Jump to content
EMT613

lucky to survive this agility test..

Recommended Posts

I took the agility test last week for a county agency where i am hoping to be hired soon as an EMT. Talk about being put through the wringer! This agency is in a county which has large rural areas, so the nearest hospital and fire/rescuse assistance may not always be as close or readily available as with agencies in more urban areas. With that in mind, the duties of the EMS there are also weighted tad more towards the rescue side ofthings than may be typical with many agencies, and the agility test reflects this, as i found out. Apparently this turned out to be a lot more than just getting out of a truck, choking tbe wheels, doing 3 min of CPR on a dummy, then putting a stretcher into the truck. Oh no, kiddies. It was a little more than that. I should mention that i am 43, not out of shape but not one who is overly familiar with exercise either, and i had taken all of the previous week, running every night, to build up to being able to survive running a mile. I arrived at the address given to find a 5 story high, thoroughly charred fire training building looming ominously over the rearmost property of a community college. Right away i could tell these guys meant business. There was a large construction dumpster off to the side of it with something in it that wss on fire and smelled like wood, letting off copious amounts of smoke, which no one seemed to be putting out, and which went right on burning the entire time i was there. This thing being onfire seemed to serve no purpose. The building was surrounded by a few fire trucks, an ambulance and various EMT personell, all younger than me, working antlike in groups on their own various training exercises. I should throw down that at no time wss the building or anything in it set on fire that day, and the interior of that thing was a soot-covered abomination that reeked of burnt wood and had walls as black as pitch from it all. The guy who was co-ordinating the play-through of myself and two or three other hopefuls was nice enough and explained that wewould not be timed on the entire thing but we were expected to keep moving betwen stations. The only thing we would be timed on was the 5 minutes of CPR-constant compressions with no stop for respirations-conducted on a dummy which had indicator lighrs on it telling if your hand placement was wrong or your compressions not forceful enough. He then walked us through the whole thing. First thing we had to do was don a 40 pound backpack and go up a 40 foot ladder to a sort of balcony on the fire tower. Then, backpack off, it was up three flights of stairs to the roof where we'd rappel down to the ground. I'm terrified of heights, had never rapelled, and don't even remember the last time i was in a 5 story building, much less even on it's 5th floor, much less the frigging roof. Next was a crawl through.......and did i mention it was 90 out and i don't tolerate heat well?........a 36 inch wide, 20 foot long black plastic pipe. Looking at the girth of a few of the other test takers, i wondered not only if they could grt in-much less out-of thst thing. Then a couple of firemen would help us don full firefightrr turnout gesr, standing in full sun, along with a functioning SCBA. Then we'd enter a low-visibility smoke room, go to it's far end, locate a 180 lb. dummy and dragit all theway outside. Did i mention that i don't handle heat well, and that whole thing of "well just drink plenty of fluids" doesn't even begin to help me bear it? And by "don't handle heat well", i don't mean merely "don't like it', i mean "lower threshold for heat exhaustion than most." Seriously, if i get this job, i am going to have to get an ANSI approved coling vest, and not the cheapo evaporative kind but the $150 kind that you put ice packs into. Then it was a walk uphill and around the building to the ambulance where we had to sit in the driver seat, put on safety glasses, get out, chock the wheels, then carry 50 lbs. of gear and monitors up one flight of stairs and set it down next to what would be the arch nemisis of most of us that day...... The CPR dummy. I was more terrified of this half-bodied representation of a woman than i ever had been of the real thing. Mainly because life had not yet imposed upon me the situation of having to do 5 minutes of CPR on a woman after going up a 40 foot ladder, rapelling down a.....you get the idea. But hey, first time for everything, right? Then we had to, with help from a firefighter, carry a 180lb dummy on a backboard down a flight of stairs with us at the head end, then help set him on a stretcher and successfully manipulate and maneuver the stretcher into a secured position in the back of the truck. Then we'd be free to pass ***k out, having finished the skills asessment. We started off, each of us staggered in ten min intervals. I managed the rappel skillfully with no hesitation or fear at all. I have NO idea how or why that was. I was half expecting, at best, to just sort of find myself safely on the ground with no idea how i got there. In fact it was so easy i'd be willing to do it again and from a greater height. It was after the smoke room dummy drag, and with the CPR station on the horizon, that i supposed i may be in trouble. Now i was hot and feeling winded. Poop. And before you say anything, yes, i was drinking so much water that i think the folks at the Evian plant that water came from are going to send a private jet to deliver me to their Christmas party. But it had better be Gulfstream. I like Gulfstreams. Hef always sends a Gulfstream for me when he's having a throwdown at the Mansion in Cali. I made it through the CPR station with flying colors, but had i run one step less in tne days leading up to this, had it been merely one degree hotter out, it would not have been so, and i do mean that. I finished the entire test with a score of 100. For a guy my age and hardly in great shape, i mean, i am not bragging at all, but that means there is no reason at all for anyone younger than me to have gotten anything less than a 100 is all i'm saying. Of the five aside from me who took the test, of the two who later told me their scores, they got less than 100s. There are firemen literally missing limbs who have gotten 100s on that test. I know because i met them that day. Most of the time being out of shape, let's face it, is an annoyance we joke about and which makes us wistfully dream of the days when we could fit into the 32 inch waist jeans we wore in high school. Then there are days of reckoning like this where being out of shape is going to cost you. Not that, in allfairness, i wasn't exactly NOT short of breath myself at the end of this, nor can i fit into 32 waist jeans. Has anyone else had to submit to such rigors to try out for an EMT job?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paragraphs are your friend.

Running every day for the week leading up to this, with no real fitness foundation as you've admitted, was not smart nor did it help you.

If you're that sensitive to heat please find a nice desk job in an air conditioned office somewhere.

I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you weren't throwing out excuses with your repeated mention of being sensitive to heat and claustrophobia and acrophobia. But it was really hard to follow what you were saying as you've run everything together with no distinct separation of ideas. You're going to need to get used to the idea that this job requires working in hot environments, cold environments, dark and/or enclosed spaces and occasionally with heights. You won't have any room to stop and say, "Sorry... overly sensitive to heat".

Yes. Several jobs I've had have had fitness tests much more strenuous than what you described and they were timed. This is a physically demanding job. Physical fitness is important. Do some research on EMS related injuries. You'll be amazed at what you find. To help you start this is an older article (2008) but it points to the fact that 47% of respondents reported a job related back injury. There's more information out there. You'd do well to read up on it and get yourself into a physical fitness training program.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you are typing out a long post such as this at home on your tiny android tablet's virtual keyboard, and then u save it to a word processor so you can paste it from there to the board, and the paragraph formatting doesn't transfer, um, no, paragraphs are not your friend, apparently. But i'm so sorry to have put you out so terribly there, sport.

Um, yeah, actually running for a week leading up to this event helped me a lot. I ran fsrther and farther and with greater ease each time, so, yeah, i'd call that helping me. And since that was the intended effect, i'd also say that was pretty smart.

Um, yyyyyyyyyeah, i did say i was sensitive to heat. But, well, i also mentioned that the remedy for this was a cooling vest. Problem solved. You might also take into account that, way_ul, i didn't have one when doing this test. See, when i say that i am going to need/get something, that means i don't actively have one at the present time. And i hsd no idea at all that i might face such rigors as enclosed spaces and heights in this job, i mean, the two hours i spent out at this training facility wouldn't EVER lead me to think that. I mean, why would it? They probably just wanted to see how i looked in turnout gear, yeah, that's it.

I.....think i mentioned that i found the rapelling quite easy. In fact it was a breeze. And just what "clautrophobia" are you talking about? I don't remember using that word, nor suffering from that condition. Kinda wondering how that ended up in your reply.

Every board has one or two posters who probably check in several times a day, have their account set up every time anyone posts anything whatsoever on the entire site, then drops everything short of establishing a central line to leap valiantly at the chance to post their self_righteous responses after not even reading the original post-as is painfully obvious here-much less posting anything as far as a meaningful or useful reply. You sort of headed in that direction after the previous mountain of tripe, but then u blew that too, and yes i hope it keeps u up at night that i spelled that "U" instead of "you". I'm betting i just described you to a T. I'll probably find several replies like this, left by you, littering this site. So you, ASS, would do well to stay the hell out if my posts from now on.

Think you can follow *that* idea? See, i even put that last sentence into a brand new shiny paragraph for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Deary me, this is the first time I’ve been back on EMTCity in a while and this thread was the first to pop up. Quite frankly your post gave me vertigo and left me feeling slightly nauseous, 1309 words mashed into one paragraph doesn’t make for easy reading. If you’re going to post such a detailed question I’d suggest not doing it on a tablet device. I agree with Mike, appropriate grammar, spelling and structure of your question reflects a professional persona and makes it easier for people to respond with purposeful, helpful and meaningful answers.'

I’m not exactly sure I get what your question is? Are you merely asking our opinion on what we think of this services fitness assessment? Surely you had some idea of the company’s requirements before you presented to be assessed? Are you applying for a dual Fire/EMS position, if not then I think the fire part of this assessment is irrelevant.

I can only comment from an Australian point of view but my structural firefighting assessment was similar, I’m by no means a picture of fitness myself but you need to maintain a relativity reasonable level of fitness for the job. When I did my fire assessment it ran over 5 days in 32 Degree Celsius heat, we were dressed in full nomex PPC with flash hood, gloves and wearing a breathing apparatus. We were made to carry two spare BA cylinders and marched around an obstacle course for hours on end. When we were engaged in active training of course we were made to go up and down ladders, crawl around, enter burning buildings and retrieve manikins. The whole point of being assessed is to see if your safe and capable of executing the required tasks and skills, the last thing everyone needs in a structure fire with entrapment is a firefighter going down due to lack of fitness or gaps in knowledge.

The same principle applied when I sat the fitness assessment to get into my paramedic degree, we were put through a basic medical examination (general health, BMI, hearing etc.) and our fitness assessment consisted of 25 push-ups in various stages, 25 sit-ups in various stages, flexibility and a 10min bike ride were they increased the intensity every 2mins. This all reflects on your velocity, cardiovascular and core strength which are important aspects of any emergency service. This was a hurdle requirement we needed to meet to gain entry into the course to be eligible to attend clinical placement and I’ll have to sit the same test in a few months when I apply for a job.

The point being you need to be fit enough for the requirements of your employment and if you’re presented with a rigours assessment then obviously you need to meet those requirements to gain employment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you are typing out a long post such as this at home on your tiny android tablet's virtual keyboard, and then u save it to a word processor so you can paste it from there to the board, and the paragraph formatting doesn't transfer, um, no, paragraphs are not your friend, apparently. But i'm so sorry to have put you out so terribly there, sport.

So you're saying you were being lazy. Got it.

Please don't be lazy. EMS has enough of lazy. We don't need any more.

This is a professional forum. What you present and how you present it matters. Want to be considered a professional by people who would be your peers? Present a professional front. That goes for presentation, grammar, spelling, positive attitude and a lack of name calling.

Um, yeah, actually running for a week leading up to this event helped me a lot. I ran fsrther and farther and with greater ease each time, so, yeah, i'd call that helping me. And since that was the intended effect, i'd also say that was pretty smart.

Running for one week before a physical fitness test will not increase your fitness or cardiovascular capacity. The results you obtained in your PFT were not as a result of the one week of running you did. Don't confuse cause and effect as in this particular case they are not linked.

Um, yyyyyyyyyeah, i did say i was sensitive to heat. But, well, i also mentioned that the remedy for this was a cooling vest. Problem solved. You might also take into account that, way_ul, i didn't have one when doing this test. See, when i say that i am going to need/get something, that means i don't actively have one at the present time. And i hsd no idea at all that i might face such rigors as enclosed spaces and heights in this job, i mean, the two hours i spent out at this training facility wouldn't EVER lead me to think that. I mean, why would it? They probably just wanted to see how i looked in turnout gear, yeah, that's it.

If you're serious that you had no idea what was involved in doing this job then you failed miserably in your job research before enrolling in the class. If you're not being serious then why did you say so?

If you're attempting to be sarcastic it is completely lost.

Every board has one or two posters who probably check in several times a day, have their account set up every time anyone posts anything whatsoever on the entire site, then drops everything short of establishing a central line to leap valiantly at the chance to post their self_righteous responses after not even reading the original post-as is painfully obvious here-much less posting anything as far as a meaningful or useful reply. You sort of headed in that direction after the previous mountain of tripe, but then u blew that too, and yes i hope it keeps u up at night that i spelled that "U" instead of "you". I'm betting i just described you to a T. I'll probably find several replies like this, left by you, littering this site. So you, ASS, would do well to stay the hell out if my posts from now on.

Think you can follow *that* idea? See, i even put that last sentence into a brand new shiny paragraph for you.

Come on. Name calling? Are you 12?

Don't presume to know anything about me or anybody else who posts on these forums. You came here with a poorly constructed post that was difficult to read. You presented yourself in a poor manner with a series of excuses as to why you either had a hard time or couldn't do more to present yourself in a better light. What kind of response were you expecting?

Speaking of responses, you came here and asked for opinions, thoughts or ideas. By doing so you open yourself up to comments from any member of this forum. Often times you might like the responses you get. Sometimes you might not. Sometimes, the responses with which you disagree can be the most pertinent posts in the discussion. So, no. I will not stay out of your posts. If I feel I have something constructive to add to the discussion I will do so as will any other member here. That you don't like that is on you.

This then leads to the idea that you took the above comments way too personally. If you're really that sensitive to the point that you'd react like the 12 year old you're demonstrating yourself to be (through poorly formed and worded sarcasm combined with really bad name calling) then you'll need to do two things: either get out of EMS or grow thicker skin. Personally, I recommend the thicker skin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Grabbing the beers to joint arctic...I really don't have the energy for another jerk on the forum...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trollin' trollin' trollin'! Keep them troll's a postin'! Trolliiiiiiiiin'! Trollin'! (sung to the theme of rawhide)

It's my new favorite song... :shifty:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you are typing out a long post such as this at home on your tiny android tablet's virtual keyboard, and then u save it to a word processor so you can paste it from there to the board, and the paragraph formatting doesn't transfer, um, no, paragraphs are not your friend, apparently. But i'm so sorry to have put you out so terribly there, sport.

*more drivel*

Think you can follow *that* idea? See, i even put that last sentence into a brand new shiny paragraph for you.

Are you freaking kidding me? You drop that monster flight of ideas you call a post to ask a very basic question and assume a smartass attitude with a vetted member who has had years on this forum who takes the time to bang out a reply to you?

Get lost.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got malteasers.... anyone want malteaser???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...