Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Safety, Security, and Emergency Management

First Advisor

Paul J. Grant

Department Affiliation

Safety, Security, and Emergency Management

Second Advisor

James M. Larkin

Department Affiliation

Exercise and Sport Science

Third Advisor

James L. Pharr

Department Affiliation

Safety, Security, and Emergency Management


The number one on-duty cause of death in the fire service is heart attacks. The International Association of Firefighters and the International Association of Fire Chiefs teamed up to create the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT). Fire departments across the nation will have consistent physical performance tests to hire more physically capable candidates as part of the Wellness-Fitness Initiative (International Association of Fire Fighters, 2014).

Eastern Kentucky University is a nationally recognized school for its fire science program; however students are not required to take educational classes to better prepare them for physical performance tests. Students starting in a training habit at a younger age and preparing for physical performance tests would not only better prepare students for the real world, but also help in reducing the risk of heart related fire service deaths.

Students in this study participated in a physical performance test which involved firefighter job related tasks. Students in the training group participated in a prescribed training for six weeks and were then retested to determine if those that were under a specified training program would show improved physical performance.

Conclusively, while neither the control nor treatment groups were large enough to be representative of the population, it can be recommended to be a class on campus acting as an elective credit for students. Physical preparation will better prepare Eastern Kentucky University Fire Protection Administration students for a better career with the goal of creating the habit of health and wellness and reducing the risk of heart related deaths.