Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


On-Call Firefighter Fitness

Many people worry that they aren’t fit enough or strong enough to be a firefighter when this probably isn’t the case. Being a firefighter is a physical job, but most people can reach the average level of fitness that we require.

Our Fitness Team are here to support you throughout the National Firefighter Physical Tests to ensure you understand what’s involved and inform you on how you can improve your fitness level.

The exercises test your level of cardiovascular and muscular strength/endurance:

  •  Aerobic fitness test – this is also known as the bleep test or shuttle run test and involves running between two points which are 20 metres apart.
  • Ladder climb – this ensures you’re confident at working at height.
  • Ladder lift – a strength test to ensure you can lift a ladder.
  • Casualty evacuation – also known as a dummy drag, this will test your upper and lower strength.
  • Confined space test – Making sure you’re not claustrophobic and have confidence manoeuvring through tight spaces while wearing equipment.
  • Equipment carry – This tests your aerobic fitness, strength and stamina.
  • Equipment assembly – Also known as the manual dexterity test, here you will put a piece of equipment together using a step by step instructional guide.

Some of this may sound intimidating but don’t forget that you’ll be invited to try some of these activities out before a full assessment day so that you’re confident and informed. And if you struggle we’ll support you in understanding where your weak areas are so you can come and try again another time.

Visit our fitness page for more information or follow our Fitness Team on Instagram.

Ready to apply? Fill out an application form.

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