The physical fitness test, administered by the University of Alberta's Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport and Recreation - provides a measure of your physical readiness for a career in professional firefighting. Effective preparation is absolutely critical as you will have a single opportunity to take the test during a recruitment cycle.

Edmonton Fire Rescue Services receives 2 important pieces of information after the physical fitness test is completed.

  1. The results demonstrate that you, the candidate, can or cannot meet the minimum criteria to perform the physical duties of a professional firefighter.
  2. The results provide you with an accurate indication of your overall physical readiness. Beyond the minimum requirements, the test can identify areas you should continue to work on developing in order to best prepare yourself to be a recruit firefighter, should you be successful in your application.

The physical fitness test is challenging and it is expected that the same level of commitment that you invest in preparing for the test will be continued into training and throughout your career.  

Prior to receiving a job offer, the recruit firefighter’s physical readiness will be reassessed to ensure all physical requirements are still met.

Components of the Physical Fitness Test


Each test requires your best effort and is divided into:

  • The aerobic endurance (treadmill) test
  • The 6, 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.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

All tests are to be completed while wearing firefighting Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that weighs approximately 22 kg (50 lbs). This includes 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

Orientation to the job simulation tests consists of a "walk-through" session to practice each of the tasks. This is a chance to familiarize applicants with testing procedures and 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 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during rest periods.

The tests are briefly described in the General Information package.

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 3 hours of intermittent, extremely strenuous exercise (optimal nutrition and hydration strategies are individual) 


  • Alcoholic beverages for at least 24 hours prior to the test
  • Smoking and caffeinated beverages for at least 2 hours prior to the test
  • Eating for at least 2 hours prior to the test (for early morning appointments, do not skip breakfast - instead, eat a light meal 3 hours prior)

NOTE: The firefighter recruitment process is subject to change.

What to Bring
  • Very Important: Medical Clearance Form - completed by a physician, this form ensures that there are no medical contraindications to the exercise tests. This form must be presented when you check in for testing.
    • NOTE: Excessive use of supplements can impact your medical testing. Use common sense when using them.
  • Government-issued identification with photograph (i.e., Driver's Licence)
  • Customer Service Centre receipt as proof of payment
  • Clothing: 2 short-sleeved t-shirts (no sleeveless), shorts, sweatpants / track pants, 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 day-use locker
  • 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
  • The work Physiology Laboratory is room 3-450 in the Van Vliet Complex
  • Enter the main entrance on the east side of the building and follow the signs to the testing location
  • Locker rooms (with showers) are on the lower level
  • Consult the University of Alberta Campus Map for parking locations