A Preliminary Comparison of Firefighter Candidates' Biddle Physical Ability Test Performance and Success Based on Training Class Participation
International Journal of Exercise Science 15(4): 1627-1640, 2022. The Biddle Physical Ability Test (BPAT) was developed to identify candidates who possess the physical ability to become structural firefighters. The test must be completed in ≤ 9:34 min:s before a candidate is admitted to an academy. Some community colleges offer semester-long training classes for candidates. This study analyzed whether candidates who completed a training class could perform the BPAT more effectively. Retrospective analysis of 30 males and 2 females who attempted the BPAT was conducted. BPAT tasks were: dry and charged hose drag; halyard raise, roof walk, and attic crawl; roof ventilation and victim removal; ladder removal and carry; stair climb with hose bundle; crawling search and tower exit; stair climb with air bottles; hose hoist; and return to ground floor with air bottles. Independent samples t-tests or Mann-Whitney U tests (p < 0.05) and effect sizes calculated BPAT time differences between candidates who completed a training class or not. Twenty-nine candidates passed the BPAT; 6 completed a training class. The 3 candidates (2 males, 1 female) who failed did not complete a class. There were no significant between-group differences in BPAT times (p = 0.054-0.829). There were moderate effects for faster roof ventilation and victim removal, ladder removal and carry, and hose hoist times for candidates who attended a class (d = 0.74-0.95). While training classes may not be necessary for all candidates, physically demanding BPAT tasks were finished faster by candidates who completed a class. For candidates who find the BPAT physicality difficult, participation in a task-specific fitness and skills class may prove beneficial.
Lockie, Robert G.; Ruvalcaba, Tomas; Thompson, Megan; Viramontes, Erika; Orr, Robin (Rob) Marc; Dawes, J. Jay; and Dulla, Joseph
"A Preliminary Comparison of Firefighter Candidates' Biddle Physical Ability Test Performance and Success Based on Training Class Participation,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 15
4, Pages 1627 - 1640.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol15/iss4/33