The firefighter physical training requirements are as varied as you could imagine. Some believe the best way to train to become a firefighter is to work out with heavy weights. I advocate a combination of strength and fitness.
Standard firefighting equipment is heavy and cumbersome. A Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) weighs roughly 50 pounds. A 50 foot length of 3 inch hose also weighs 50 pounds and firefighter turnout gear adds another fifteen pounds. It’s not uncommon to be wearing over 100 pounds while climbing stairs prior to fighting a fire.
It’s important to have the aerobic capacity as much of what we do requires a high level of physical fitness. Climbing stairs and pulling hose will definitely tax the most physically fit firefighters.
The firefighter physical training requirements are determined by the individual fire department. In other words, each department determines the minimum physical standards. Many departments elect to accept a physical agility exam that has been developed by a testing agency. In these cases, a firefighter candidate completes a firefighter agility course in the allotted period of time and is given a card that verifies that he or she has passed. The certification card is usually good for 6 – 12 months. Following this time, the candidate must complete the course again. It’s important for the candidate to make sure he or she keeps the current on the certification as departments will often ask for a current certification for those who are being considered for hire.
The firefighter physical training requirements job are very demanding. The firefighter physical agility tests are designed to test for the MINIMUM physical training requirements. Candidates who barely pass the agility test often struggle mightily during a physically demanding fire academy. It’s important to understand that a fire academy will not get you into shape; it will weed those out who are not in top physical condition.