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Validity and relevance of the pack hike wildland firefighter work capacity test: a review

journal contribution
posted on 01.10.2010, 00:00 authored by Aaron Petersen, Warren PayneWarren Payne, Matthew Phillips, Kevin Netto, D Nichols, Brad AisbettBrad Aisbett
Fighting wildland fire is a physically demanding occupation. Wildland firefighters need to be physically fit to work safely and productively. To determine whether personnel are fit for duty, many firefighting agencies employ physical competency tests, such as the pack hike test (PHT). The PHT involves a 4.83-km hike over level terrain carrying a 20.4-kg pack within a 45-min period. The PHT was devised to test the job readiness of US wildland firefighters but is also currently used by some fire agencies in Australia and Canada. This review discusses the history and development of the PHT with emphasis on the process of test validation. Research-based training advice for the PHT is given, as well as discussion of the risks associated with completing the PHT. Different versions and modifications to the PHT have emerged in recent years and these are discussed with regard to their validity. Finally, this review addresses the relevance and validity of the PHT for Australian and Canadian wildland firefighters.

History

Journal

Ergonomics

Volume

53

Issue

10

Pagination

1276 - 1285

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Location

Oxford, England

ISSN

0014-0139

eISSN

1366-5847

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2010, Taylor & Francis