Scotland Fire Fighters

Scottish fire fighters are required to undergo fitness assessments as part of the recruitment process and during employment. Below is some information about the fitness requirements and standards. This information is presented for discussion and may be out of date - for the latest information see official sources. See also other UK Fire Departments.

Assessment Tests

Although there are no ongoing mandatory fitness tests for Scottish firefighters, six of the eight forces have established their own monitoring regime. Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, has yet to introduce any test, while Fife's service only assesses new recruits. They are both reviewing their procedures with a view to introducing fitness tests for employees every three years. Of those that do regular testing, the demands and frequency of the tests vary widely.

Firefighters in both Dumfries and Galloway and Lothian and Borders take a mandatory fitness test every three years, using an exercise bike. An occupational health therapist monitors their heart rate, blood pressure and body fat.

Central Scotland's service uses the Chester Step Test, as does Tayside carried out every year on uniformed staff. Grampian has used the Chester step test for more than 15 years, with all uniformed staff under the age of 40 being tested every two years and annual tests for those over 40 years of age. Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue operates a fitness test every three years.

A Scottish Executive spokesman said there were no plans to introduce a national standard fitness test across all the emergency services.

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Testing Extra

There are over 300 fitness tests, so it is not easy to choose the right one to do. You should consider the validity, reliability, costs and ease of use of each test. Use our guide to conducting, recording, and interpreting fitness tests. Any questions, please ask or search for your answer. To keep up with the latest in sport science and this website, subscribe to our newsletter. We are also on facebook and twitter.

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