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Practical selection tests

The following elements form the physical and practical tests for the Wholetime Duty System (Full-time) firefighter recruitment process. These will take place at Humberside Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters. Those applicants who reach this point of the process will be contacted nearer the time with their exact date and all other relevant details.


You will swim 50 metres, front crawl within 1 minute and 30 seconds (or under), unaided in a swimming pool in normal swimwear. This is to ensure that you are confident and safe in water.

Hose Run

This test is designed to access your aerobic fitness and physical stamina that's required when working with standard lengths of firefighting hose. You will be required to run out and make up, six 25m lengths of 70mm diameter delivery hose within eight minutes. The technique will be demonstrated first and you will have an opportunity to practice.

Equipment Assembly

This test is designed to assess manual dexterity and the ability to retain and follow instructions. You will need to assemble and then disassemble some equipment that is used by the Fire and Rescue Service within a set time. Before you start, an instructor will demonstrate the correct assembly of the equipment and you will also have a diagram to work from.

Enclosed Space

You will need to combine confidence, agility and flexibility while negotiating a confined crawl-way to pass the test. There is only one way through the crawl-way: forward, right, left, up or down. There are no doors to open and your face-mask will be obscured throughout. You will have to complete this test within a given time, without jeopardising your safety and well-being

Ladder Haul

Using a ladder simulator, you will be required to extend and lower the ladder by an integral line (rope) to the required height. This test combines grip and upper body strength to demonstrate your ability to operate a Fire Service ladder.

Ladder Climb

You will be shown how to climb a Fire Service ladder and how to apply a leg lock. You will then be allowed to practice the leg lock. You will climb a ladder to the specified height. At that point, you will use the leg lock to secure yourself to the ladder, remove your hands from the ladder and lean back, looking over your shoulder to identify an object which is being held by the instructor at ground level. When you have identified the object, you will be told to put your hands back on the ladder and release the leg lock. You will then be instructed to climb to the top of the ladder, at which point, you will be instructed to dismount and re-mount the ladder before descending the ladder to ground level. You will be required to complete this test safely within a given time and you will need to show confidence and apply the correct technique to climb the ladder.

Ladder Lift

You will need to combine upper and lower body strength, as well as co-ordination to lift the feet of a ladder over your head (i.e. shoulder press) to the required height before lowering it safely and under control. The approximate weight of the ladder is 26-30kg. You will need to repeat this ten times.

Fireground Fitness Assessment

This test is carried out over 25 metre shuttles and is broken down into three elements which are carried out consecutively:

Equipment Carry

You will walk a total of 200 metres carrying a 25kg barbell.

Casualty evacuation

You will then be required to put on a breathing apparatus (BA) set (not the facemask) and drag a hose reel 25m from the pump using the ‘branch’ (nozzle). You will then jog / walk back and drag another length of the hose reel 25m, pick up the nozzle again and return it to the pump. You will then pick up the 55kg dummy and drag it 50m. You will then have to remove the BA set and place it on the mat provided.

Hose Run

This part of the test involves a combination of walking/jogging a total of 700m and includes stages of carrying and also running out lengths of 70mm hose.

This assessment combines upper and lower body strength with aerobic and muscular endurance to complete all three elements within 11.11 minutes. 

Group Exercise

This test is designed to access individuals leadership, teamwork and communication skills.

Verification Test

You will be asked to log in to the on-line account that you set up for your initial application and ability tests and complete a verification test.

This will be in a controlled classroom environment at Service Headquarters on the day of the practical assessments.


  • All tests are to be carried out in full firefighting kit
  • Full instruction and guidance will be provided before and during each test
  • Unsuccessful completion of any test will result in the termination of the selection process

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service recruits on merit and encourages applications for vacancies from all sections of the community.

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