People were right. I had nothing to worry about. I sailed through the assessments. The Capoeira “assessments” I’ve been pitched into for the past 3 years is 200x more difficult. Guess that and staying in shape through biking, hiking and hitting the gym once in a blue moon did the trick 🙂
The physical assessment I did today and was very similar to the CPAFLA test for the PCP program at JIBC. It involved the following:
- Grip Strength
- Aerobic capacity assessment
a) step test
a) Hamstrings (sit and reach)
- Ab strength:
a) One sit up with heels on the floor (hands behind head for excellent, at chest for very good, and arms by sides for good)
b) Lower abs (Double leg hold for 10s ~6cm from the floor with lower back remaining contact with the floor)
c) Obliques (Side-crunch is the best I can describe it, hold for 10s ~1ft from the floor)
d) Upper Abs: Crunches (max25)
- Lifting (weights are in a box):
a) 50lbs up to shoulder height
b) 120lbs up to waist
The score ratings for each of the tests are: Excellent, Very good, Good, Fair, and Needs improvement.
All the tests above are to ensure that you are fit to work as a paramedic and mainly to prevent lower back injuries. For example, the more flexible you are, the less likely you’ll hurt your back due to tight hips and legs for squatting and bending. Ab strength is important in lifting to hold your spine in anatomical position to prevent overstraining/usage of back muscles. The aerobics step test is to test your general health. While the pushups is to see if you have adequate upper body strength (once again related to lifting/carrying). The grip test is important for pulling on the stretcher lever when loading or taking a patient out of the ambulance or gripping the stretcher, and the lifting of weights is to obviously simulate lifting a patient.
I think if you’ve been keeping physically active then the test will be a breeze. 120lbs may seem like a lot especially for someone of smaller stature, but you’d be surprised at how much your body can lift with good body mechanics. The weights they used felt lighter than the ones I tested out at the gym (I brought a milk carton crate and placed dumbells into it). At the gym 70lbs felt heavier than the 120lbs I did at the center. I’m not exactly sure why… unless I had misread and it was actually 70kg.
So after 3 months, I finally have gotten all that employment application process stuff done. Now it’s just waiting for a phone call from a station 😀
As for the question I raised in the post Island Hopping? I have decided that getting my employment number is my number one concern (aka building up my seniority). So if it means working at a small island to start off, well I’m not going to be complaining. I just hope I get the number before my in-class PCP program starts.