Being a firefighter requires skills and abilities across a broad spectrum. Some of these are tested in a specific way during the application process, others are measured as new recruits settle into their development training.
Below are some of the areas where we need our firefighters to show they have what it takes:
- Mobility – sprinting, running, jogging, walking, climbing stairs and ladders, crawling, jumping etc.
- Communication – collating and passing accurate information; addressing colleagues, managers, members of the public etc.
- Handling pressure – dealing with traumatised victims and/or others, e.g. relatives and members of the public, making critical decisions quickly.
- Strength – lifting, carrying, pushing/pulling of weights, objects and equipment ranging from 5kg to 40kg.
- Claustrophobia and vertigo – ability to wear breathing apparatus and climb/work with ladders.
- Environmental factors – such as 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 around water, hazardous substances, smoke, high humidity.
- Acceptable hearing, eyesight and other medical requirements.