Physical Requirements

A good way to prepare yourself for this demanding occupation is to maintain or improve your overall physical fitness. A suitable weight-training program is a good place to begin. People of smaller stature should consider a specific program to develop upper body strength. Playing organized team sports may also increase your power and endurance, while giving you practice at being a "team player".

Candidate Physical Ability Testing

If your are serious about becoming a firefighter, you might want to tailor your weight regimen to help you pass a firefighting physical ability test. The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT), utilized by the Alameda County Fire Department, measures the capabilities of firefighting candidates along eight job-specific areas.

  • Stair Climb
  • Hose Drag
  • Equipment Carry
  • Ladder Raise and Extension
  • Forcible Entry
  • Search
  • Rescue
  • Ceiling Breach and Pull


A good way to determine whether your current fitness regime will help you pass the test would be to talk to a firefighter, and ask what works for them!

firefighter pulling a hose and spraying water

Additional Resources to Help You Prepare


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