EMS Tips

My Suggestions for Annual Fitness Testing for Police Officers

I recently had dinner with a police officer who mentioned he was getting into shape for his annual fitness testing. I asked what the annual test was. He said the components were:

1. Timed mile and a half run.

2. Push-ups to exhaustion.

3. Sit-ups to exhaustion.

4. Chin-ups to exhaustion.

The mile and half run awards points based on closeness to finishing in 9 minutes. A six minute mile pace is a serious run. I asked, “When was the last time someone from your department ran a mile and a half foot pursuit.”

If it were up to me, as a paramedic, these are the fitness skills I would be most interested in a police officer at an EMS incident.

1. Explosiveness. How fast can you react and cover a twenty foot gap? I want to know how quickly an officer can move into the gap between me and the patient.

2. Force. How hard of a blow can the officer deliver to knock a weapon or an improvised weapon, out of a patient/assailant’s hand? Or push away the patient’s hand or grasp their arm.

3. Endurance. Can you pin an aggressive and combative patient long enough for a paramedic to administer sedation, other officers to arrive, or the patient to be restrained.

Obviously assisting EMS is only part of an officer’s job.

What other physical fitness traits do you think are important for police officers?

By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.