Physical Agility Exam

The Papillion Fire Department physical agility exam is designed to reflect the physical demands placed on a Firefighter. All candidates will be required to complete the entire exam in a time of 10 minutes. The exam is pass/fail.

The physical agility exam will be administered at Papillion Fire Station #1, 10727 Chandler Road, in La Vista. Comfortable clothing should be worn. Exercise-type pants or other loose-fitting long pants (no shorts), a t-shirt, and rubber-soled shoes are acceptable. Each candidate is encouraged to bring a pair of gloves. Gloves that pro-vide a good grip will be helpful. They must cover the entire hand and fingers. If a candidate does not bring gloves, a pair will be provided. Gloves must be worn for the physical agility exam. Kneepads will also be provided and must be worn throughout the course.


Agility course: This phase of the process is timed and is pass/fail. The maximum time allowed to complete the agility course is ten minutes (10:00). You must complete the entire agility course in 10:00 minutes or less to continue in the hiring process.

Before the start of the agility course, you will be outfitted with a 50 lb. weighted vest. The vest will remain on throughout the course. A helmet (provided), gloves, and knee-pads (provided) will also be worn. If the helmet falls off the head of the candidate at any time in the test process, the candidate must immediately put it back on.

The time will start once the candidate steps on the first stair on the stairway and will continue until the finish line is crossed after completion of the hose drag. If the candidate is unable to complete the course, or the maximum allotted time has been reached, the candidate will be stopped and will be removed from the hiring process.

The candidate must walk, not run, through the course. The only exception is the charged hose drag. In this station, the candidate may run.

Watch the video above for a preview of the agility course. Detailed explanations of each station in the agility course are listed below:


  1. Stair Climb and Descent: At the base of the stairs, the candidate will place a hose pack on one shoulder to be carried up and down the stairs. The candidate will ascend and descend the stairway eight (8) times. While climbing or descending the stairway, each step must be touched (no skipping steps). The railing MUST be used. At the top of the steps is a table with poker chips on it. On each trip to the top, the candidate must take a poker chip from the table and place it on a table at the bottom of the steps. After the eighth lap, the hose pack will be dropped to the ground. The candidate will then go back up the stairs to the next station. NOTE: If the hose pack is dropped at any time during the stair climb, it must be picked up and the stairs continued.
  2. Darkened Tunnel Crawl: The candidate will enter an area that is darkened and will crawl on their hands and knees. There are obstacles to work over, under, and through. A reminder that the helmet must stay on. If it falls off, the candidate must stop and put it back on.
  3. Hose Raise: The candidate will be required to pull a rolled 50-foot length of 3” hose up through a window that is approximately 15 feet above the ground. A rope will be used to pull the hose from the ground through the window. The candidate must pull the rope up until the hose can be reached, at which time the hose will be pulled up. The entire length of the hose must be on the floor at the candidate’s feet before this station is completed. Once the hose raise is completed, the candidate will go down the stairs to the main floor to continue the course.
  4. Tool Carry: The candidate will pick up two (2) power tools from the floor, carry them around a cone, return them to the station start line. The total distance is 70 feet.
  5. Dummy Drag: The candidate will be required to drag a dummy weighing approximately 170 lbs. 70 feet. The dummy will be moved around a cone and back to the starting line. The dummy’s feet must cross the starting line to complete this event. The dummy can be pulled, dragged, or carried. The goal is to get the dummy around the cone and back across the starting line. How this is accomplished is up to the candidate.
  6. Simulated Ladder Raise: The candidate will use a rope to raise a 35-pound weighted bag to ceiling height and back down, keeping the rope and bag under control at all times. The bag cannot be allowed to free-fall at any time. At least one hand must always have a grip on the rope.
  7. Ceiling Breach: The candidate will use a pike pole (a long pole with a pointed end) to lift a simulated ceiling panel. The pointed end of the pole will be positioned in the designated spot on the ceiling prop and the panel lifted and lowered. The candidate will pick up one pole from the floor and lift/lower the panel six (6) times. That pole is put back on the floor and a second pole is picked up. The panel is again lifted/lowered six (6) times. The candidate will do this two more times for a total of four (4) sets of six (6) repetitions with alternating poles completing this station.
  8. Charged Hose Drag: The next event in the agility course is the hose drag. The candidate must drag a length of 1¾” hose, charged with water, a distance of 70 feet (in one direction). The candidate must hold the hose within the first six (6) feet of the nozzle. This is the only station in which the candidate is allowed to run.
  9. Kaiser Sled: This is the final event. Before entering this event, the candidate will have 20 seconds to remove the weighted vest. During this period, the time will stop. At the end of the 20 seconds, time will resume whether the candidate has fully removed the vest or not. When the candidate is ready, they will step onto the Keiser sled and move the weight by striking it from one end to the other using a rubber sledgehammer. Once the weight has crossed the plane on the other side of the sled, the official time will stop.

You may not run at any time during this course, except for the charged hose drag. A fast walk is allowed.

Keep in mind that this examination is very strenuous. Therefore, you should begin your physical fitness preparation program NOW. The key is to gradually build up your upper, lower, and core body strength, stamina, and endurance over a period of time. There are gyms and running tracks located throughout the city. Weight training is rec-ommended for overall body strength. Distance running is good for building stamina. Running stairs is excellent for building lower body strength, stamina, and endurance.

You should always consult a physician before beginning ANY physical fitness program.