Civil Service Exam and Physical Ability Test (PAT)

Written Exam

You can find the written test preparation materials here. It is highly recommended to utilize these test prep materials, as they will be extremely beneficial to successfully pass the written portion of the exam. 

PAT - Physical Ability Test

The job of a firefighter is one of the most physically demanding jobs in the world. It requires high levels of cardiopulmonary endurance, muscular strength and muscular endurance. The Physical Ability Test (PAT) consists of ten critical physical tasks that simulate actual job duties on the fire ground. The Baytown Fire Department uses the PAT to evaluate a candidate's physical ability to perform essential job tasks. 

The PAT is a sequence of events requiring the candidate to progress along a predetermined path from event to event in a continuous manner. This test was developed to allow fire departments a means for obtaining pools of trainable candidates who are physically able to perform essential job tasks at fire scenes. 

The PAT Test consists of:


Event 1:  Dry Hose Drag

Candidate advances pre-connected 1.75-inch dry hose line for 115 feet. Each 50-foot section weighs 19.80 pounds, for a total of 59.40 pounds of dry weight dragged. This event simulates extending a dry offensive hose line from an apparatus to a fire scene for firefighting operations.

  • Candidates are required to keep one hand on the hose nozzle at all times. If candidates do not keep one hand on the nozzle, they will be given a warning. If the behavior continues the candidate will be required to start the event from the beginning.
  • Candidates are required to place the hose nozzle in the designated area. I they do not, the proctor will ask the candidate to go back and set the nozzle in the appropriate place.

Event 2: Charged Hose Drag

Candidate advances pre-connected 1.75-inch charged hose line for 70 feet. This event simulates extending a charged offensive hose line to the seat of a fire for firefighting operations.

  • Candidates are required to keep one hand on the hose nozzle at all times. If candidates do not keep one hand on the nozzle, they will be given a warning. If the behavior continues the candidate will be required to start the event from the beginning.
  • Candidates may not use the frames of the crawl tunnel to brace themselves to aide in advancing the hose.
  • Candidates are required to place the hose nozzle in the designated area. I they do not, the proctor will ask the candidate to go back and set the nozzle in the appropriate place.

Event 3: Halyard Raise

Candidate raises and lowers the fly section of a 24-foot aluminum extension ladder with a halyard. The pull resistance of the ladder is approximately 26 pounds. This event simulates raising and lowering the fly of a 24-foot aluminum extension ladder in order to access higher floors for rescue, ventilation, and other firefighting operations.

  • Candidates are required to brace one foot against the base of the ladder, if candidates do not properly foot the ladder they will be asked to lower the ladder and begin the event again.
  • Candidates are not allowed to jump up and grasp the halyard. Both feet must remain on the ground at all times.
  • Candidates are not allowed to crouch down and use their body to perform the raise.
  • If the rope slips through the candidate’s hand during the halyard raise, the candidate must restart the event from the beginning. If the rope slips through the candidates hands a second time during the halyard raise, the candidate is disqualified from the test.

Event 4: Roof Walk

Candidate ascends and descends a 10-foot distance walking/crawling on the rungs of a 12-foot roof ladder while carrying a simulated 20.20-pound chain saw. This event simulates walking on a roof ladder with the appropriate equipment in order to perform ventilation operations.

  • Candidates are required to touch each rung with at least one foot, including the rung at the 10ft mark. If they do not, they will be asked to restart the event. Candidates are not required to touch each rung on the way down.
  • Candidates are not allowed to turn around and walk down the ladder. If they do, they must restart the event.
  • Candidates are allowed to slide the chainsaw along the roof when backing down the ladder.
  • The Chainsaw must return to the designated area. If it is not placed correctly, the proctor will ask them to place the chainsaw in the designated area.

Event 5: Attic Crawl

Candidate crawls a distance of 20 feet across a simulated attic area while carrying a simulated flashlight in his/her hands. This event simulates walking/crawling on joists in an attic to search for the extension of a fire.

  • The candidates are required to pick up the simulated flash light and either crawl on their hands and knees or “crab walk” as long as they stay below the barriers.
  • Candidates may not drop their hands or feet through the joists, touching the ground below the attic prop. If they do, they are required to restart the event.

Event 6: Ventilation Exercise

Candidate stands on a pitched rooftop and strikes the roof 30 times with an 8-pound sledge hammer. This event simulates making a ventilation opening in a roof with an axe or sledge hammer in order to ventilate a fire.

  • For each strike, the candidates are required to raise the sledge hammer above their helmet and strike the roof while maintaining control of the sledge hammer.
  • The proctor will count the strikes out loud. Improper strikes will not be counted.
  • The sledge hammer will be placed in the designated area. If it is not, the proctor will ask the candidate to place the sledge hammer in the appropriate place.

Event 7: Victim Removal

Candidate carries or drags a dummy for 26 feet. This event simulates removing an injured or unconscious victim from a hazardous area.

  • Candidates may use the harness and or handles to drag the dummy.
  • Candidates may not drag the dummy by the head, feet and clothes.
  • Candidates must move the dummy completely around the cone and place the dummy back in the starting position. If they do not, the proctor will ask them to do so.

Event 8: Ladder Removal & Carry

Candidate removes a 14-foot aluminum roof ladder from mounted hooks, carries the ladder 60 feet around a diamond shaped course, and replaces the ladder to the mounted hooks. The weight of the ladder is 29.20 pounds. This event simulates removing a straight ladder from an apparatus, carrying it to the site of use, and replacing it to the apparatus.

  • If, in the proctor’s opinion, the candidate loses control of the ladder, the proctor may intervene. The proctor will take the ladder from the candidate, placing it on the ground at the place where the candidate lost control. The candidate will then pick up the ladder and continue.
  • When replacing the ladder, both ends must be in control and off the ground. If one end of the ladder hits the ground. The proctor will assist the candidate in grounding the ladder and the candidate will be required to replace it correctly.
  • The ladder must be replaced on the hooks in the original position. If it is not, candidates will be asked to remove the ladder and replace it in the proper position.
  • Candidates are not allowed to lean or brace the ladder against the wall during replacement. If they do, they will be asked to remove and place the ladder properly.
  • While performing this event, candidates are allowed two penalties from the following:
  1. When candidates drop the ladder
  2. Candidate loses control of the ladder and proctor assists with grounding
  3. Candidate voluntarily grounds the ladder
  4. When the ladder falls over the neck of the candidate.
  • If a third penalty occurs, candidates will be disqualified.

Event 9: Crawling Search

Candidate crawls on the ground floor for a distance of 40 feet. This event simulates crawling while conducting search and rescue, hose deployment, or attic operations in a burning structure.

  • Candidates are required to crawl on their hands and knees. (No crab walking)
  • If a Candidate is not on their hands and knees the proctor will ask them to start again.

Event 10: Stair Climb with Hose

Candidate ascends and descends three flights of stairs with a 48-pound hose bundle. This event simulates climbing stairs with a hose bundle in order to fight fires in multiple-story buildings.

  • Candidates are allowed to skip steps on the way up. Candidates are not allowed to skip steps on the way down the stairs. They must touch each rung on the way down.


**This is a pass/fail test based on a validated maximum total time of 8 minutes and 39 seconds. 

The test is physically demanding and requires you to be physically fit to be successful. Watch the video below for a complete demonstration: 

  1. Main Recruitment

    Phone: 281-420-5339