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Physical Tests

The tests are timed and consist of the following:

Ladder climb

Whilst attached to a safety line, you’ll climb a 12m ladder and carry out a selected task within a time limit. This test will assess your confidence and co-ordination whilst working at heights.

Casualty evacuation

A simulated rescue of a casualty. You will need to drag a 55kg (8 stone) dummy backwards around a 30m (100 foot) course around four cones within a set time. This test involves upper and lower body strength and stamina.

Ladder lift 

You will need to raise the bar of a ladder lift simulator weighing 30kg (4 stone) to a height of 190cm (6 foot 3 inches) to simulate housing a ladder back on an appliance. This will test upper and lower body strength. 

Equipment carry

You will need to carry a variety of Fire Service items over a 25 metre (82 foot) course around two cones within a set time. This is not a test of memory as the safety officer will remind you of the sequence of events.

This will test your aerobic fitness, muscular strength and stamina.

Equipment assembly

This aims to test your ability to comprehend and follow instructions. You’ll be asked to assemble and disassemble a piece of equipment following a series of diagrams within a set time frame.

This is a physical test of manual dexterity.

Enclosed space

You’ll negotiate your way through a measured crawlway wearing a Breathing Apparatus facemask within a set time. Your vision will be  unobscured/obscured and you will be asked to identify a number of objects during this test.

If you pass the above tests, you will then be invited for a Medical and a Chester Treadmill Test.


A full medical examination by the Service’s Occupational Health Adviser is required. The purpose of the medical is to assess your general level of health and to ensure you are fit to take on the role of a firefighter.

A medical report from your GP may be requested, for which your consent will be required. Any conditions you may have are assessed on an individual basis. 

All conditions are assessed in line with the requirements of the job.

Fitness Test- Chester Treadmill Test

Once you have completed your medical, you will also need to undergo and successfully complete a Chester Treadmill Test which measures aerobic fitness. A 42vo2 max standard needs to be met. 

The role of a firefighter can be physically demanding in arduous conditions, therefore it is vital from a health and safety and well-being perspective that applicants meet minimum fitness levels.

Further information

The guide contains useful hints and tips on preparing for the fitness tests, how to improve your cardio and strength levels and what to expect during the fitness tests.