BCAS Physical Assessment

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:

  1. Grip Strength
  2. Aerobic capacity assessment
    a) step test
  3. Flexibility:
    a) Hamstrings (sit and reach)
    b) Hip
  4. 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)
  5. Push-ups
  6. 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.

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Comments
11 Responses to “BCAS Physical Assessment”
  1. K says:

    Yes, get any station they hand you and put in your minimum 8 shifts/month. Once you start PCP you can go on education leave and keep gaining the seniority. By the time you finish you will have enough seniority AND a better license level to get a decent station. 🙂

    • C says:

      That’s exactly my plan. I’m just hoping they call my soon since my in-class starts January 17th. Lol they’ve got a 2 month window 😉

  2. walshhie says:

    I’m so happy for all the advise along this page, it really has helped my future job, and I’m sure I’ll follow along your path.

  3. Aaron Quiambao says:

    Hi,

    Sorry to trouble you – I have a few questions

    I was accepted into the JIBC PCP Program this up-coming April-November term.
    Also, I am nearing the end of the hiring process for BCAS. I just need to do my criminal record check, medical examination, and physical assessment.

    My questions are:
    – What happens with my 6 months probation if I am hired before April-PCP Program starts?
    – Would my 6-months probation stop when I go to do the PCP Program and then continue after I finish the program?
    – I heard that I would have to apply for an educational leave – will they always grant an educational leave or is there a chance that they would say “no”?
    – While doing the PCP program – How do I maintain my seniority with BCAS? Do I still have to hand in the minimum 8 shifts/month?
    – If I don’t apply for an educational leave and just give them the minimum 8 shifts/month – would my 6-months probation continue to count while I am at school?

    – Say you live in Vancouver and you get a station in Osoyoos. You are scheduled to work Monday (day shift) and Wednesday (day shift). Are you allowed to stay and sleep at the station or do you have to leave after your monday shift and just come back for your wednesday shift?

    Sorry for the amount of questions
    Thanks though for taking your time to answer.

    Aaron Q.

    • PocketMedic says:

      Hi Aaron,

      First of all, congrats on getting into the PCP program 🙂 I know a few friends who got into that one as well at the New West Campus.

      To answer your questions: -* What happens with my 6 months probation if I am hired before April-PCP Program starts?

      * Once you get hired with BCAS, your probation period starts from the moment you do your station orientation. The PCP program does not affect your hire/start date and hence does not affect your probation.

      ** * – Would my 6-months probation stop when I go to do the PCP Program and then continue after I finish the program?

      * Your 6mos probation will not stop because you are attending school. It is separate from school unless you somehow get a leave of absence. In that case you will have to discuss with your unit chief how it works out. They may extend your probation period.

      ** * – I heard that I would have to apply for an educational leave – will they always grant an educational leave or is there a chance that they would say “no”?

      *You can try and apply for an educational leave, although I have not heard of any successes with educational leave for PCP (only for ACP). I asked for one when I went to school and they didn’t allow me to. Although I would try and ask anyways.

      * – While doing the PCP program – How do I maintain my seniority with BCAS? Do I still have to hand in the minimum 8 shifts/month?

      *In order to maintain seniority with BCAS, you MUST submit a minimum of 8shifts a month. If you do not submit shifts for three months, you will be removed from BCAS as an employee.

      * – If I don’t apply for an educational leave and just give them the minimum 8 shifts/month – would my 6-months probation continue to count while I am at school?

      *Yes, your 6 months of probation will continue to count if you do not apply for leave and continue submitting your 8shifts. If it is possible for you to do this, I highly suggest placing your minimal amount of shifts during school. This way, you gain seniority throughout school and by the time you are out of school, you will have a head start compared to your classmates who have not been hired. Also you get to place the knowledge (obviously not PCP protocols and drugs) you learned from school and apply it in real life.

      * – Say you live in Vancouver and you get a station in Osoyoos. You are scheduled to work Monday (day shift) and Wednesday (day shift). Are you allowed to stay and sleep at the station or do you have to leave after your monday shift and just come back for your wednesday shift?*

      Speak with your Unit Chief. The station should have beds for each of the crew members there (if there are two kilo cars then there should be four beds), and as an employee you have the right to sleep in one of those beds while you are at the station and if you are working a shift. The best is to have back to back shifts. I know some people don’t like sharing their rooms, (two beds in a room and the person would want the room to themselves). I’m not saying make enemies, but use your judgement, you have the right to the room as s/he does and if s/he doesn’t like to share a room, s/he can sleep out on the couch. The only situation I would be respectful is, if you are not on shift that evening, and there is a full crew (all the beds are taken by the crews working that night), have the courtesy to allow the crew members who are working to use the beds and you can maybe camp out on the couch for that period until you are back on shift. In short though, it is understandable for someone who is commuting to be able to stay at the station until things are sorted out. I will take the time to speak with your unit chief about your situation, and have a look around on your first orientation day.

      Hopefully that answers all your questions. If you have more, feel free to ask.

      Cheers!

      • Aaron Quiambao says:

        Hey,

        I passed the physical. I found it easier than the physical for the PCP program.

        What a big sigh of relief having finished all of the testing. After all of the waiting and all of the steps. It feels awesome to be done everything.

        The exam description you have above remains unchanged from what I did.

        Now I am just waiting (again) – will HR contact me or will an interested UC contact me directly if everything went well?

        Aaron Q.

      • PocketMedic says:

        Hey Aaron, congrats! Thanks for the update as well in regards to whether things have changed since I’ve gone through it.

        If all goes well HR will contact you then once you accept the offer of a station, the UC of that station will be in touch.

        Sent from iphone

  4. Jason K says:

    I could definitely do all of this, but I’m very inflexible. I did a hamstring flexibility test, and some people got 12cm, 28cm, things like that. I didn’t even reach the ruler to get a number. I was in the negatives. Failing that part of the test alone would still be enough to fail me for the whole thing, right? And how would I best gain flexibility, in your opinion?

    • PocketMedic says:

      Hi Jason,

      I do not believe you will fail simply because you are not flexible as the test is to see your general over wellbeing to make sure you’re a “normal” healthy person. That being said, the lack of flexibility could mean increased risk of injury at work further down the road. The best would be to do stretching exercises after a workout because your muscles shorten to the optimal length required during exercise and needs stretching out post exercise to maintain optimal flexibility. Stretch for a minimum 30s each leg, of course you can do longer. Any hamstring stretch would work, just make sure your body and muscles are warm!

      Cheers

    • Aaron Quiambao says:

      To PocketMedic: I hope it’s alright to add stuff to your post

      Hi Jason,

      I was wondering when you did the hamstring flexibility test – were your leg muscles warm?
      I, myself, am not very flexible but I found that I can stretch and reach farther after my legs have been exercised for a bit.

      PocketMedic made a good point of stretching after a workout (don’t forget of also doing it before)

      Also, another great way is doing yoga poses. I increased my flexibility doing the yoga & stretching exercises in the P90x program. Before doing this, I had trouble crossing my legs and reaching my ankles. After, I had no more problems crossing my legs and even reaching past my toes.

      I thing to keep in mind. You have to keep working on flexibility or it will (like anything) decrease again.

      Thanks,

      Aaron Q.

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