Step 2. Physical Aptitude Test (PAT)

Being a part of the Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) team is physically demanding and being ready to help anyone, anywhere, anytime is critical to responding to any emergency necessary.

The FRNSW Physical Aptitude Test, or PAT, consists of tasks which simulate the work carried out by firefighters at emergency incidents. The PAT is used to assess 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 demands of firefighting.

The Fire Fit 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). So we encourage you to start training now; download the FRNSW FireFit Training Guide.

Important to note:

  • The videos below show each of the tasks that make up the PAT.
  • The PAT is performed as a circuit in the same order as the videos below.
  • Candidates should note the criteria and requirements for each of the tasks.
  • Candidates must not run at any point during the PAT.
  • Rest can be taken between tasks but this will increase the overall time for the PAT completion.

During the PAT candidates wear:

  • A t-shirt, shorts and athletic footwear. Shoes with spikes or cleats are not permitted
  • Personal protective equipment that a firefighter wears during an emergency; these will be supplied (over-trousers, tunic, self-contained breathing apparatus cylinder, structural firefighting helmet, and general purpose gloves)
  • Ankle weights that replicate the weight of firefighting boots.

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

Stage 1.

Part 1 is made up of two tasks and is not timed.

The tasks are:

  1. reduced visibility search
  2. ladder simulation.

Stage 2.

Part 2 is made up of four tasks.  Firefighters generally complete this stage in under 15 minutes. Please note candidates will not progress to Part 3 before 15 minutes so they are encouraged to pace themselves throughout this part. 

An assessor will keep everyone informed on how they are progressing. 

Should you complete this part before the 15 minutes is up, you may use this time for recovery before Part 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.

Part 3 is made up of two tasks. Firefighters generally complete this stage in under two minutes.

Tasks are:

  1. fire attack simulation
  2. firefighter rescue.