Given the diversity and intensity of tasks conducted by firefighters on a day to day basis there is no surprise about the focus placed on physical fitness across the UK Fire & Rescue Service (FRS). The physical and mental demands of the job are especially significant in scenarios which threaten the lives of casualties, or indeed of the firefighters themselves.
The importance of fitness is already recognised at the point of selection, where personnel are required to pass a range of Firefighter Selection Tests (FST). It is now considered important for the FRS to establish minimum occupational fitness requirements, based on the demands of the job, to form the basis of an annual health and fitness assessment.
In line with this requirement, the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) commissioned the University of Bath four years ago to investigate levels of fitness within the Service and to make appropriate recommendations, based on their findings. The team of experts from Bath were supported by stakeholders from the CFOA, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), the Retained Fire Brigades Union (RFBU), experienced Firefighters and Instructors, as well as the FRS health and fitness community.
An initial task analysis revealed five essential tasks, which a firefighter must be able to perform safely and effectively:
Following considerable research and investigation by the Bath team, one of the major outcomes of the project is a role based fireground fitness test, which can be easily replicated by FRS across the country. The test was presented at the 2016 FireFit Conference. Early participants describe it as ‘highly relevant’, and ‘an entirely realistic expectation, that is grounded in doing the job’
Ruth Lee’s Casualty Evacuation manikin is specially designed in accordance with FRS requirements.
Key features & Benefits of the manikin:
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