While Peak Form Medical Clinic provides physical therapy and Worker’s Compensation injury care services, we also provide agility and fit-for-duty testing for our first responders. Every year, the Brighton Fire Rescue District, along with other fire departments, visits us to complete agility testing to ensure the firefighters can complete the essential duties of this essential job.
With the risk of COVID-19, we have modified how we run this testing. Typically, we run four firefighters through the screen at a time, but this year we have been testing two at a time to allow for social distancing. As with all other patients, job candidates, and our staff, we require the Brighton firefighters to wear face masks.
Firefighters have a heavy-duty job. They must be able to lift, carry, push, and pull 100 pounds. We also assess that their cardiovascular system can handle extra stress by testing their endurance with a treadmill test while wearing a weighted vest to simulate the personal protective equipment they wear when on a call. After that, they must perform essential job tasks such as dragging a weighted dummy at 185 pounds, dragging a hose in a crouch or crawl, and climbing ladders – all with a weighted vest. This testing helps ensure the firefighters are fit to provide the crucial community services to protect all of us and to protect the firefighter from on the job injuries.
There is a higher risk of workplace injury with heavy duty jobs, especially ones that involve rescue efforts and lifting people out of dangerous spots in adverse conditions. Fit-for-duty agility testing allows us to screen for potential injuries. It is always a safer, cheaper option to be sure your employees are capable of performing the job in a safe, controlled environment, rather than learning they cannot perform essential duties while on the job.
While wearing a mask has made testing more challenging, the Brighton Fire Rescue District has been coming through without difficulty. We’re proud to offer this service and contribute to the safety of their firefighters. This testing is beneficial not only to heavy duty jobs such as firefighting, but is also highly recommended for any job to ensure the candidate is physically and medically able to perform the essential functions of the position they are being hired for; reducing the risk of an on the job injury.