When you apply to be a firefighter, you will be asked to arrange a fitness assessment to check your level of aerobic fitness.
You will be required to demonstrate a standard of 42 VO² max, which is the national minimum standard for someone joining the fire service. This is achieved via the Chester Treadmill Walk Test – click here for more information, so you can practice at the gym ahead of your assessment and be prepared for what is needed.
Firefighting is a difficult and demanding job, so we have to test whether new joiners are fit and able to perform all aspects of the role that may be required for operational duties.
Applicants must therefore be able to undertake the following basic functions:
- Movement – sprinting, running, jogging, walking, climbing stairs, climbing ladders, crawling, jumping, hammering, digging.
- Strength – lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling weights, objects and equipment ranging from 5kg to 40kg plus.
- Vision – acceptable visual acuity, normal colour vision, normal field of vision.
- Hearing – acceptable hearing in the fireground environment.
- Environment – fire compartment temperatures above 100°C, elevated temperatures (30°C – 100°C), sub-zero temperatures, dust, overcrowding, open spaces, height, enclosed spaces, total and partial darkness, working in and under water, hazardous substances, smoke, high humidity.
- Groups – addressing groups of people.
- Pressure – dealing with traumatised victims and/or others, e.g. relatives and members of the public, making critical decisions quickly.
- Breathing Apparatus – using self-contained breathing apparatus.We test for most of these functions during the selection process, so you should consider your physical fitness and abilities in the areas above before you progress with an application.
Next stage: Interview