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Apopka Public Safety Academy - Week 2


The second session of 2016 Apopka Public Safety Academy was last Thursday and Captain Wil Sanchez from the Apopka Fire Department was in charge.

The focus was on the physical requirements of being a firefighter or EMT.

All Apopka firefighters and EMTs must successfully complete a rigorous physical fitness/agility test each year to keep their jobs. The test is unique to the Apopka Fire Department and consists of an obstacle course containing many practical firefighting tasks.

The annual test includes:

  • Pulling 150 feet of pressurized hose
  • Climbing a tower with 6 flights of stairs with two sets of hose weighing 25 pounds each
  • Recovering a dangling hose by pulling it through a window in the tower
  • Descending the tower and navigating a maze of orange cones
  • Rolling a 50-foot length of 3-inch hose
  • "Throwing" the hose to unwind it
  • Untwisting the hose and connecting it to a pumper truck and a standpipe
  • Calling for water (to fight the fire)

The course is run wearing full protective gear which includes; helmet, insulated coat and pants, boots and a self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). The total weight of the protective gear is more than 50 pounds.

The course must be completed is less than six minutes. The course record of 2:06 is held by Earl Hines.

Use this link to see photos of prospective firefighters being tested.

The Apopka Public Safety Academy participants got a taste of the firefighter's physical requirements by going through five stations on Thursday night.

  1. The Ladder Throw. Placing ladders quickly and properly is critical in order to give firefighters multiple exits from burning buildings.
  2. The Hose Throw. A quick way to unroll a firehose and make it ready for use.
  3. The Dummy Drag. Dragging a 185 pound dummy 50 feet simulates what it takes to rescue a downed firefughter. The instructors took it easy on the participants and did not require this task to be done with either the dummy nor the rescuer to wear 50 pounds of protective gear.
  4. The Tower Run. Running up and down six flights of stairs with one coil of hose on your shoulder.
  5. "Gear up." Donning a full set of protective gear, including the SCBA.

AFD dummy drag AFD Hose throw 1







AFD Hose Pull











The Apopka Public Safety Academy is designed to expose citizens with an up-close look at public safety operations with tours, classes and hands-on training activities. The program alternates weekly presentations from the Apopka Police Department and the Apopka Fire Department. This year the Public Safety Academy has been combined with the Career Academy, a program designed to enlighten and assist those who have wondered about becoming a firefighter or police officer.

This articles was updated on 4/18/2016 at 11:40 to add the name of the agility test record holder.



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