Physical Ability Test
All tasks of the test are considered essential to the position of firefighter. The candidate will be walked through all of the tasks before performing them. Candidates who have questions about the tasks shall ask the test administrator.
Failure to complete any of the tasks constitutes failure of the entire test.
There are 2 timed portions of the test. Each of the portions of the test has a maximum time limit for that portion of the test. If the candidate exceeds the time limit of either portion of the test, the candidate fails the entire test. If the candidate fails Portion 1, he/she shall not be allowed to take Portion 2.
The candidate will perform all tasks of Portion 1 & Portion 2 while wearing athletic shoes or lace up boots with rubber or synthetic soles, a fire helmet and fire gloves. Additionally, candidates will wear a full body harness during Portion 1 and an SCBA weighted to 45 pounds during Portion 2.
In preparation for the Physical Ability Test, it is advisable for candidates to:
- Have done some sort of physical conditioning in preparation for the examination.
- Get a good night’s rest.
- Eat a well-balanced meal early on the day of the test.
- Be aware of indications of overexertion (tightness or pain in the chest, numbness in arm, dizziness, nausea, profuse sweating, breathlessness or loss of muscle control). If any of these symptoms develop, stop the test IMMEDIATELY.
Portion 1: Aerial Ladder Climb- Maximum Time 3:00 (3 Minutes)
**Note: Maximum sustained wind speed of 35 mph
The candidate will stand on the turntable of the aerial ladder. The candidate cannot touch the ladder with any portion of their body until the administrator says “GO”. When the administrator says “GO”, the candidate’s time will start. The candidate will then climb the fully extended 105’ aerial ladder set at a 60 degree angle one rung at a time until he/she touches the top rung of the ladder and then proceed back down to the turntable one rung at a time. The candidate’s time will stop when both feet of the candidate touch the turntable.
** The Candidate will then receive a 5-minute break between Portions 1 & 2 of the test. During this time, the candidate shall be assisted in removing the full body harness and donning an SCBA weighted to 45 pounds. Once the candidate is properly outfitted for Portion 2 of the test, he/she may sit, stand, walk around, etc. during this break. However, the candidate must be at Task 1 of Portion 2 when this break ends. Failure to be at Task 1 of Portion 2 when the break ends shall constitute failure of the entire test. Periodically, an administrator shall notify the candidate of their remaining break time.
Portion 2: Drill Field and Tower Exercise- Maximum Time 6:00 (6 Minutes)
**Note: for candidates who are tied entering the PAT, the candidate’s time on Portion 2 shall be used as tie-breaker #1
(#2 education/certification, #3 drawing lots)
- Ceiling Breach: The candidate will stand outside of the prop until the administrator says “GO”. The candidate will then step into the prop and obtain a 6’ pike pole from its mounted position and utilize it to push the simulator up 5 times, then pull the simulator down 5 times, then push the simulator up 5 times again, and then pull the simulator down 5 times again. Each time the simulator is pushed up and pulled down, full contact must be made with the stop. An administrator will count out successful repetitions. At least 1 foot of the candidate must remain within the frame of the simulator at all times during the task. The candidate will then lay the pike pole down on the ground.
- Dry Hose Drag: The candidate will then proceed to 2 sections of uncharged 1 ¾” hose coupled together with a nozzle attached. The candidate will advance the nozzle and dry hose in a straight line 72 feet to a marked point and lay the nozzle on the ground.
- Charged Hose Drag: The candidate will then proceed to the nozzle attached to a charged hose line consisting of 3 sections of 1 ¾” hose and advance the nozzle 110 feet to a marked point and lay the nozzle on the ground.
- Hose Pack Carry: The candidate will then proceed to the front door of the drill tower and locate a hose pack of 2 sections of 1 ¾” hose. The candidate will pick up the hose pack and place it on his/her shoulder. The candidate will proceed to the 3rd floor of the drill tower and place the hose pack on an X marked on the floor.
- Hose Pull: The candidate will then proceed to the balcony of the third floor of the drill tower and will pull 1 rolled section of 3” hose to the third floor balcony and will place the hose roll on the balcony. The candidate will then proceed down the stairs and outside the building.
- 14’ Ladder Handling & Climb: The candidate will then proceed to a 14’ ladder lying on the ground at one side of the building. The candidate will lift and stand the ladder against the wall of the building at the proper climbing angle as indicated by a marked point, climb the ladder, touch the top rung and proceed back down the ladder.
- 35’ Ladder Extension: The candidate will then proceed to a 35’ extension ladder which he/she shall fully extend using a hand-over-hand method on the halyard and lock both sets of dogs. At least 1 foot of the candidate must stay within the box at all times during the task.
- Dummy Carry/Drag: The candidate will then proceed to the rear of the tower to a dummy weighing approximately 165 pounds on the ground. The candidate must move the dummy 70 feet to a point at the front of the tower. The candidate may carry the dummy over the shoulder or under the arms with a drag (either is acceptable). The candidate’s time will stop when all of the dummy crosses the line. The candidate must lay the dummy down in a controlled motion so that if the dummy were a person, no injuries would result.
To view a video of the PAT click here