National Firefighter Selection Tests

Firefighter test

The National Firefighter Selection Tests  (NFST) have been designed to reflect a selection of the tasks that a firefighter performs. The NFST will test the potential of an individual to undertake these tasks when fulfilling the role of a firefighter.

Practical Tests

A series of tests designed to indicate levels of literacy, numeracy and general intelligence is undertaken if your application meets the standard required. You must pass each stage of the process before moving onto the next stage. Candidates will only be given one chance at each stage.

Physical Tests

These are a series of tests designed to access the candidate's ability to work in a team, to give an insight to both applicants and assessors of the applicant's reaction to the Fire and Rescue Service environment.

The candidate should be aware that this is a physically demanding day designed to mimic the effort required of firefighters at the scene of incidents. Candidates suffering from temporary illness, injury or receiving antibiotics or other drugs should not attend until they are well.

The range of physical tests are designed to test the candidate's ability to understand, absorb and carry out instructions, plus other elements particular to each test.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has created a series of six videos to provide tips on how to get ready for the physical testsView all six videos - physical tests, or use the links below:

Ladder Climb

This test is designed to assess confidence at heights. Applicants in full Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) must wear a safety harness and practice a leg-lock at ground level. The applicant then has to ascend two thirds of the way up the ladder (indicated by a mark on the ladder) then take a leg-lock. They will then be asked to lean backwards and outstretch their arms to the sides, and then whilst looking over their shoulder they should say out loud what symbol is being shown by the assessor at ground.

Here is video that will help you to prepare for this test:

Video - Ladder climb exercise

Casualty Evacuation

This is a test designed to assess upper and lower body strength and co-ordination. Applicants wearing full PPE are to drag a 55 kg dummy backwards around a 30M course, by a carrying handle fixed to the dummy. Applicants are permitted to watch other applicant's performance. Applicants can be briefed one at a time or in small groups to allow them to continue onto the next test without delay.

Applicants will be told the performance standard they need to achieve to pass the test and are permitted to watch the performance of others.

Here is video that will help you to prepare for this test:

Video - Casualty evacuation exercise

Ladder Lift

This is a test designed to assess upper and lower body strength and co-ordination. Applicants wearing full PPE are to raise the bar of a ladder lift simulator to the required height with 15 kg of weight placed on the simulator cradle, which gives a total of 24 kg.

Applicants will be assisted if necessary by the Safety Officer. Applicants are directed to perform an initial lift with 5 kg of weight on the cradle to ensure they are prepared for the test.

Here is video that will help you to prepare for this test:

Video - Ladder lift exercise

Enclosed Space

This is a test designed to assess confidence, agility and stamina. Applicants in full PPE are to put on a facemask and with un-obscured vision make their way through a crawl and walkway. Once inside the crawl/walkway they have their vision obscured and return to the start.

Applicants who travel in the wrong direction or do not make any progress for 30 seconds will be stopped and directed so that they can continue, however, the stopwatch will run.

Here is video that will help you to prepare for this test:

Video - Enclosed space exercise

Equipment Assembly

This is a test designed to assess manual dexterity. Applicants will be given a demonstration of the test before having to assemble and disassemble a number of components to make an item of equipment.

The assembly will be timed and recorded and then the disassembly will be timed and recorded. Wherever possible this test should be conducted prior to the equipment carry to give applicants a pause before their last most strenuous effort.

Applicants will be told the performance standard they need to achieve.

Here is video that will help you to prepare for this test:

Video - Equipment assembly exercise

Equipment Carry

This is a test designed to assess upper and lower body strength and co-ordination. Applicants are to carry items of equipment up and down a course between two cones placed 25M apart. They will be given brief demonstrations of correct lifting techniques and permitted to practice picking up the various items.

Applicants will be reminded of the sequence of events as the test progresses as they are not required to memorise them.

Applicants will be told the performance standard they need to achieve.

Here is video that will help you to prepare for this test:

Video - Equipment carry exercise

Risk assessments

Risk assessments (new window, PDF 29KB)

Ladder climb 1 (new window, PDF 15KB)

Ladder climb 2 (new window, PDF 49KB)

Casualty evacuation 1 (new window, PDF 53KB)

Casualty evacuation 2 (new window, PDF 14KB)

Ladder lift 1 (new window, PDF 14KB)

Ladder lift 2 (new window, PDF 58KB)

Confined space 1 (new window, PDF 15KB)

Confined space 2 (new window, PDF 58KB)

Equipment assembly 1 (new window, PDF 14KB)

Equipment assembly 2 (new window, PDF 53KB)

Equipment carry 1 (new window, PDF 14KB)

Equipment carry 2 (new window, PDF 58KB)