Preparation for Recruit School

While a career as a firefighter/EMT is very rewarding, to be successful it will require physical preparation on your part for recruit school as well as continuous effort throughout your career. 

You need to be able to perform strenuous work in a hot environment, wearing heavy gear and equipment. Training in an air conditioned gym will not prepare you for this, but beginning some sort of anaerobic training will prepare you. Much of the work you will perform during fire recruit school will require aerobic as well as anaerobic conditioning.

Physical Expectations

It is very important to begin recruit school in a physical condition that will permit you to actively participate in the physical tasks required in school. The following outlines those physical expectations for recruit school.

  • In the early weeks of recruit school you will be required to run 2 to 2.5 miles, three days per week. This distance will increase throughout recruit school.
  • You will also participate in the “firefighter-conditioning course” and a strength challenge course two days per week. 
    • This is a physically challenging, job-specific course that is designed to strengthen the muscle groups used most commonly in the firefighting profession and will require you to work in an anaerobic state wearing turnout gear and air pack. 
    • This will add approximately 50 pounds of weight and hamper your body’s ability to cool down.
  • During fire school, a typical morning of physical activity will consist of a 2.5-mile run, 45 minutes of strenuous weight training, and the first one-hour rotation of practical drills. In the afternoon, there are four more hours of practical drills. 
    • This schedule is only a typical day and will change occasionally to accommodate various classes.

Preparing Yourself Mentally & Physically

This is a sustained program and one hard push a day will not suffice. Entering this recruit training process in poor physical condition may lead to injuries or inability to complete required physical tasks, which could lead to your removal from the recruit school. You are encouraged to prepare yourself, both mentally and physically, for the physical fitness requirements that lie ahead.