Physical Ability Test (PAT) for Firefighters

Physical Ability Test (PAT) for Firefighters

The PAT is a validated test assessing candidates’ ability to meet the physical demands of the firefighter job. It features:

  • Eleven critical and physically-demanding tasks every firefighter must be able to perform.

  • A development process that takes advantage of our large job analysis database but tailors the test to your own agency’s requirements.

  • Flexibility to meet the specific needs of your department in terms of equipment, events, distances, and passing scores.

  • A well-defined administration plan that maximizes the number of candidates that can be processed while being cost-effective in terms of facilities and proctors.


Choosing the PAT for your entry-level firefighter recruitment gives you a professionally developed and thoroughly validated measure of your candidates’ physical capabilities.

    • Validity: Job analyses from more than 300 firefighters in 41 fire departments were used to validate the PAT. This large database documents the job-relatedness of the test and increases its defensibility. Your agency’s own job analysis links you to the larger sample.

    • Customization: Surveys completed by your department ensure a test tailored to your equipment and SOPs while linked back to the validity database.

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  • Pretesting: The PAT is pretested using your own firefighters to identify any required modifications and to establish a passing score tailored to your department’s needs.

  • Support: FPSI provides consultation, job analysis forms, videos for proctor training and candidate orientation, and a complete administration manual.

Incumbent Maintenance Physical Ability Testing

Fire and human resources departments across the U.S. spend an inordinate amount of time and money ensuring that their firefighter recruitment process includes a job-related and validated physical ability test (PAT) for new hires. However, there currently is no standardized PAT used as a maintenance test to ensure that fire suppression personnel remain physically fit to perform the critical, physical parts of the job once they are hired. Learn how to implement a work-sample physical ability test (PAT) that can be used for both fire candidates and incumbents and the ways in which different cutoff scores can be used for both groups.

>> Physical Ability Test (PAT) Maintenance Standards [PDF]

FPSI’s Physical Ability Test

Event 1: Dry Hose Drag
Event 2: Charged Hose Drag
Event 3: Halyard Raise
Event 4: Roof Walk
Event 5: Attic Crawl
Event 6: Ventilation Exercise
Event 7: Victim Removal
Event 8: Ladder Removal & Carry
Event 9: Stair Climb With Hose
Event 10: Crawling Search
Event 11: Stair Climb With Air Bottles & Hose Hoist

Watch or Download: All Eleven P.A.T. Events (.mp4 26mb)


Implementation of the PAT is carefully planned to ensure validity and to meet your needs. To begin the process or for further information, please call FPSI at (916) 294-4242 or send an e-mail message to