Being physically fit is one of the many elements that are crucial to success in the Wildland firefighting profession. Wildland firefighting as its name implies takes place in the wild. You must be physically prepared to work in some of the most demanding terrain in the country. You must be prepared to hike up steep mountains for miles with equipment weighing up to 45 pounds. Be prepared to swing a hand tools, throw logs, brush and other material for days and weeks straight. Beginning the season prepared is a must, start running, hiking and developing your upper body strength as soon as possible.
Every year whether you’re returning or a rookie you must complete a pack test. This test consists of hiking 3 miles with a forty-five pound pack in under 45 minutes. Most of our more competitive employees can accomplish this test in 28-35 minutes. This test is more difficult than it sounds and you should practice before taking the test.
2 mile run
Immediately following the pack test you will have to run 2 miles in under 18 minutes. 18 minutes is the maximum time allowed and most prepared employees run it in under 14 minutes.
Upper body Strength
Having very good upper body strength is very important, almost all aspects of your duties as a Wildland firefighter will require demanding use of your upper body. Immediately following the 2 mile run you will be required to perform at a minimum of 6 pull-up, 25 push-ups and 45 sit-ups all in a maximum of 3 minutes.
This physical testing is only a sample of what you body will have to endure as a Wildland firefighter. You should be able to complete all of these requirements with ease if you want to be competitive on a hand crew.