As part of the selection process you will be required to pass a Firefighter Medical examination, carried out by a Doctor within the Occupation Health Department of the Fire and Rescue Service. Prior to attending the medical your GP will be asked to supply your medical records, with your consent.
After filling out a Firefighter medical questionnaire, detailing your previous medical history, you will undergo a number of medical tests to determine your health.
The Firefighter Medical test includes:
Lung Function test - Lung function tests measure the size of your lungs, how much air you can breathe in and out, how fast you can breathe air out, and how well your lungs deliver oxygen to your blood. These tests also are called pulmonary function tests.
Lung function tests measure:
• How much air you can take into your lungs. This amount is compared to that of other people your age, height, and sex. This allows your doctor to see whether you're in the normal range.
• How much air you can blow out of your lungs and how fast you can do it.
• How well your lungs deliver oxygen to your blood.
• How strong your breathing muscles are.
The test will involve taking a deep breath and forcefully exhaling into a tube for as long as you can until your lungs are empty. A reading will then be taken to measure your lung capacity and flow.
Hearing test - An audiometer hearing test is used, during which time you will sit in a soundproof booth wearing a set of headphones which is connected to the audiometer. The audiometer produces tones at specific frequencies and set volume levels to each ear independently. You will convey that you have heard the tone by either raising a hand or pressing a button.
Step test - The Harvard Step Test is used to measure your heart rate recovery following a given work load. The Harvard Step Test consists of 3 or 5 minutes of stepping up and down using a stable box or step measuring 46 cm in height.
The pulse rate is then measured at the 1st, 2nd and 3rd minutes of recovery after finishing the step test
Physical Strength / Stamina - A machine will be used to test your back and thigh strength when squatting. You are required to achieve a minimum measurement. You will also have a test to measure your grip strength.
General Medical tests – During your Firefighter medical the doctor will examine you generally and discuss the contents of your medical questionnaire with you.
If you have any queries regarding the firefighter medical or your previous medical history you should contact the Fire Service Occupation Health Department of the Service you have applied for. They will be able to answer your questions.