything to help you."

Bleep test

An important part of being a firefighter is having a good level of fitness. We assess this through the bleep test. This involves running between two points which are 20 metres apart before a ‘bleep’ sounds. As the test progresses, the time between each bleep gets shorter and shorter, meaning you have to run faster each time.

The pass rate for this is the eight shuttle of level eight (8.8).

Ladder lift

The ladder lift is designed to test your upper body strength by mimicking the requirement to lift and lower a 13.5 metre ladder on top of a fire engine. For the test, you’ll have to lift a bar weighing approximately 30kg over your head to a height of 1.90 metres in a controlled manner.

Ladder climb

This tests the confidence of the candidate for working at height and while not physically demanding can be challenging. Candidates will be wearing full PPE, including a fall arrest harness and must demonstrate the ability to ascend and descend a fully extended 10.5 metre ladder and be able to dismount and remount the ladder from the second floor of a drill tower.

Equipment assembly

While wearing fire kit, you’ll take apart and reconstruct an item of equipment against the clock. This tests your dexterity and ability to follow instructions.

Equipment carry

Here you’ll be carrying equipment of various weights and sizes over 25-metre shuttles against the clock – while wearing fire kit. This is similar to what you’d do on the ground as a firefighter.  

You’ll have to cover the total distance of 550 metres in five minutes and 47 seconds or less. You will have to: 

  • Run out the hose reel for 25 metres
  • Walk or jog back 25 metres
  • Pick up and carry two x 70mm hoses (each weighing approx 15kg) for 100 metres
  • Hold one 70mm hose at shoulder height and walk 25 metres
  • Walk/jog back 75 metres
  • Pick up and carry the 100mm suction hose and basket (total weight approx. 12kg) for 100 metres
  • Walk or jog back 100 metres
  • Pick up and carry the pump simulator, which is a barbell (weight approx. 25kg) for 100 metres.

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