FITNESS TEST for Department of Sustainable Environment Firefighters Deemed Too Harsh

A FITNESS TEST for firefighters with weight 20kg backpack for Australia’s Department of Sustainable Environment firefighters, has been slammed as too harsh.

But a Herald Sun experiment has shown the test can almost be passed by a young mom and a man in his 50s whose main exercise is watching golf on TV. A student under 18 also managed to complete the task with no training.

The Australian Workers Union has banned the fitness tests for permanent DSE firefighters, but not for hundreds of fire season summer crew contractors, who still have to pass the fitness test.

To pass the test a DSE firefighter must cover 4.8km around an oval track in 42 minutes carrying a 20kg backpack.

AWU state secretary Cesar Melhem said the fitness tests were actually causing DSE firefighter injuries with a disproportionate amount of soft tissue injuries; especially to the shoulders, ankles and knees; with a number of WorkCover claims resulting.

Of course, there is no mention if the Herald Sun article followed their successful non-firefighter test subjects to see if they developed soft tissue injuries during subsequent weeks.

See more from the Herald Sun Article
Firefighters Refuse 20 kg Backpack Drill