National EMS fitness standards to be implemented

To enter the fire service people need to pass the CPAT. For police officers in many states passing the Cooper Fitness Test is necessary for employment. But in EMS there are no fitness standards. That will change come the New Year when EMS will have fitness standards.

Police FitnessThe National Registry of Emergency Medical Workers, NREMW, is in the process of validating fitness standards for all EMTs and Paramedics. This testing will be administered for all new EMS workers. It will also become part of the recertification process.

NREMW wants to make sure everyone knows that no EMTs and no Paramedics will be grandfathered. “If you want to maintain your certification, you need to maintain your fitness” said director Vince Furnier.

Tests have not been finalized but the current model looks to include

  • One-minute maximum sit up test: Measures core strength needed for carrying gear day in and day out.
  • One-minute kettle bell swing test: Measure of repetitive motion of and strength needed for chest compressions
  • Stair climb test: Measures cardiovascular fitness and VO2 Max over a long-term distance. In addition simulates the reality of needing to use stairs for patient movements.
  • Dead lift test: Measure of dynamic strength and also the ability to lift a person onto a cot
  • 300-meter sprint: Measures dynamic explosive power and cardiovascular ability in short term strenuous

Again these tests are not finalized. Nor are the passing scores for weight, distance, number of reps or the time been decided on. Currently a validation test is being done to find out what the fitness levels of EMS workers needs to be.

The mandatory passing scores are hope to be established by October 2014. Classes to train EMS instructors as fitness coaches will be announced soon. Any EMS instructor who wants to proctor these fitness tests will need to have passed an EMS coach class.

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