DFES PAT Information Guide


Hi there!

This is Brent from FireRecruitmentAustralia.com and today I’m going to run you through the DFES Fitness Testing also known as the Western Australia Fire Services fitness testing.



0:28 The Beep Test
1:16 The Grip Strength Test
2:55 The Physical Aptitude Tests
3:34 Simulated Heavy Tool Operation
4:17 Simulated Hose Drag
4:54 Height Anxiety Test
5:47 Confined Space Anxiety Tunnel Crawl
6:25 Simulated Casualty Rescue
6:53 Equipment Handling
7:52 Hose Coupling Test


The DFES Fitness Testing is part of the next stage of recruitment after the online application and aptitude testing.

The Beep Test

The 1st fitness testing involves the Beep Test which is also known as Shuttle Run Test or the bleep test and a number of other names but it is pretty much one test and it is the first test that you’d be required to do.

The Beep test aims to measure an applicant’s level of cardiovascular fitness and may also be used at later stages to make sure that a candidate can maintain the minimum required fitness level.

Basically, the main goal is to run for as long as possible, at an increasing pace, between two 20 meter markers. The starting pace is very slow. It is almost just like a walk and it increases over time. Your final result will be recorded and you’re looking to get a minimum of 9.6.

The Grip Strength Test

After doing the beep test, you will also undertake a grip strength test with 2 to 3 go’s. Only the highest result for each hand will be recorded.

For the beep test, you must attain a level of 9.6 to be considered any further in the process. However, aim to go beyond 9.6 as your maximum result will be rated compared with other applicants. What that means is where you are going to go past 9.6, it gets competitive. It’s not just a benchmark like some other services. The better you go, the better chance you got at progressing.

Not getting 9.6 will disqualify you from continuing through the process. So I just say to the guys that we train is to just aim as high as you possibly can.

As preparation for the beep test, as it is a running test, you can prepare and improve your performance by running and practicing the actual test.

We have also got a program inside our membership on how to rapidly improve your beep test results over firerecruitmentautralia.com.au. That incorporates a book and an mp3 download specifically for the beep test.

Physical Abilities Tests

So, the second component of the Fitness testing is a series of physical aptitude tests or physical abilities testing as they are also known.

This series of tests aim to measure an applicant’s ability to meet the physical requirements of a Firefighter including endurance, strength and fitness. They are designed to simulate the physical tasks expected of Firefighters in their line of work such as carrying heavy equipment upstairs, dragging hoses, search and rescue operation, using heavy manual tools and handling ladders.

Simulated Heavy Tool Operation 

The first physical aptitude test is the Simulated Heavy Tool Operation.

This assessment is designed to simulate the critical task of using rescue equipment to gain access in an emergency situation. This tests the candidate’s upper and lower body strength and muscular endurance.

In this test, the candidates are required to hold cutters and spreaders (weighing just under 20kg) against a variety of points on a vehicle for specified times, without excessive movement.

Simulated Hose Drag

The second physical aptitude test is the Simulated Hose Drag.

This test is designed to simulate the critical task of advancing a charged (water filled) hose line to the scene of a fire. This test assesses a candidate’s physical strength and endurance, and ability to follow instructions. That is really important to follow instructions so keep that in mind all throughout the process.

In this test, the candidate drags a water-filled hose to multiple specified points within a designated timeframe.

Height Anxiety Test

The third physical aptitude test is the Height Anxiety Test. That is pretty self-explanatory in the name.

This test aims to simulate the demands of the critical task of climbing multi-storey stairwells carrying essential firefighting equipment and hauling equipment up through a vertical distance.

This is a functional capacity test designed to test an applicant’s endurance, physical strength, the ability to follow instructions and identify their susceptibility to vertigo or acrophobia.

In this test, the candidate climbs a ladder and then a stairwell, carrying equipment, to a tower, hauls up equipment, and subsequently returns to the ground.

Confined Space Anxiety Tunnel Crawl

The fourth physical aptitude test is the Confined Space Anxiety Tunnel Crawl.

This test is designed to test an applicant’s ability to operate in a confined, dark environment and to identify their susceptibility to claustrophobia or high levels of frustration caused either through wearing a face mask or the confined space.

In this test, candidates crawl through a tunnel system undertaking tasks and maneuvering through various shapes within a specified timeframe. The crawl increases in difficulty throughout the course.

Simulated Casualty Rescue

The fifth physical ability test is the Simulated Casualty Rescue.

This task simulates the critical task of removing a victim from an emergency situation. It tests the applicants’ aerobic and anaerobic capacity and upper and lower body strength.

In this test, the candidate carefully drags a dummy through a course as directed within a specified timeframe.

Equipment Handling Test

The sixth physical abilities test is the Equipment Handling test.

This test is designed to simulate the demands of accessing, removing and replacing essential firefighting equipment from a firefighting appliance.

Just a tip on this one. This is a bit more about not only about accessing, removing and replacing essential equipment. It is also about following instructions. So when undertaking this task, just make sure you really listen carefully and don’t do anything outside of the instructions.

It also assesses the applicant’s upper body strength and ability to follow instructions which I’ve just covered.

In this test, candidates are required to remove and replace a ladder from the top of a fire appliance as well as remove, handle and replace equipment stored in a locker on the vehicle.

Hose Coupling Test

The seventh test is the Hose Coupling Test.

This test is designed to assess an applicant’s manual dexterity and mechanical reasoning skills, along with their ability to again follow a set of instructions.

In this test, candidates are to place and remove a number of pieces of equipment on a fire appliance within a specified timeframe.

Now, how do you prepare for the physical aptitude tests or physical ability tests?

Take note that some of these tests are physically demanding due to the weight of equipment being used. It is important to have good upper body and core strength. Aside from having a high level of aerobic fitness, you should always work on building up overall core strength.

If you require some extra help to overcome or get through this process, go and have a look at our membership where we work one on one with you to come up with a program that suits you specifically so that you know the exact exercises that you need to do to improve quickly. So that we are putting in the minimum effort and getting the maximum results, not wasting time. Also, we want you to avoid unnecessary exercises that don’t work or don’t improve where you needed most.

Our goal is for you to go into the physical abilities testing with confidence so that you can pass the PAT with ease and stand out and look good in the process.

I hope you got something out of this presentation. This is Brent C. This is firerecruitmentaustralia.com. I’ll see you next time.



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Brent C

After becoming a Firefighter, I developed a massive interest in the Fire Services Recruitment and Selection Processes. I've been in the fire service working since 2007 to learn everything about how Fire Services Recruitment works. I've tested and refined proven methods to help people get the edge over the competition. Today, over 300 of my former students are living their Firefighter dream.

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