Applicant Physical Ability Test (APAT)

About the APAT

Our professional fitness personnel developed the APAT to establish a minimum level of acceptable performance needed by each applicant to be successful at the Hampton Roads Recruit Fire Academy. Each phase simulates a common firefighting activity and closely resembles the Work Performance Evaluation that all County firefighters are required to pass annually.

Applicants are provided a hard hat and leather work gloves for personal protection during the test, as well as a weighted vest to simulate firefighting gear. The test must be completed in 7 minutes, 29 seconds or less to pass. A 2 minute, 30 second warm up will take place on an electric step-mill before timing begins.

  1. What you need to bring

Remember to bring the following items to your scheduled test:

  • Photo ID (driver's license, passport or college ID)
  • Long pants and closed toe/heel footwear


There is an APAT familiarization session available to all applicants who would like to briefly practice with the testing equipment. Registration is not necessary. However, parking space is limited. Expect the possibility of a minimal wait time if parking is full. Applicants must wear long pants and closed toe/heel footwear.

The APAT is made up of the following events: 

  • Warm up
  • Event 1: Ladder raise and extension 
  • Event 2: Forcible entry 
  • Event 3: High rise pack and stair climb event 
  • Events 4 and 5: Supply line advancement and pull 
  • Event 6: Ceiling breach and pull 
  • Event 7: Equipment carry 
  • Event 8: Ventilation
  • Event 9: Victim rescue 

Download the Full Description of Events (PDF) for more details.