Q&A Feature: How Do I Become a Firefighter?
Preparing for Physical Training
Q: How do I get into shape to keep up with training?
A: Click on “HOME” at the top of this page. Then click on “Training Center” at the bottom of the list at the left. Then click on “Fitness with Stew Smith” on that list. Stew has some great free training that he posts on this site, plus some great programs you can purchase from his site. Haven’t tried those, but the freebies are great. Also, some departments or even colleges that offer the CPAT as part of their fire science degree program will let you practice for the CPAT with them. Check that out and you’ll see what that’s like. Also check out this website for more CPAT info: http://www.charmeck.org/Departments/Fire/Recruitment/CPAT.htm.
A: When I was in training, one was required to do the “Dummy Drag” which required a trainee to drag a weighted dummy (usually 175-185 lbs.), along with being able to carry a 24ft. extension ladder by yourself and raise it to roof height properly, etc. etc. I could keep going on, but the requirements vary from state to state and city to city, so I would check with your local department and your state government on what the usual requirements are, if that is what you would like to find out to help you prepare for training. If I were you I would start weight training and running. Where I started running a certain distance or anything like that was not a requirement, however I found out that in real world situations after training, going above and beyond what is required helps a lot. Also, another thing to keep in mind is that one should be mindful of being in areas where it is extremely hot. Its not just being inside a structure that is on fire where you will find heat, it is also the weather as well. Turnout gear, if you are not familiar, consists of several layers and is heavy, especially if its wet, and working outside in the dead heat of summer while wearing full turnout gear, not to mention any other equipment, can be physically demanding as well. If I were you I would also work outside, or in any other hot environment, for extended periods of time to help yourself get used to the conditions. I hope this helps.