Physical Ability Test


View a short video that highlights the physical ability test.

The physical ability assessment will be administered as a part of the candidate assessment process for a Firefighter/EMT position with Chesterfield Fire and EMS.


The physical ability assessment will consist of seven skill stations. These stations are a representation of common physical tasks required of Firefighter/EMTs. The procedure is as follows:

  • The first six skill stations are one continuous, timed measured event. Successful completion of all six stations in seven minutes or less is required to move forward and complete the entire assessment. Additional causes for failure are listed for each station.
  • Skill station seven is an individual event and is not timed.
  • The candidate shall don a weighted vest (50 pounds), helmet and gloves prior to attempting the timed event. The department will provide all of the equipment items.
  • Recommended attire for this test shall be athletic clothing and tennis shoes. Candidates are asked to remove jewelry (i.e., watches, bracelets and rings).
  • All stations shall be scored pass or fail.

Skill Stations

  1. Ceiling Breach & Pull Event
  2. Hurst Tool Event
  3. Hose Drag Event
  4. High-Rise Pack Event
  5. Ladder Raise Event
  6. Rescue Event
  7. Aerial Ladder Climb Event

Timed Event

Ceiling Breach & Pull Event

The candidate removes the pike pole from the bracket. Timing for the events will begin when the candidate enters the boundary established by the equipment frame which is painted yellow. The candidate must stand within the boundary established by the equipment frame and place the tip of the pole on the green painted area of the hinged door in the ceiling.

The candidate will then completely push the hinged door up into the ceiling with the pike pole three times. Next, the candidate will hook the pike pole to the ceiling device painted green and pull the pole down completely five times. This constitutes one set. To complete this event the set is repeated four times. Each set consists of three pushes and five pulls.

Dropping The Pike Pole & Ending The Event

The candidate is permitted to stop and, if needed, adjust their grip on the pike pole. If the candidate releases their grip or allows the pike pole handle to slip without the pike pole falling to the ground, it does not result in a warning or constitute a failure. The candidate may re-establish their grip and resume the event. One warning is given if the candidate drops the pike pole to the ground.

If the pike pole is dropped, it must be picked up without the evaluator’s assistance within 10 seconds to resume the event. If the candidate does not successfully complete a repetition, the evaluator will call out “miss” and the candidate must fully push or pull the apparatus again to complete that repetition. The event ends when the candidate completes the final pull stroke repetition as indicated by the evaluator who calls out “complete.” The candidate then proceeds to the next event.

Critical Failures

Critical failure can include:

  • Stepping on or outside of the yellow painted boundary during the event
  • Dropping the pike pole and being unable to pick it up and resume the event within 10 seconds
  • Dropping the pike pole a second time