Could you pass these Fire Service fitness tests?
PUBLISHED: 09:56 14 January 2019
Essex Fire and Rescue Service has unveiled its gruelling training regimes, tests and taster sessions.
If a career as a firefighter appeals to you, then here are some of the physical tests you will be required to pass if you want to join up.
The tests have been revealed by Essex Fire and Rescue Service in a 17-page guide for potential recruits thinking of becoming a firefighter.
So what are the tests you would have to pass?
There are seven physical tests that Essex firefighters set their trainees:
1. The Bleep Test - a 20-metre shuttle run test between two lines. Starting with slow jogging and steadily building up to a run, each beep gets faster and faster - you have to reach level 8.6 to pass.
2. The Ladder Lift - A test of upper body strength. Bicep curl an approximately 30kg bar to chest height and then shoulder press the bar making sure it goes higher than 1.9m.
3. The Ladder Climb - Helps build confidence working at heights. Recruits have to demonstrate a correct leg lock (as taught by instructors) before identifying a symbol shown on the ground.
4. The Equipment Carry - Tests aerobic fitness, strength and endurance. Carry a range of equipment typically found on a fire engine within a certain amount of time.
5. The Casualty Evacuation - Walk backwards while dragging a 55kg dummy around a 30m course in a set amount of time.
6. The Confined Space Crawl - Cramped and blinded, you have to crawl around half of an enclosed route with clear vision, before wearing a breathing apparatus or blackout mask to finish within a set time.
7. Manual Dexterity - A race against the clock. Assemble and disassemble a piece of firefighting equipment using pictorial and written instructions.
What’s the training routine like?
If those tests sound a bit daunting, do not panic: there is also a guide on how to improve your strength and cardiovascular endurance.
There are warm-ups and benchmark tests with diagrams for the most basic fitness buffs, plus tables and advice to keep you on track.
The training program does not have to lead up to a firefighter test - use it to get in shape or improved your fitness.
A spokesman said: “Starting from the very first warm-up, the guide offers various tips on how to improve both aerobic fitness and strength.
“Whether you’re thinking of applying to become a firefighter or even just want to stick to a New Year’s Resolution to get fitter, the guide will help improve your fitness and give you something to aim for this year.
“The exercises can all be completed at home and by running outside.”
The exercises in the guide involve the use of a barbell or dumbbells, using incremental increases in weights to push further along the challenging routines.
How can I find out if I’m good enough for the fire service?
There are four taster session being held this month for those who think they have what it takes to join the ranks of Essex’s firefighters.
There are three sessions open for all and a fourth that is exclusively for women.
Spaces are limited but you can book tickets for the sessions here:
January 19, 11.30am – 1.30pm: Women only
January 19, 2-4pm: Mixed-gender
January 26, 11.30-1.30pm: Mixed-gender
January 26, 2-4pm: Mixed-gender
The crews recommend a bottle of water and sportswear for anyone attending the sessions.
There is no parking available at the test centre so the force ask those visiting to plan their journeys and park considerately.
What if I can’t make any of these session?
There is a recruitment day at Maldon fire station on Saturday January 12 for anyone interested in finding out more about becoming an on-call firefighter in Maldon, Burnham-on-Crouch, Tillingham and Tollesbury.
On-call firefighters are paid for the work they do and often carry out their role alongside their main employment, either by leaving their job when they are called out or offering cover once they finish their shift.
Station manager Karen Nicoll said: “Supporting on-call firefighters, whether it’s by becoming one yourself or releasing your employees to provide cover, is the ultimate show of community spirit.
“Without your support we simply could not deliver our mission of keeping Essex a safe place to live, work and travel.”