More fire departments are switching to a standardized physical test to make it easier to apply for a full time firefighting job.
Nine departments from around Wisconsin are pooling resources for testing at CVTC. "The fire chiefs are very appreciative of what is going on," says instructor Steve Trubshaw. "The departments are getting better and better candidates from what we see each year."
Testers expect more than 230 candidates attempt to pass the test, which requires wearing a 50 pound vest to complete eight stations in 10 minutes, 20 seconds. "We generally have a 5-7% failure rate."
Duston Holton passed the test. "It went pretty good," he says. "It was a pretty tough test. It really got to you at the end there."
Holton is a part time firefighter from Delafield, but wants to move back to the area. He's taken the test before and says dragging 175 pound dummy is always the hardest station.
"It was right towards the end and your legs are already tired and burning. It was pretty tough."
The candidates who pass the physical test also have to pass a written test. Then they are eligible to apply with Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls, Menomonie, Marshfield, Stevens Point, Ashland, Rhinelander, LaCrosse Fire Departments and the Chippewa Fire Protection District.