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Probationary Emergency Medical Technicians

Physical Ability Tests

Applicants for Probationary Emergency Medical Technician must complete all seven stations of the Physical Ability Test. Each station tests a different combination of job-related skills. Each applicant will be timed separately as he/she performs the test. The overall time is a key component of the applicant's overall consideration in the hiring process.  Applicants can also view a video of the course.

Image of a Fire Department employee going over the Barrier Station.

Station 1: Ladder Climb

Applicants must climb – one rung at a time – a 24-foot, pre-thrown, secured ladder using the hand-over-hand method. Applicants will climb to the top, touch the painted area, and climb back down again, using the same method. They must complete this task once. This station is pass/fail only.

Station 2: Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

The applicant must kneel beside a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) mannequin and perform two minutes of chest compressions, rest for 15 seconds, and perform another two minutes of chest compressions.

Stations 3 to 7

Applicants will don a 33-pound weighted vest in addition to the hard hat and gloves required in Stations 1 and 2. They are timed continuously from Station 3 through Station 7. Running is not permitted at any time; instead, they are encouraged to maintain a brisk pace. Applicants may rest at any time during the testing. However, the time taken for rest periods will be reflected in the applicant's overall score.

  • Station 3: Rescue Drag
    Applicants must drag a 120-pound tire by the attached rope for 24 feet past a cone, turn around and drag the tire back 24 feet to the starting point. They must complete this task once.
  • Station 4: Barrier
    Applicants must climb over a 42-inch high barrier. 
  • Station 5: Stair Chair/Stretcher Lift
    The applicant will pick up a 33-pound stair chair from a designated location and proceed to the second story of the burn building. Once at the second story, he/she places the stair chair in the designated location. Then, the applicant proceeds to an affixed piece of stretcher equipment and raises and lowers it five times. He/she returns to the stair chair, picks it up, returns to the ground level and places it in the original location.
    Image of a Fire Department employee assembling nuts and bolts.
  • Station 6: Tower Climb/Bag Carry
    Applicants must carry a 19-pound medical bag to the fifth floor of the building and call out "medic." After receiving confirmation, they proceed back down the stairs to the ground floor. 
  • Station 7: Nut and Bolt Assembly Exercise
    This exercise tests the manual dexterity required to perform delicate tasks after physical exertion. Applicants must assemble and disassemble four pairs of nuts and bolts of various sizes.

Physical Ability Test Waiver Form and Data Sheet

You must have a Medical Authorization Form (PDF), signed by your doctor, in order to take the physical ability test. Download and print the Medical Authorization Form. Be sure to allow your doctor enough time to complete this form. Applicants who fail to bring a completed and signed form with them will not be allowed to participate in the physical ability test.
In addition, all applicants must complete the Applicant Data Form (PDF) and bring it with them to the physical ability test. 

Revised July 26, 2013

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