How Fit Do You Really Need To Be To Be A Firefighter?

Most of us work out to stay healthy and to have enough energy to power through the day. And to be honest, we want to look good and keep fitting into our favorite pair of jeans as well. But for others, staying fit is necessary to do their job. Take being a firefighter, for example.

Engineer Charles D. Lightfoot III of Oakland Fire in California describes to 24 Life why staying in top shape can be a matter of life or death. "A unique situation and challenge that I, and all firefighters, face is that the degree to which I can push the thresholds of my strength, endurance, mental and physical abilities could be the difference between going home to my family or not," he says. He adds, "It could determine whether I'm able to help someone else stick around for their family or not. It's not as simple as working out to look fit for me." Firefighters must stay in shape in order to do their extremely important jobs to the best of their ability. But really, how fit do you need to be to be a firefighter?

While requirements are varied, most of them demand you be in excellent shape

According to 24 Life, the physical requirements necessary to be a firefighter vary from state to state. These requirements include tests to make sure firefighters are able to lift patients and heavy equipment, break down doors or obstructions, and easily crouch or quickly climb stairs. Firefighter Insider shares that prospective firefighters, as well as current ones, are required to pass a physical agility test, or CPAT. The CPAT calls for above average cardio and endurance, as well as strong leg, back, core, and grip strength. In addition to physical strength, News 24 says anyone interested in becoming a firefighter must undergo a complete physical exam that includes vision, hearing, lung capacity, and flexibility tests.

The U.S. Fire Administration reports that today, there are north of one million firefighters registered in the United States. It is understandable why physical strength and endurance tests are a requirement in this field, as it can be a matter of life and death. If you are hoping to join the firefighting force, we support your current and future physical training goals!