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Test of Courage



Broadcast Schedule


Take The Test

So you want to be a firefighter?

Think you can carry a 40-pound hose up four flights of stairs? What about dragging a 150-pound dummy through a 20-foot tunnel? Or scaling a four-foot wall?

Okay. So you can't actually take the physical test - at least not here and not right now. You most likely don't have a five-pound turnout coat, a 40-pound air tank or a five-story drill tower at your disposal.

But... you can use your "mind muscles" to find out what kind of shape you'll need to be in to make the grade.

Entry-level firefighter tests


Mechanical and Three-Dimensional Diagrams

* Understanding Written Firefighting Material

* Mathematics

* Getting Along with Others in a Community Situation

* Understanding Oral Information


Source: Oakland Fire Services Agency, Training Division

All candidates must complete the physical agility course in less than 17 minutes and 55 seconds, wearing a five-pound turnout coat and a 40-pound air tank mounted on their back.

  • Remove 16-foot ladder from the brackets mounted on the wall prop
  • Carry the ladder around the cone placed 20 feet from the wall
Trainer's notes:
1. The first time the ladder hits the ground give a warning
2. The second time the ladder hits the ground, stop the test - disqualification
  • Replace the ladder on the brackets
  • Walk back around the central cone to the Hose Drag

firefighter candidate HOSE DRAG
  • Wrap one end of the hose over shoulder and across chest
  • Drag the hose to the other side of the event, 200 feet away
  • Cross the first white line, drop end of hose and drag the remainder across the line using a "hand over hand" or a "pick up and pull" technique
  • Do not cross the second white line, it is 10 feet beyond the first

Trainer's notes:
1. Assist by flaking out hose behind the second white line
2. The first time the second white line is crossed give a warning
3. The second time the line is crossed, stop the test - disqualification

  • After the entire hose is behind the first white line, walk back around the central cone, around the cone near the Ladder Carry, and then proceed to the Hose Pack Carry.

  • Pick up the bundle of hose (weighs approximately 40 pounds) and carry it to the fourth floor of the tower using each step. (The Oakland Fire Department drill tower is five stories high, with an outside stairwell, a fire escape, a basement and standpipes - pipes installed in the building for firefighting purposes.)
Trainer's notes:
Every step must be touched
  • On the fourth floor, drop the hose in the marked space and go to the Hose Hoist window

  • At the window, grab the rope and pull up the hose bundle
  • Raise the hose with a hand over hand motion on the rope, until it reaches the windowsill
  • Place hose bundle on the windowsill
  • Step back, then lower the hose to the ground with a hand over hand motion on the rope

Trainer's notes:
1. The first time one-steps outside the 4x4 foot box give a warning
2. The second time one steps outside the box, stop the test - disqualification

  • Walk or crawl through the simulated attic without touching the ground
Trainer's notes: If ground is touched, employee must go back to the missed joist
  • Walk to the Dummy Drag

  • Drag the (150-pound) dummy through the 20-foot tunnel
  • At the end of the tunnel turn the dummy around so that it faces the opposite direction
  • Walk around the two cones for a cool-down period
  • Walk to the Four-Foot Wall

scaling the wallFOUR-FOOT WALL
  • Scale the four-foot wall
Trainer's notes: One may note run to the wall or use the braces on either side as a step
  • Walk to the Hose Roll

  • Roll one 50-foot length hose in one direction
  • Roll second length of hose in the opposite direction
  • Walk to the Tailgate Hose Load

  • Load the six rolls of hose onto the tailboard, one at a time
  • Walk behind the starting line, empty handed
  • Return to tailgate and stack each roll in the starting box, one at a time

  • Take final cool-down walk
  • Walk around remaining cones on course and then to finish line
Trainer's notes: Punch timecard

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