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In an emergency call 999
For general enquiries call 01158388100
Monday - Friday -

Fire cover public consultation is now open: visit our consultation page for more information about the proposed changes and you can have your say by filling in our consultation survey.

Job related tests and fitness standards

To be a firefighter you will need to have a good overall level of strength and fitness. To give you an idea of what these levels are, we have outlined the required standards, for both strength and fitness, on this page. We have also put together the below videos to provide you with information and a brief insight about our job-related tests. It is our hope that armed with this information, you will be able to successfully prepare yourself for life as a firefighter.

Fitness and Medical Standards

To aid in getting to the required fitness levels and for more information about the medical assessment and standards, it is essential that you refer to the Firefighter recruitment fitness (.pdf, 41 pages, 13.5Mb) and medical guide (.pdf, 5 pages, 923Kb).


Tests If you successfully pass the online assessment and application form stages of the recruitment process, you will be invited for a day at our Service Development Centre (SDC) in Ollerton to carry out job-related tests.

The day at SDC will give you a brief introduction to the fire and rescue service, and outlines what life as a Firefighter will entail, before testing your ability to safely undertake the role of a firefighter.

The job-related tests that you will be asked to carry out will include:

  • Bleep Ladder Test (also known as shuttle run)
  • Ladder Climb Test
  • Ladder Lift Test
  • Equipment Carry Test
  • Equipment Assembly Test
  • Enclosed Space Test
  • Hose Running Test

Bleep Test (also known as a shuttle run)

Also known as the shuttle run, this is a test of your cardiovascular fitness and stamina. It involves running back and forth between a set of cones that are 20 metres apart. It will be on a flat surface, starting at level one and finishing at level 23 - getting harder and harder as the levels get higher.

Ladder Climb Test

This is to test your confidence whilst working at height. With the guidance of an instructor, you are required to demonstrate a correct 'leg lock' at ground level before ascending a fully extended 13.5m ladder. You must climb this ladder to approximately a second storey height before performing another 'leg lock'. You will then be asked to lean back with your arms outstretched and describe a symbol shown on the floor.

During this test, you will be wearing full fire kit (personal protective equipment), a helmet and a harness.

Ladder Lift Test

This is a test of your upper and lower body strength, and your ability to lift a ladder – something that you will regularly do as a firefighter.

You will be expected to again wear full fire kit and raise a bar that is already 75cm off the ground, to full arm extension and back down again.

Equipment Carry Test

This tests your cardiovascular fitness, stamina and muscular strength and involves carrying a range of fire and rescue service equipment around a course. This must be done within a certain time.

Candidates are required to:

  • Pick up and carry two rolls of hose for 100 metres
  • Carry one roll of hose at chest height for 25 metres, and then jog 75 metres
  • Pick up and carry a 2.4 metre long suction hose and basket strainer for 100 metres, then jog back 100 metres
  • Pick up and carry a weight for 100 metres

Equipment Assembly Test

This tests your manual dexterity and requires candidates to follow a set of instructions to assemble and disassemble a piece of equipment – within a set time.

For those who are not familiar with climbing equipment, take a look at this guide to ropes and pulleys.

Enclosed Space Test

This tests your confidence and agility when working within an enclosed space. You will be required to wear full fire kit and a breathing apparatus mask whilst crawling through a series of tunnels in darkness. This simulates some of the conditions that firefighters may face when dealing with compartment fires.

Hose Running Test

The hose running test is designed to analyse the endurance, co-ordination and upper and lower body strength of a candidate, whilst carrying a load. In order to pass the test, candidates are required to run out and make up several lengths of 70mm fire hose within the allotted time.