Having the physical capabilities to fight fires and protect lives is very important to Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R). In order to ensure that firefighters remain physically able to do the demanding tasks of their job, they are required to participate in either PF&R’s physical agility test, or a comprehensive physical one time per year. This ensures that all employees are healthy and able to complete their jobs effectively.
From August through October 2010, all sworn members of Portland Fire & Rescue will be required to take part in either a physical agility test and/or an International Association of Fire Fighters/International Association of Fire Chiefs approved fitness assessment. The physical agility test and fitness assessment is designed to evaluate the candidate's ability to perform firefighting activities.
The Physical Agility Test, or PAT, is the same test required for new recruits. It includes nine different stations, all of which simulate tasks that firefighters may need to complete in the case of a fire. While doing this, firefighters must wear their helmet, turnout jacket, and a Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) facsimile which weighs 21 pounds.
For this test, the firefighter must be able to:
- Lift a ladder on and off of a rack twice
- Carry a hose bundle that weighs 59 pounds to the 5th floor of the training tower
- Moving a fan weighing 50 pounds up to a door mount and back down
- Carry a 75 pound gas fan 75 feet
- Raise a 25 foot straight ladder from the ground to the building and back down
- Raise and lower a 35 foot halyard ladder
- Drag a 165 pound hose dummy around a cone
- Carry two foam buckets that weigh 50 pounds each 200 yards
- Pull a 125 pound sled with a hose nozzle 100 feet
All of these stations must be completed in less than 8 minutes and 2 seconds. Although this is physically demanding it is a necessary test. During a fire, or other emergency, firefighters are often required to work in physically demanding situations for prolonged periods of time. This test ensures they are capable of safely performing tasks.
For the yearly examination, some firefighters choose to participate in a physical instead of the PAT. This test includes:
- Two minutes of wall sits
- 15 minutes past your target heart rate on the treadmill
- 30 consecutive push-ups
- A grip test
- BMI calculation
- Hip and stomach measurements
- Sit and reach measurement
All of these tests ensure each and every Portland firefighter is physically capable of safety performing his or her job. Being physically able to accomplish a job is a necessity for firefighters.
Additional photos have been posted on PF&R's Facebook page. Link here!
Portland Fire & Rescue We Respond: Always Ready, Always There
August 10, 2010