Conditioning New Recruits: The Physical Readiness Program

Issue 12 and Volume 162.

BY STEVE AUFEROTH The physical training of fire recruits is important to the long-term success of the individual recruit and the department as a whole. Most departments conduct an entry-level physical assessment to determine if the candidate has the minimum abilities to perform the duties of firefighter. The Eugene (OR) Fire & EMS Department uses the Candidate Physical Abilities Test (CPAT), designed and validated by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), as an entry-level assessment tool. Eugene also recognizes the necessity of additional physical fitness training to ready the fire recruits for the rigors of active firefighting. The long-term health and fitness of every firefighter depend on many factors, such as family and personal health history, exposure to products of combustion and other toxins, job-related injuries, medical exposures (e.g., blood/body fluids, hepatitis B and C, bacteria, tuberculosis, and H1N1), and personal…

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