All Fire and Police Initial-Hire candidates for the Physical Ability Test (PAT) should read the information below.
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Guide Schedule Physical Ability Test (PAT) for Fire and Police Departments
Table of Contents
Who Must Take the Medical Exam & Physical Ability Test (PAT)
Have your Medical Examination Form ready
Please have your Medical Examination Form ready.
- Physician’s Guide
- Medical Standards for initial-hire evaluation of applicants for municipal Police and Fire fighter positions
- Medical Examination Form
The hiring department needs to email pages 1 and 8 of the candidate's completed medical examination form to email@example.com ,of which the examination date must be within 6 months of the requested PAT date. Also, include if the hiring department is interested in sending candidate for a Preview and/or actual PAT.
Additional Resources for Have your Medical Examination Form ready
How to schedule a PAT
For the hiring department
- Take a look at the PAT Schedule 2020 and choose the date.*
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org along with pages 1 and 8 of the candidate's medical examination form.**
Note: The medical examination form must be dated within 6 months of the requested PAT date. Also include if the hiring department is interested in sending candidate for a Preview and/or actual PAT.
- Forward instructions from Civil Service unit to the candidate.
For the candidate
- Follow the instructions, sent by the hiring department to complete your application and pay for the PAT test.
- Check two confirmation emails to verify your application and payment.
*Requests must be submitted no later than 48 hours before the requested date of the Preview and/or PAT. Candidates are scheduled in the order in which they are received. Candidates appearing for a preview or actual PAT who have not been scheduled in advance with the Civil Service Unit will not be allowed to participate.
** The medical exam date must be within 6 months of the requested PAT date. Also, include if you are interested in sending your candidate for a Preview and/or actual PAT.
The hiring department will then receive an email containing confirmation of the candidate's test date(s) and test time(s), as well as other pertinent information regarding the Initial-Hire PAT.
Where to go to take PAT
What to Bring to PAT
Candidates must bring the following to the Physical Ability Test (PAT) testing site:
- Photo I. D. (for the preview and the test dates)
PAT candidates have the option of taking a PAT Preview. During the PAT Preview, candidates take a "practice" PAT that is not timed or scored. The Preview allows candidates to become familiarized with the events required during the actual PAT. Currently, the PAT Previews are free of charge to candidates but may be subject to change.
How to Cancel your PAT
Should a candidate need to cancel a PAT or PAT Preview, he or she must make the request to the hiring department at least 48 hours in advance of the test/preview date, and the hiring department notifies HRD Civil Service at (617) 878-9756 or email email@example.com , of the cancellation at least 24 hours in advance of the test/preview date.
PAT Score Results
Final Score Results will not be provided at the PAT site.
PAT results are emailed to candidates and to the designee of the Appointing Authority within 24 hours of taking the PAT.
Please check your email settings to allow emails from "@mass.gov" addresses into your inbox directly, as some accounts will delete what they consider SPAM before it even reaches your email folders.
What you should expect in Physical Ability Test (PAT)
Firefighter Physical Ability Test (PAT)
Stair Climb, Ladder Event, Hose Advance, Forcible Entry, Search, Rescue Through a Doorway, and Ceiling Hook (Pike Pole)
This event simulates continuous stair climbing, an activity that firefighters may perform when getting to a fire at an incident scene. For this event, you will be required to step on a rotating staircase (also known as a stepmill) at a pre-determined stepping pace for a specific period of time. You will get a 5-minute rest period after this event. The required time to remain on the stepmill is 200 seconds.
This event simulates various activities related to using ladders. You will be required to remove a ladder from a rack, carry it some distance, raise a weight of approximately 45 lbs. attached to a rope that simulates the raising of an extension ladder, lower that weight and return the ladder to the rack from which it was taken. The event ends when the ladder is back in the rack. The time limit is 35.56 seconds.
This event simulates the actions necessary to manipulate a fully charged fire hose. You will be required to pull 50 feet of hose through a U-shaped course with several turns. There will be a ceiling on the U-shaped course to prevent you from standing upright. The time limit is 20.00 seconds.
This event simulates breaking down a door to gain entry to a burning structure or an incident scene. For this event you will be required to strike a rubber pad mounted on a moveable post. You will use a 12 lb. sledge hammer to move the post a set distance. The post and structure are weighted to simulate the force you would need to exert on a door in order to gain entrance. The time limit is 13.91 seconds.
This event simulates the actions necessary to enter and search a smoke-filled structure. You will be required to crawl through a dark wooden tunnel with obstructions and turns. The tunnel is approximately 65 feet long. The tunnel is 4 feet high and 4 feet wide. At one location in the tunnel there is an obstacle on the floor and at one location there is an obstacle from the ceiling. In addition, at two locations, the tunnel is reduced from 4 to 3 feet in width. The time limit is 39.00 seconds.
Rescue Through a Doorway
This event simulates the actions necessary to drag an unconscious victim out through a doorway to get the victim to safety. You will be required to drag a 125 pound dummy approximately 30 feet, along a zigzag course to a designated area at the end of the course. In this event, there is a low ceiling over the course to prevent you from standing upright. The time limit is 36.00 seconds.
Ceiling Hook (Pike Pole)
This event simulates the use of a pike pole or ceiling hook. A pike pole or ceiling hook is a fire fighting tool used to tear down ceilings or open walls while looking for hidden fires. This event will require you to take a pike pole, tipped with an industrial hammer head, and thrust it upward at a metal plate in an 8 foot ceiling. The metal plate weighs approximately 60 lbs. And must be lifted six inches in order for the strike to count. You will then step over to the next part of the event, where a pike pole handle is suspended from a ceiling height. The pole is attached to a counter balance that weighs approximately 80 lbs. You must pull the pole down six inches in order for the pull to count. You will be required to perform one push and five pulls in a sequence. The event will require you to perform four one-minute periods of work, in which you will try to do as many push-pull sequences as possible. Each work period will be followed by a 30 second rest period. You must complete 25 full repetitions.
Police Officer Physical Ability Test (PAT)
Obstacle Course, The Separation/Control Event, The Dummy Drag
This event simulates the actions necessary to pursue and "takedown" a suspect. The event begins with an obstacle course where the candidate will be faced with going through an open window, traversing an uneven terrain, climbing over a wall, climbing up and down steps, and negotiating a series of cones arranged in a zigzag pattern. At the end of the course, the candidate will be required to grab hold of a weighted bag attached to a pulley and touch it to the ground. Next, secure a moveable bag to the ground then read a statement. The candidate will then immediately move to the Power Station to the handcuffing simulation where he/she will be required to individually pull on two hand levers until the cable hits the stop. This completes the event. The time limit is 163.4 seconds.
The Separation Event
This event simulates tasks that require separating one party from another and controlling individuals, such as in crowd control situations. The candidate will be required to pull a hanging bag backward touching it to the ground across a marked line. Candidates will have to perform two "pulls". The time limit is 12.8 seconds.
The Dummy Drag
This event simulates dragging a victim or suspect. Candidates will be required to drag a dummy over a straight course. The time limit is 11.2 seconds.