Fire fighting is a rigorous job that requires individuals to be in top physical shape. They are often subject to intense workouts through their daily jobs. If you’ve ever had to carry a body that is sleeping or passed out over your shoulder you know that carrying dead weight is much harder than carrying a person that is alert.
Although the programs are often different depending on where you live, all fire fighters are subject to some level of physical aptitude test. These tests aim to determine whether or not a candidate can do the everyday activities they might see on the job. Some common tests that are administered include:
The Stair Climb
How many times will a fire fighter have to climb stairs throughout their careers. Thousands of times and probably tens of thousands of stairs. The tests generally mimic a stair climb by adding a 10-15lb pack on their back. The goal is to replicate a hose that they might be running up and down stairs with. In my opinion this might be the hardest of the tests they make you do.
The Hose Drag
Another very common task is the hose drag. Applicants must drag a hose to a given location. At this location they must mimic hooking the hose up by kneeling for a short period of time. Finally they have to pull the hose back in.
The equipment carry is pretty self explanatory. The testee has to haul tools from the truck to the emergency location and back.
Keys to Passing These Tests
These are just some examples of the tasks you will be required to perform in order to become a fire fighter. It’s no wonder that so many fire figthers are ex-athletes who are already in great shape to begin with. Regardless of whether or not you’re an ex-athlete or you’re in terrific shape or not these are some things you’ll want to keep in mind.
Most of the drills are high intensity workouts. You should train the same way, there is no point training as if you’re running a marathon when really you’ll be running a sprint. Obviously endurance training is a great thing, but you need to make sure you also do some high intensity work.
Train both your cardio and your strength. This is super important, often times guys will only weight train or they’ll only work on their cardio. Every single task is a test of stamina and strength. If you can bench 500lbs that’s terrific, but if you can’t run a decent 10 mile you’re going to be in trouble. Remember both aspects are crucial.
Injury Prevention is critical! If you’re injured you’re going to have a heck of a time pulling hose around an obstacle course. Stretching correctly, warming up well and using rehab tools like a grid 2.0 foam roller can do wonders.