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Firefighter Fitness and Medical Requirements

Fitness is extremely important throughout a firefighter’s career. It allows them to do their job in a way that is safe for themselves and others.

Our medical and fitness standards have been set by our doctors who also decide if an applicant is physically fit to begin recruit training. Our requirements are based on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1582 Standard. The NFPA standard also lists any disqualifying medical conditions. If you have any questions, bring the NFPA information to your healthcare provider to see if you meet the standards.

To prepare for the intense physical demands of recruit training and a firefighting career, you should have already made a commitment to life-long, total-body fitness including:

  • Flexibility
  • Cardio endurance
  • Muscle strength and power
  • Muscle endurance
  • Healthy body composition

Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)

The CPAT has eight separate stations that simulate events at a fire scene. It is one of two pre-employment fitness assessments that measure if you meet our minimum physical fitness level. It also tests your ability to perform essential tasks at emergency scenes. You will need to complete the CPAT if you reach Step 7 of the Firefighter Selection Process.

For more information, view the IAFF CPAT guide. We recommend you focus on the CPAT Orientation and Preparation Guides (Appendix A and Appendix B).

This video shows the activities at each of the eight stations in the test.

If you have any questions about the CPAT, contact our Wellness Centre by e-mail at CPAT.info@calgary.ca.

Medical & Fitness Assessment

If you complete the selection process, you will go through a complete physical exam and fitness assessment at our medical centre. It includes a treadmill evaluation that will determine your cardio fitness level. You must reach a minimum of 12 minutes and 30 seconds on the treadmill while wearing a mask that measures how efficiently your body uses oxygen. Failure to complete the test will result in your job offer being rescinded.

Read the information on the IAFF website to prepare for this test. We do not conduct a Stairmill evaluation.

Immunization Requirements

You must have the following immunizations before you apply. You will need to provide proof during the selection process. Find your immunization records or get immunized early.

Vaccine Dosage Where to get immunizations or blood (titre) tests
Diphtheria / Tetanus (Td)
*Required
  • Primary series, and at least 1 booster in the last 10 years
  • Public Health Facility
Pertussis (whooping cough)
*Required
  • Primary series, and 1 dose dTap (Diphtheria / Tetanus / Pertussis) in adulthood
  • Public Health Facility
Hepatitis B
*Required
  • Primary series, and follow-up blood test for proof of immune response
  • Public Health Facility
Influenza
*Required
  • Record of immunization for the current influenza season
  • Public Health Facility
  • physician
  • pharmacy
Measles / Mumps / Rubella (MMR)
*Required
  • Born during or after 1970: 2 doses
  • Born before 1970: 1 dose
  • Public Health Facility
Polio
*Required
  • Primary series
  • Public Health Facility
Varicella (chickenpox)
*Required
Adults 18-49 yrs of age:
  • Pre-immunization blood test if no history of disease or immunization
  • If susceptible, 2 doses of the varicella vaccine
  • Public Health Facility
Tuberculin Test (TST)
*Required
  • Single dose
  • Public Health Facility
Meningococcal Conjugate
*Strongly recommended
  • Up to 24 years: if not immunized in adolescence
  • Physician
  • Travel clinic
  • pharmacy
HPV (human papillomavirus)
*Strongly recommended
  • Women up to 26 yrs: HPV4, HPV9 or HPV2
  • Men up to 26 yrs: HPV4 or HPV9
  • Adults 27 yrs and older, if at ongoing risk
  • Physician
  • Travel clinic
  • pharmacy