Prepare yourself

Fitness & Physical Aptitude Test (PAT)

Fitness Preparation

How to best prepare

It is important to acknowledge that exercise, training and preparation is highly individual and will depend on a candidate’s personal health, age, current fitness level, previous training history, lifestyle and fitness goals. It is recommended that candidate’s use a structured, individualised training approach that takes these nuances into account.

Importance of fitness for firefighters

Firefighting is a physically demanding occupation. Common duties of a firefighter include carrying heavy equipment upstairs, using heavy occupational tools, dragging hoses, lifting and climbing ladders, and performing search and rescue activities, all while wearing up to 23kg of protective gear. Being a firefighter requires high levels of muscular strength and cardiovascular fitness.

Purpose & audience

The information provided is for candidates who are preparing for the Shuttle Run and Physical Aptitude Test (PAT) as part of the recruitment process to become an FRV firefighter. These guidelines are recommendations of best practice to prepare you for your physical tests and to provide you with a general understanding of the training required to pass your Shuttle Run and PAT. These recommendations will also assist in preparing you for a career as a firefighter.

It is recommended that prior to commencing training for the PAT that you ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you new to regular physical activity and exercise?
  • Do you have a medical condition that warrants special advice?
  • Do you experience shortness of breath or chest pains during physical activity?
  • Do you become faint or experience dizziness during physical activity?

If you answered yes to any of the questions, it is strongly recommended you contact your physician or GP prior to undertaking any physical training. If there are any other concerns on a pre-existing health and medical condition, you should also contact your physician or GP before beginning an exercise program.


Fitness tests

As part of the application process, you will be required to do a Shuttle Run and a Physical Aptitude Test (PAT).

It is essential applicants are prepared for these tests.

Potential applicants can access example training guides for people with an established level of fitness to help prepare for the Shuttle Run and PAT.

Please note that the training guides provided are general in nature and not a “how to pass” plan.

You must consider your personal circumstances when deciding what type & amount of training you require to ensure success in the fitness tests.


Shuttle Run information and training material

Physical Aptitude Test information and training material


*An external Strength and Conditioning Coach with a Masters in exercise science was consulted in the development of the material provided.