MFB Firefighter Recruiting PATS TEST

MFB Firefighter Recruiting PATS TEST

As an equal opportunity employer, the MFB offers family-friendly working conditions, nationally recognized qualifications, and genuine promotional opportunities. Firefighting is a challenging, yet rewarding career.

It requires sound communication skills and a desire to work in emergency response, fire safety, and fire prevention. Firefighting requires considerable muscular strength and endurance, as well as specific physical aptitudes.

This video ( youtube ) takes you through the basics of the physical fitness testing undertaken as part of the MFB’s rigorous recruit selection process.

The physical fitness and aptitude tests are divided into three parts: part one, the shuttle run; part two, the 9 metre ladder climb, ladder platform climb, visual recognition and tunnel crawl; and part three, the firefighting task course.

You will fail the physical aptitude test if you don’t complete each task, if you don’t follow instructions, or if you are given more than one warning during any task.

Physical fitness performance is measured using the multi-stage shuttle run, which tests your aerobic fitness. You will be required to run between two cones placed 20 metres apart. The time available to run between the cones is increased every minute, so you must increase your running speed to keep up. The level required is 9.6. this is known as the beep test .

The ladder climb tests for acrophobia, or ear of heights. You will be required to climb a fully extended 9 metre ladder and return to the ground. You will wear a safety harness and be attached to a full restraint device. When climbing, grasp the rungs, not the sides. Remember to move smoothly, safely, and continuously. On reaching the required height, return to ground level. The time limit for this task is 3 minutes. You will fail the task if you do not touch every rung. The ladder platform climb and visual recognition tests for acrophobia and vertigo. You will be required to climb the ladder on the ladder platform to a height of the 5th floor and correctly identify three shapes displayed below. The time limit for this task is 8 minutes. You will have a safety harness and be attached to a full restraint device. Climb the ladder grasping the rungs, not the sides. Remember to move smoothly, safely, and continuously. When you reach the 5th floor, you will be directed to stop and identify the shapes being displayed at ground level. If you do not correctly identify one of the shapes, a substitute shape will be shown. You will fail this task if you do not touch every rung, and if you are unable to identify the shapes.

The tunnel crawl tests for claustrophobia, or fear of confined spaces. You will wear a breathing apparatus and a blackened face mask, but you will be able to breathe fresh air throughout the test. On the command go, start to crawl through this tunnel. When instructed to stop, wait in that location until the instructor tells you to proceed, then exit the tunnel. If you feel you cannot continue at any stage during the tunnel crawl, call out to the instructor and you will be guided out. You will fail this task if you remove the mask or fail to crawl through the tunnel. At the end of the task, the face mask will be removed.

The firefighting task course is a series of tasks which are simulations of actual tasks performed on the job. For the duration of the course you will be required to wear a breathing apparatus. The 10 tasks in order of completion are: ladder raise and lower, ladder extension, stair climb, container haul, chain cutting, hose reel drag, equipment carry, hose drag and hold, hose couplings, and the crew member rescue. There is an overall time limit of 12 minutes 50 seconds for each of the 10 tasks in the firefighter task course. Some individual tasks must also be completed within a certain time limit, and every task must be carried out continuously without a break. You will given a warning if you fail to carry out any task as required. You will fail the course if you are given two warnings during any one task, or are unable to complete the course in time. Lift the ladder from the ground and raise it hand over hand in a controlled manner from underneath until the ladder is hard against the elevated walkway. You must touch each rung of the ladder, and must not pause or rest at any point. As soon as the ladder touches the elevated walkway, lower the ladder hand over hand, making contact with each rung until it is back on the ground. You will be given a warning if you do not touch each rung of the ladder. You will fail this task if you lose control of the ladder, or if you are unable to complete this task. Stand on the plate and grasp the ladder extension rope. In a continuous motion, extend the ladder 10 rungs as indicated by the yellow rung. You will raise and lower the ladder in a hand over hand motion, then return the ladder to its starting position. You will be given a warning if you grasp the rope incorrectly, or allow the rope to slide through your hands.

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You will be lead to the bottom of the internal stairs. Once here, place the high-rise pack over your right shoulder and proceed to the second floor. Maintain contact with the hand rail at all times, and step on every step. Once at the second floor balcony, place the high-rise pack on the ground and proceed to the rope. Using the rope, start hauling up the 10 kilogram container using the hand over hand method. Your head and hands must be over the balcony and outside the building throughout the hauling. When it has reached the balcony, lift it over the rail and place it on the floor. This task has a time limit of 20 seconds. Your time starts when you take hold of the rope, and stops when the container touches the floor of the balcony. You will be given a warning if you do not haul as instructed, or if you allow the container to slip during the haul. At the completion of this task, return the high-rise pack to your right shoulder, then proceed up the stairs to the fifth floor for the chain cutting. Once at the fifth floor, place the high-rise pack on the ground. Before you commence cutting the chain, put on your safety glasses. One hand must be on each handle of the bolt cutters, although you may use your body to assist in leverage. Cut each side of the link as direct by the instructor. After cutting the chain, remove your glasses and put them down along with the chain cutters. Place the high-rise pack on your left shoulder and proceed down the stairs to the ground floor. Remember, use the hand rail and step on every step. Pick up the hose and drag it towards the barrier 20 metres away. Face towards the direction of the drag at all times. Hold the branch under the arm as shown. The branch must remain in front of your body during the drag. Drag the hose 20 metres, move around the barrier, and then drag it for a further 10 metres. Enter the marked boxed at the end point. Turn around and pull in 10 metres of hose. The distance is marked by tape on the hose, and the instructor will say “Far enough.” Once the tape on the hose has passed the line, you have finished this task. This task has a time limit of 45 seconds. You will be given a warning if you cannot drag the hose continuously, that is if you stop at any point; if you do not drag the hose as directed; if you drop the branch during the task, or if you step outside the box while pulling in the hose. You will be directed to an appliance where you are required to move the general purpose rope bag and the hazmat bag. Remove each bag and put them on the ground. Then pick them up, one in each hand, and carry them for 20 metres. Go around the marker and return to the appliance. Place the bags on the ground again, and return them to the shelf one at a time. After completing this task, you will be directed to the hose drag and hold. Hold the branch as shown. Make sure it remains in front of your body during the drag. Drag the hose 5 metres from the start line to the designated area marked by a box. When in position, hold it is follows: one hand is placed on the branch tip, and the other hand grasps the pistol grip with the hose tucked under the arm. Then open the branch, lean forward, and use your body weight to counter the force of the water pressure. Resist against the force exerted by the water whilst controlling the hose for 2 minutes within the designated area. You must direct the flow of water as requested by the instructor. At 30 second intervals the instructor will tell you to direct the water flow from one position to another. You must control the hose at all times. When told, you should turn off the branch and place the hose on the ground. You will be given a warning if you step outside the designated area whilst controlling the branch, if you can’t direct the flow of water between the two barriers, if you direct the water too high or too low, or if you can’t drag the hose as directed. You will fail this task if you cannot control the branch. After completing this task, proceed directly to the hose couplings. The hose couplings task tests for manual dexterity, colour recognition, and mechanical aptitude. You are to connect these couplings according to the colour coding marked on both the couplings and the connection points. Select the three identical sets of coloured couplings from the ones provided. Assemble them according to the corresponding couplings indicated on the wall mounted bracket. Once correctly assembled, they are to be dismantled and placed back into the box. You will be given a warning if you drop the couplings. You will fail this task if you connect the wrong couplings. After completing this task, proceed directly to the crew member rescue. When you arrive, pick up the 65 kilogram dummy under the arms, gripping across the chest. You will be required to drag the dummy around a 45 metre course, up steps, and down a ramp. Walk backwards at all times, dragging the dummy with you. The distance from the start to the finish is 45 metres. The entire dummy must pass the finish line. You will be timed during this task. Your time starts when the feet of the dummy pass the start line, and stops when they pass the finish line. The time limit for this task is 70 seconds. You will be given a warning if you do not drag the dummy as instructed, if you stop and rest during the drag, if you drop the dummy at any stage, or if you fall over during the task. This concludes the firefighting task course. Successful candidates are now eligible to proceed to the next stage of the recruit selection process.

Good luck.

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Nothing contained in this post is to imply any endorsement from the CFA/MFB or its representatives.

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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