I have looked back at previous post and haven't found anything about Volunteer Depts making thier applicants perform any type physical agility test during the hiring process. We are a combo dept with full time and paid on call firefighters. We have all passed our dept test and the state c-pat.

What i'm wanting to know is if any of the Volunteer Depts do a physical agility test, if so what you make the candidates do, and do you (Chiefs, Asst. Chiefs, Officers) think this is a fair practice. Our town has grown beyond our capiabilities and the city won't hire anymore fulltime, so we are going to recruit 20 to 30 volunteers to help us out. All honesty, we are basicaly looking at a way to weed out the wanna be's.

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A volunteer department near here (North Texas) was at the time the only one of its kind requiring its members to complete physical agility testing. The test, which I participated in at least 10 years ago, was typical: pull LDH off engine, connect to hydrant, advance hand line maybe 100 feet and open nozzle, shut down and return nozzle, connect and disconnect 3-inch sections, pull roof ladder off engine and throw ladder on side of training house, carry hi-rise pack up ladder to roof, then back down, strike railroad tie 20 times with sledge hammer, strike ceiling maybe 10 times with pike pole, drag dummy maybe 75 feet... I may have missed a thing or two. You had 9 minutes to do all that, which was plenty for most volunteers. I think you got 3 chances to pass. Most passed the first time.
It was a good test of stamina. Some who were overweight and/or out of shape could not pass it, thus reducing the department's liability exposure and workers compensation rates. It's definitely a fair practice, especially if your department has plenty of volunteers. It bothers me when departments have to lower their standards just because they don't have enough manpower.
Good luck with recruiting and stay safe.
We dont do an physical agility test, but we do put our candidates through a 3 week class that is prety demanding on the body. Once we hit the hose class its full gear and most of it is with an SCBA on. I know we got rid of one or two guys the last time I worked one.
You say you use a department test and the state CPAT. Which one is it then? If the town is hiring more paid on call then I suggest making the town run the CPAT.

Certified Physical Ability Test - accredited, so it seems pretty job related and fair to me.
Our firefighters are required to run a modified version of the firefighters combat challenge within there first 90 days and they must pass it or be removed from the department. Every firefighter must pass it annually as well.
after one fire you know what you have to do!pt
We put all our applicants through a PAT prior to making them a probe. The PAT consists ofthe following tasks while wearing full PPE and pack, but not breathing air:

1. Connecting a 2.5" line to a hydrant, charging the line(this hydrant is the most favored hydrant in the county, 36 turns to open it up fully), bleeding the line, shutting off the line, draining off the water and disconnecting the 2.5. The hydrant is at the top of an embankment so half of your trips are uphill!

2. Driving a crosstie 12 feet by striking it with a 10# sledge.

3. Taking a chainsaw and a set of irons and climbing 3 flights of stairs. Once the candidate reaches the top landing, they must simulate cutting the door, then take the saw and irons back down the stairs.

4. Candidate must remove a 24' extension ladder from a truck and properly set it up for use, then take it down and re-stow it.

5. Candidate must roll a (pre-rolled) stick of 2.5 hose 100 feet.

6. Candidate must drag a hose-dummy 100 feet.

7. Candidate must drag 100' of 1.75 hose a distance of 100 feet.

8. Candidate must place the tip of a set of hydraulic spreaders beneath a ladder rung and hold it in position for 60 seconds(to simulate using the spreaders)

9. Candidate must connect and disconnect two sections of 2.5 hose.

This entire evolution is timed, but if there are more than 8-10 candidates, you tend to hit traffic jams which allow a little extra rest time between tasks.

So to answer your question, yes, we put all our applicants through a PAT prior to acceptance in the service.
rick what do you consider a wanna-be
I'm in a combo department and every firefighter and EMT, paid or volunteer, have to go through the same process. EMTs have a different physical agility test, firefighters have to pass a cpat, but everyone goes through interviews, oral boards, medical & psych evals, etc.
My cousin is a paid guy and also is the chief for our neighboring vol dept . I can tell you that he puts those guys and gals through pure hell. It's actually pretty funny to watch them throw there guts up. I think he does a good job of weeding out the weak. Those who really want it will be there till the end of it , but most don't last.
the ones that wanna wear the t-shirt and wanna carry a pager or radio, or the mayor's buddy, but don't have any intention of actually doing anything
It's funny that I see this post as we just did our test for the new recruit class. We have them go through our own test which is close to a CPAT test our they can come in with a current state cpat card. Out of 11 who took the written 3 had cpat cards, two of them came out and saw the aerial up and asked if they had to climb it (YES!!) so they just walked off and got in their cars and left. One passed out and three tapped out during the test and of course one vomited. This is for our volunteer firefighters some just came out of the local collage academy. So I think your dept. must do some sort of a test to weed them out. How can you depend on this person to back you up.
thanks absolutely right i just wanted to see if we all had the same opinion of the whackers and oh man them guys get under my skin it's hard for me to keep my mouth shut when they are around

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