Step Three: 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. 

Refer to our YouTube channel for an equipment assembly demonstration 

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. 

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.

Refer to our YouTube channel for a ladder lift demonstration 

Gym Based Tests

We are running a strength test trial for our existing firefighters. These may also be used for recruitment in the future. We will be asking you to participate in our trial and undertake these tests, during the recruitment process, so we can gather some data to help us inform our decision.

These tests are not a pass or fail we will only note your performance.

The trial will consist of five tests:

60kg rope pull (1 repetition)

23 x 28kg rope pulls

35kg shoulder press

60kg deadlift (1 repetition)

28kg single arm deadlift (1 repetition each arm)

Refer to our YouTube channel for a deadlift demonstration 

Refer to our YouTube channel for a overhead press demonstration 

Refer to our YouTube channel fora single arm deadlift demonstration 

Refer to our YouTube channel for demonstrations of rope pull techniques

Whilst developing all round fitness should be your goal to help you meet the standard for the recruitment tests, should you wish to use it here is a specific programme to help you improve strength.

Strength Training Programme