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Step 2: Physical Tests

As part of the on-call firefighter recruitment process, you will be required to complete the following 5 physical tests that assess fitness, strength, stamina, coordination, dexterity and ability to work at height and within enclosed spaces.

* Please note that testing equipment may vary and the videos are an indication of what candidates can expect but do not mirror exact test conditions.* 

This programme gives you some advice to help you improve your fitness in preparation for the physical tests. 

FireFit Recruitment Fitness Programme 

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service is committed to equality of opportunity. If you would like information on the reasonable adjustments that can be made at this stage of the application process, please contact

Ladder Climb

Candidates wear a safety harness and ascend two-thirds of the way up a 13.5-metre ladder and take a leg-lock. They are then asked to lean backwards and outstretch their arms to the sides, and then whilst looking over their shoulder they are to say out loud what symbol is being shown by the assessor at ground level. This will test confidence at heights.

Enclosed Space

Candidates put on a facemask with un-obscured vision although this will be in a dark environment.  They will make their way through a crawl and walkway. Once inside the crawl/walkway, they have their vision obscured and return to the start. This will test confidence, agility and stamina. 

Equipment Assembly

Candidates are given a demonstration of the test before having to assemble and disassemble a number of components to make an item of equipment which will test manual dexterity.

Drill Ground Assessment

Candidates are required to complete a series of tasks that simulate firefighting activities such as carrying equipment, running out hose and casualty evacuation, within a set time. This is a test of physical fitness. 

This video gives you some ideas of how you can train for the drill ground assessment at home or at a gym.

Ladder Lift Exercise

Candidates are required to lift the ladder lift simulator to the required height and lower it safely under control. The cradle is loaded with 15kg but including the weight of the equipment the total is approximately 25kg.