Physical Employment Standards for UK Firefighters - Minimum Muscular Strength and Endurance Requirements

Richard D.M. Stevenson, Andrew G. Siddall, Philip F.J. Turner, James L.J. Bilzon

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28 Citations (SciVal)
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Objective: The aim of this study was to assess sensitivity and specificity of surrogate physical ability tests as predictors of criterion firefighting task performance and to identify corresponding minimum muscular strength and endurance standards. Methods: Fifty-one (26 male; 25 female) participants completed three criterion tasks (ladder lift, ladder lower, ladder extension) and three corresponding surrogate tests [one-repetition maximum (1RM) seated shoulder press; 1RM seated rope pull-down; repeated 28kg seated rope pull-down]. Surrogate test standards were calculated that best identified individuals who passed (sensitivity; true positives) and failed (specificity; true negatives) criterion tasks. Results: Best sensitivity/specificity achieved were 1.00/1.00 for a 35kg seated shoulder press, 0.79/0.92 for a 60kg rope pull-down, and 0.83/0.93 for 23 repetitions of the 28kg rope pull-down. Conclusions: These standards represent performance on surrogate tests commensurate with minimum acceptable performance of essential strength-based occupational tasks in UK firefighters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-79
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Physical employment standards; firefighting; muscular strength; muscular endurance; physical fitness; sensitivity and specificity.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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