The relevance of the pack hike test for Australian bushfire firefighters

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Fire Note 74: Fighting bushfires is a physically demanding occupation and therefore firefighters need to be physically fit to work safely and productively.

Many firefighting agencies employ physical competency tests such as the Pack Hike Test to determine whether personnel are fit for duty.

The test involves a 4.83 km hike over level terrain carrying a 20.4 kg pack within 45 minutes. The test was devised to test the job readiness of USA wildfire firefighters and is currently used by some fire agencies in Australia.

This Fire Note highlights key points from a recent review of the history and development of the test and its relevance and validity to Australian bushfire firefighters.

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