Stage 1 - Physical Aptitude Test (PAT)

Firefighting is a physically demanding occupation. The Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Physical Aptitude Test, or PAT, consists of tasks which simulate work carried out by firefighters at emergency incidents. The PAT is used to gauge if a candidate's level of fitness is suitable for a career as a firefighter. The PAT is a highly validated assessment designed specifically to identify and recruit individuals who are physiologically capable of tolerating the work-related stress of firefighting.

The FireFit Training Guide is available to help you train specifically for the tasks involved in firefighting – and prepare you for FRNSW’s Physical Aptitude Test (PAT). Don’t leave anything to chance and don’t wait until your invitation to the PAT comes along – start training now. Download the FRNSW FireFit Training Guide

The following videos show each of the tasks that make up the PAT. Candidates should note the criteria and requirements for each of the tasks. The PAT will be performed as a circuit in the same order as the videos. You must not run at any point during the PAT.

Rest can be taken between tasks but remember this will increase your overall time for completion of the PAT.

During the PAT applicants wear personal protective equipment that a firefighter wears during an emergency. This includes over-trousers, tunic, self-contained breathing apparatus cylinder, structural firefighting helmet, and general purpose gloves. Ankle weights are worn to replicate the weight of firefighting boots. Candidates should wear a t-shirt, shorts and athletic footwear. Shoes with spikes or cleats are not permitted.

The Physical Aptitude Test is divided into three stages.  It is important for you to understand how you will progress from one stage to the next.

Stage 1.

Stage 1 is made up of 2 tasks and is not timed.

The tasks are:

  1. reduced visibility search
  2. ladder simulation.


Stage 2.

Stage 2 is made up of 4 tasks.  Firefighters generally completed this stage in under 15 minutes. Please note you will not progress to Stage 3 before 15 minutes so you are encouraged to pace yourself throughout this Stage.  Your assessor will keep you informed on how you are progressing.  Should you complete this stage before the 15 minutes is up, you may use this time for recovery before Stage 3.

The tasks are:

  1. single-sided jerry can carry
  2. stair climb with single-sided jerry can carry
  3. rescue tool static holds
  4. repeated hose drag.


Stage 3.

Stage 3 is made up of 2 tasks. Firefighters generally completed this stage in under 2 minutes.

Tasks are:

  1. fire attack simulation
  2. firefighter rescue.


To view the FRNSW PAT in its entirety (raw footage, no commentary) on YouTube, click here. (external link)