[IPAC-List] Ideal PPT for FF

Oscar Spurlin oscar at ergometrics.org
Mon Mar 22 12:33:41 EDT 2010

No process would conform to no undue adverse impact, if based upon safe
performance of critical ff tasks. It is inappropriate to use gender norming
for this type of performance (handling external objects of fixed size vs
tasks that just involve moving your own body). Again it is a size issue
more than a gender issue ( a large female is a small male). Thus reducing
standards for ff means looking at the job in terms of:
What is the least strength stamina can we get away with safely.
Can we define job duties in a more specialized fashion such that not
all hirees need max strength?
These days 90% of ff calls are paramedic. Women are very good at this
aspect of the job.

However if you want someone to fight fires with today's safety gear, then I
think one should accept the fact that is best to get large fit people.

Even looking at aerobic capacity which is not as size dependent, there are
still large population diff based on gender. In terms of energy cost of
critical ff tasks, these are huge (max effort of 10, 11 METs). 90% women
would not score 10-11 METs in max aerobic capacity. To recruit female ff, I
think you have to be prepared to recognize that only 5% of female population
is potentially strong and fit enough to handle these demands. Again, best
strategy would be to specialize and redesign job (but I can't get anybody to
do that).

-----Original Message-----
From: ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org [mailto:ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org]
On Behalf Of Joel Wiesen
Sent: Sunday, March 14, 2010 8:40 AM
To: IPAC-List
Subject: [IPAC-List] Ideal PPT for FF

Perhaps an ideal physical performance test for firefighter would:
- be safe
- reflect job tasks
- provide a basis for ranking applicants, and
- not have undue adverse impact on women.

What existing tests best approximate this ideal?



Joel P. Wiesen, Ph.D., Director
Applied Personnel Research
62 Candlewood Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583-6040
(617) 244-8859

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