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JANUARY 24, 2019

The City of North Tonawanda and Niagara County Civil Service require all Firefighter/Fire Driver candidates to pass a written civil service exam and a physical agility test.

Written Examination: 

  • Successfully complete the written examination with a score of seventy (70) or better.

Physical Agility Test:

  • Candidates must pass the written examination in order to be scheduled for the qualifying Physical Agility Test.
  • A candidate’s physical and medical condition will be evaluated prior to appointment to ensure that s/he is able to satisfactorily perform the duties of this position with or without reasonable accommodation and is likely to successfully complete the candidate physical ability testing (CPAT) requirement of the fire academy.
  • All elements of the agility test are scored on a pass/fail basis and candidates must satisfactorily complete each element of the test.  Candidates who fail the agility test will not be offered a retest and will be restricted from certification on the Certified Eligible List.
  • Prior to the candidate’s scheduled Physical Agility Test, s/he must provide a statement from her/his physician on forms provided by the City of North Tonawanda Fire Department, stating that the candidate is physically capable of participating in the agility test.  Physician certification will be good for six (6) months.
  • Candidates who fail to appear for the scheduled Physical Agility Test will have failed the agility test and will be restricted from certification on the Certified Eligible List.  Allowance may be made for military service (copy of military orders) or for a medical procedure/reason documented by a physician.  Documentation must be submitted prior to the scheduled agility test date.
  • Candidates who have successfully completed the agility test with the City of North Tonawanda Fire Department within one (1) year of the date of certification of the eligible list will not be required to undergo another agility test and will be eligible for a conditional offer of employment.



The purpose of having a physical assessment as part of entry-level Firefighter candidate testing is to identify those candidates who possess adequate physical ability in the form of agility, strength, coordination and endurance.  These physical abilities are necessary in order to function effectively and safely as a firefighter.  Additionally, as it is a requirement of the fire academy for each candidate to demonstrate sufficient physical ability based on rigorous standards in the form of candidate physical ability testing (CPAT), it is imperative that in carrying out the selection process, an adequate method of physical assessment is employed.

The following physical agility test components are based on similar procedures in the CPAT and were selected in order to provide each candidate a reasonable and fair opportunity to pass while also ensuring that those who do pass do likely possess the ability to successfully perform CPAT by the conclusion of the Fire Academy training.

StandardsPass/Fail.  Each candidate must complete the following in the order they are listed and within the maximum allotted time.  If a candidate fails to complete any component, or exceeds the total time allotted, then that candidate will have failed the examination and will not be allowed to continue on with the remainder of the examination.

Ladder Skills:  The candidate must demonstrate the ability to climb a ladder.  This is untimed.

Candidate has five (5) minutes and twenty (20) seconds to complete the following tests:

Timed Stair ClimbCandidate will wear a fifty (50) pound weight vest to simulate the weight of a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and firefighter protective clothing, with an additional twenty-five (25) pounds to simulate the weight of a high-rise hose pack.  After a twenty (20) second warm-up period on the step mill the candidate shall walk continuously for three minutes at a stepping rate of sixty (60) steps per minute.  Candidates are not permitted to hold on to anything while performing the stair climb.

Equipment CarryUpon exiting the stair climb, twenty-five (25) pounds are removed from the weight vest and the candidate will remove two saws (one at a time) from a tool compartment and places them on the ground and then picks up both saws (one in each hand) and while walking carries them seventy-five (75) feet and back to the starting point (tool compartment) where they are placed back into the tool compartment one at a time.