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Firefighter Recruitment Physical Fitness Test

Applicants' physical fitness is tested to ensure they possess physical capabilities necessary for firefighting. The University of Alberta's Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation administers this test.

A grouping of the highest-ranked applicants who passed the test will advance to the next stage of the recruitment process.

Location

  • The physical fitness test is conducted at the University of Alberta's Universiade Pavilion (the Butterdome), which is located on the northwest corner of 87 Avenue and 114 Street
  • Enter the main entrance on the east side of the building and follow the signs to the testing location
  • Locker rooms (male or female) with showers are on the lower level
  • For where to park, please consult the
    University of Alberta Campus Map

What To Bring

  • Very Important: Medical Clearance Form - Completed by a physician, this form provides medical clearance that the applicant is capable of being tested physically. Please bring on your day of testing.
  • Government-issued identification with photograph - Driver's Licence, for example
  • Payment - Non-refundable money order for $346.50 ($330+GST), payable to the City of Edmonton (cheque or cash will not be accepted)
  • Clothing - Two short-sleeved t-shirts (no sleeveless), shorts, sweatpants/trackpants, running shoes, and thin and thick socks (to help fit firefighting boots)
  • Hydration and Nutrition - Water bottle or sports drink and small snacks for rest periods
  • Locker Room - Towels and a lock for a day-use locker

Physical Fitness Test

The physical fitness test is divided into two components: the aerobic endurance (treadmill) test, and the six task-specific job simulation tests. There is a 1-hour rest period between the treadmill test and the orientation/walk-through for the job simulation tests. Each test requires maximal effort.

Personal Protective Equipment: All tests are to be completed while wearing firefighting personal protective equipment (PPE) that weighs approximately 22 kg (50 lbs). The PPE is the helmet, flash-hood, gloves, pants, boots, jacket and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). Applicants will not breathe from the SCBA, but must carry it. For safety during the treadmill test, running shoes are substituted for firefighting boots. For safety on the ladder during the job simulation tests, a fall-protection harness is worn.

Orientation/Walk-Through: The orientation to the job simulation tests consists of a "walk-through" session to practice each of the tasks. This chance to familiarize applicants with testing procedures takes approximately 30 minutes. It provides a suitable warm-up for the demanding tests that follow. The orientation is mandatory and must be completed by all applicants.

Rest Period: Each test is followed by a rest period of 3 minutes for recovery and hydration. Applicants are not permitted to leave the testing area or remove any of the PPE during rest periods.

The tests are described briefly in the following sections:

Aerobic Endurance

Charged Hose Advance

Rope Pull

Forcible Entry Simulation

Victim Rescue

Ladder Climb

Equipment Carry/Vehicle Extrication

Effective Preparation

  • Arrive well nourished and well rested (strenuous exercise on the days immediately before is not recommended)
  • Practice in advance to know the amount to eat and drink during three hours of intermittent, extremely strenuous exercise (optimal nutrition and hydration strategies are individual)
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages for at least 24 hours prior to the test
  • Avoid smoking and caffeinated beverages for at least 2 hours prior to the test 
  • Avoid eating for at least 2 hours prior to the test (for early morning appointments, do not skip breakfast but eat a light meal 3 hours prior)

Note: The firefighter recruitment process is subject to change.

For more information:

Faculty of Education and Recreation, University of Alberta

Email firetest@ualberta.ca