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If you are applying to become a UK Firefighter you will have to undergo as part of the selection process a number of physical tests. These tests will access your level of fitness, strength and agility as well as determine your level of confidence in given scenarios.  You can be the fittest person alive but if you struggle in confined spaces or have a fear of heights a career as a UK firefighter may not be for you. 

There are currently six tests that make up the UK Firefighters physical tests.

Enclosed Space
Wearing full PPE and a BA set (not under air) you will be asked to negotiate your way around a crawling gallery, also known as the 'Rat Run' in set time frame. This is a test to see how you cope in confined spaces. You will need to demonstrate agility and prove confidence during this test.

Ladder Climb
During this test you will be expected to climb a 13.5 ladder to second storey height and demonstrate a leg lock which you would have already practiced before ascending. You will then be asked to  lean backwards with arms outstretched and anwser some simple questions or identify a symbol on the floor. During this test you will be wearing full PPE including a body harness.
This tests your confidence with working at height.

Ladder Extend and Lower
This test simulates the extending and lowering of a ladder. You will be expected to haul a weight verticaly up to the height of approx 1.8m using a line/rope. You will then have to lower it again under control. The weight should weigh no more than 20kg.

Dummy Drag
This test requires you to drag a 55Kg dummy, simulating a casualty evacuaution backwards around a 30 metre course. This is a test of upper and lower body strength.

Equipment Carry
During this test you will be expected to carry various items of equipment over certain distances in a set time period. This is a test of fitness, stamina, endurance and strength. Listed below are the items you will need to carry over the set distances.

Physical Entrance Tests
Don't Forget - warming up and cooling down are two ways of staying one step ahead of injury. You can find some good examples of both dynamic and maintenance stretches on our 'Warm up/Cool down page.

WARNING: Please seek advice from your Doctor before undergoing any exercise recommended on this site.
  • Enclosed Space - Crawling gallery /Rat run
  • Ladder Climb - 13.5 ladder
  • Ladder Extend and Lower
  • Dummy Drag - 55Kg
  • Equipment Carry
  • Equipment Assembly
  • Drag a hosereel from a fire engine for 25 metres, then jog back.
  • Pick up and carry two coiled lengths of hose of 100 metres.
  • Carry one length of coiled hose at chest height for 25 metres then jog back 25 metres.
  • Pick up and carry a 2.4 metre length of suction hose with basket strainer attached 100 metres then jog back 100 metres.
  • Pick up and carry a simulated 'light portable pump' weighing approximately 30Kg 100 metres. 
In addition to these six physical tests, depending on what fire service or brigade you are applying for, you may be expected to undergo an additional fitness test.  Please contact your respective brigades to find out more. You can gain more information on  the Chester Step Test, VO2 max test or Bleep test here.

For information on the Medical part of your application click here

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