Objective: This communication is the first of four describing the development of defensible firefighter-selection tests. The purpose was to identify a subset of essential, physically demanding tasks performed by contemporary urban firefighters.
Methods: From existing procedural documentation and job analyses, 11 fire-station visits and interviews with 106 firefighters, and one focus-group meeting, 31 physically demanding tasks were identified and incorporated into a workforce survey. Using this tool, firefighters rated the importance, perceived difficulty, typical task durations, and annual performance frequency of each task.
Results: Data from 989 respondents were analyzed, enabling a consolidation of these tasks into a subset of essential activities.
Conclusions: These processes yielded a content-valid list of 15 essential, physically demanding tasks covering the full width of duties performed by urban firefighters from Australia's largest fire and rescue organization.