Cherokee County firefighters are going through their annual Physical Fitness Standards Test at the Fire Training Center this week.
The physical fitness test is used to measure the firefighter’s ability to physically perform the duties expected of them while performing their duties.
Lt. Danny Carder said that the firefighters are put through certain exercises and are required to finish them in a certain amount of time. Firefighters go through a hose drag simulation, couple a fire hose, and then carry a saw up four stories and make a “V” cut which simulates sawing through a door. The firefighter goes back down to ground level to drop the saw off and then climbs 2 more stories to crawl with a tool for approximately 30 feet into a room and then crawl back out. Other scenarios include pulling a 140 pound dummy for approximately 60 feet, carrying a ladder around a building and raising a ladder, pulling a fire hose inside the building and making two turns, using a hydraulic tool to simulate a vehicle extrication and then the firefighters go to a Molitor Machine that has a pole with weights on it that the firefighter uses to push-up to simulate using a pike pole in breaching a ceiling. Finally, the firefighters have to roll up a fire hose to complete the course.
Firefighters are required to complete the course in less than 12 minutes. If they fail to do so, they have 90 days to prepare in order to take the course again.
Firefighters have a tough job with intense physical demands. This test measures cardio muscular endurance and physical strength as well as endurance. Fighting fires is dangerous and physically demanding. To make sure that our firefighters are physically able to perform their duties, Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services requires all firefighters to go through this test annually.