The Paducah Fire Department is launching a new physical agility test to improve firefighter health and fitness and measure their skills.
Captain Patrick Hatton said the test puts firefighters through a series of ‘job-based obstacles,’ including a hose drag and forcible entry simulator. He said the test mimics the Candidate Physical Ability Test, a nation-wide test used to hire firefighters.
“This new model we’ve rolled out this year has gotten really good feedback just because it is job-based performance testing as opposed to just physical fitness based testing,” Hatton said.
Hatton said firefighters need to stay in shape to avoid cardiac events and debilitating injuries on the job. According to a 2017 study for the American Heart Association, cardiovascular events are the leading cause of death in firefighters and account for roughly 45 percent of on-duty fatalities each year in the United States. Hatton said 33 Paducah firefighters participated in the test this week.