Firefighting is an inherently physical occupation. Many tasks require high levels of physical endurance, strength and power. On a daily basis, and during emergency responses, firefighters with ACTF&R may be tasked to carry and use hydraulic rescue tools, drag hoses, lift ladders and rescue incapacitated casualties.
To ensure that firefighters are able to safely and competently complete physical work tasks, ACTF&R conducts the Physical Aptitude Testing (PAT) of all potential recruits. Firefighting requires that you can undertake many physical tasks, often in time-critical, high-stress environments.
As a firefighter you will be asked to manipulate heavy equipment and possibly rescue people, often on unstable terrain or in awkward positions. Thus, maximising your strength, power and aerobic fitness is critical to your safety and also to completing your work tasks.
Undertaking the PAT
Candidates are given only one chance to pass each individual element except for the balance test, where up to three attempts are provided. During the physical aptitude testing process, candidates are supervised by an experienced firefighter who will ensure their safety and that they understand what each element involves.
Personal Protective Equipment
During the assessment candidates will be required to wear personal protective clothing and equipment consisting of:
- Paper Overalls
Some of the elements will also require the use of a weight vest – the vest weighs 14.5 kilograms and simulates the weight of the over pants and tunic and the breathing apparatus set that firefighters would normally wear.