Wednesday, October 16, 2019
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13 Firefighters Compete Hard for Just One Job

In the past few years it’s been tough finding the perfect job for some. The application and interview can be both daunting but a tough experience as well. But imagine if you also had to pass a physical endurance test to get selected as well. We’d fail, you’d probably fail. Many just would not make it.

Saturday morning, the Stony Hill Fire Department used the Wake Forest Station 1 excellent facilities to conduct an employment “agility test.” Call it what you want but it involved a whole lot of physical skills that most people just don’t have.

Candidates head inside to be cleared by Wake EMS Station 10 team for the test.

Candidates head inside to be cleared by Wake EMS Station 10 team for the test. Still hosting smiles at the moment.

Stony Hill Chief AC Rich was proud of how much heart all the recruits had and how motivated they were to do well. When the adrenaline kicks and even the smallest guy can move mountains he shared.

Applicants came from as far away as Charlotte but most were from the surrounding area for the single paid full-time firefighter position.

If you are interested in being a Stony Hill firefighter they do have volunteer positions open which don’t require the really tough physical test. Contact Stoney Hill FD for more information and to apply.

As one of the test supervisors, Brian, shared with us the physical test had a number of stages from dragging a hose to rescuing some dummy. We were going to volunteer for the dummy position but then realized they meant a real dummy made of hose and duct tape. Oh.

From climbing stairs to crawling through long dark tubes the candidates used all their physical skills and tried to look cool, all at the same time. They did a much better job than us because halfway through we would have been like, “F^#% This.” But these guys don’t quit.

Wake County EMS was on hand to check the all male candidates out before they embarked on their physical tests. Wake Forest Fire Department members helped with the testing as well.

For one of the tests even we were not that brave (stupid) to want to stand in front of the candidates swinging a heavy sledge hammer. Instead we opted for the looking through safety glass option.

They had to use brute strength to force a heavy sled a specified distance.

Kevin Merrill from the Rolesville area beats the crap out of what certainly is a heavy and expensive piece of testing equipment.

Kevin Merrill from the Rolesville area beats the crap out of what certainly is a heavy and expensive piece of testing equipment.

Each applicant had distinctive skills they called upon to give them an unfair advantage through the test.

Some use the puffy cheek technique for the tough strenuous activities.

Puffy cheeks obviously help some pull hose like a pro.

Puffy cheeks obviously help some pull hose like a pro.

Some channeled extra energy from the tongue to make short work out of the test.

Guys called on all they had to pass the test like a firefighter with a big heart.

Guys called on all they had to pass the test like a firefighter with a big heart.

Then of course there was the open mouth ladder raising which we identified with because we would have done exactly the same thing. Apparently this technique helps to handle the ladder like a champ, because he certainly did.

Open mouth ladder raising probably helps to take in more oxygen.

Open mouth ladder raising probably helps to take in more oxygen.

As part of the agility test they not only had to utilize upper and lower body strength but had to crawl through a giant dark tube and relive the whole birth canal experience at the end.

Well slap my ass and call me hired.

Well slap my ass and call me hired.

The entire test was conducted while candidates wore a heavy weighted vest. There was nothing easy about the exam.

These guys took the test seriously and worked hard to demonstrate their skills and abilities.

These guys took the test seriously and worked hard to demonstrate their skills and abilities.

The tests today were just a stepping stone on the greater path of being selected for the coveted spot on the Stony Hill Rural Fire Department team. Besides all of the fire academy training, previous practical paid or volunteer firefighter experience, written tests, and physical tests, the candidates still have to survive a face-to-face interview to just make it to the short list for selection.

There is nothing easy about becoming part of the greater brotherhood of firefighters. Whoever gets selected, they damn well earned it.

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