EPS change their physical fitness requirements

Discuss the educational and physical requirements, testing process and background phase involved in the hiring process. Includes the experiences and advice of current and past applicants. All agency application related questions belong here.
metallicat
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EPS change their physical fitness requirements

Postby metallicat » Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:24 pm

No more chin-ups, no more dips...etc. As per their website - http://joineps.ca/

I'm not an applicant, but I've always wanted/planned to apply to the EPS. I had always been preparing myself to take the EPS physical, and never found anything wrong with it, but a lot of people did. I guess this is a way of getting more applicants? I can't see current members of the EPS being all that pleased with this decision...

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Re: EPS change their physical fitness requirements

Postby thumbshark » Sat Apr 19, 2008 1:30 am

Although the EPS website states it is using the PARE only, you may want to take a closer look at the application package.

You will still have to do the chin ups, dips, anaerobic testing and a body fat testing. I cant see Edmonton changing their standards. It is the physical testing component that sets them apart from other police services.


Why should they lower their standards as it would be a slap on the face for the current members who busted their ass to get where they are today.
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Re: EPS change their physical fitness requirements

Postby metallicat » Sat Apr 19, 2008 11:57 am

Then they just haven't changed the application package yet.

Effective April 16, 2008:

The Edmonton Police Service will no longer be administering
component testing as part of our Physical Fitness Testing Requirements. The only fitness requirement will be the P.A.R.E. test with a new maximum time of 4.30 minutes for both male and female applicants.

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Re: EPS change their physical fitness requirements

Postby Macker » Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:53 pm

I really hope this isn't true, but like everything involving the EPS training, its getting worse/ easier. In our push to get recruits, someone in a higher up position has decided to "dumb" up the standards for everything. Alas, no more 5km friday afternoon runs while carrying a bench, your criminal codes or your classmates.....

I've never understood why the EPS is recruiting the way they are right now. We need bodies like everyine else, but we have adopted a lets hire everyone approach despite their suitability. I don't understand why we don't spread the amount of people we're hiring out over a couple of extra years so we can get quality recruits instead of hiring mass quantities of poor recruits all at once. (note; there are still lots of good recruits coming through) I always liked quality over quantity.... A couple of extra years to get up to full strength isn't going to make to much of a difference.

The other thing that doesn't make much sense is that once your hired you will have to do the chinups and dips during your yearly physical anyway. So if you get hired and can't do them then what's going to happen during your yearly physical? Right now there are no consequences for failing your physical but once we get back up to strength hopefully we will go back to "benching" people that fail the tests.

If you can't do 9 chinups and 18 dips then you probably can't pull your partner out of a building if he has been shot. If that's the case, then I certainly don't want you beside me.

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Re: EPS change their physical fitness requirements

Postby Jim Street » Sat Apr 19, 2008 3:03 pm

We all know that you should be physically fit to do the job, I am just curious why EPS wanted to be so dramatically different from everyone else, just a pride thing perhaps? Strange if they're only now changing things up.

I can appreciate that everyone on EPS obviously does very well in the physical tests but I am not 100% sure that if you can't do X amount of dips and X amount of chinups or bench press a certain weight etc., that you couldn't be relied on to pull your partner out of a building or something similar.
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Re: EPS change their physical fitness requirements

Postby Macker » Sat Apr 19, 2008 6:09 pm

I got a little carried away there..... Your right just because you can't do X amount of chinups or dips doesn't mean you couldn't pull your partner out of a building, etc. I just think for a new recruit, who is on average in their late 20, those standards aren't hard. With practice anyone can achieve those numbers, especially because they don't care if you use momentum to help you.

I just think that in policing, the better shape you are in the better you will be able to deal with the rigors of the job. This can be from officer safety issues to dealing with shift work all the way to living more then five years after you retire.

There is definitely a pride issue with EPS member, or at least me, in that we have higher physical standards. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be better then average. From an administrative standpoint having higher physical standards makes sense. Generally the better shape you are in the less sick days, injuries, etc. you will take/ get. Basically all the reasons your average person has for being in good shape are compounded for police officers. Again this is only my opinion.

The EPS standards have dropped for one reason, the need for bodies. I disagree with this, but I'm only a lowly patrol Cst.. All I care about at the end of the day is that if something does happen to me, my partner will be able to help keep me alive....

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Re: EPS change their physical fitness requirements

Postby Rob » Sat Apr 19, 2008 11:43 pm

Jim Street wrote:We all know that you should be physically fit to do the job, I am just curious why EPS wanted to be so dramatically different from everyone else, just a pride thing perhaps? Strange if they're only now changing things up.

I can appreciate that everyone on EPS obviously does very well in the physical tests but I am not 100% sure that if you can't do X amount of dips and X amount of chinups or bench press a certain weight etc., that you couldn't be relied on to pull your partner out of a building or something similar.


It's not that the EPS did things differently for the sake of being different its just that the component portion of the testing is what we have always done. The PARE was only introduced in the EPS in the last couple of years. The biggest reason for the change is that the PARE is the new Provincial Standard in Alberta which were agreed upon last October. In addition the EPS is looking at three more classes this year for a total of 150 members; with the competition out there the change in requirements is only leveling the recruiting playing field.
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Re: EPS change their physical fitness requirements

Postby CourtOfficer » Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:33 pm

If you can't do 9 chinups and 18 dips then you probably can't pull your partner out of a building if he has been shot. If that's the case, then I certainly don't want you beside me.


I can't do 9 chinups nor 18 dips but I believe I could put you on my back and carry you out of a building. I know smaller Officers who could do the chinups and dips and wouldn't have a chance in hell of lifting my left leg.

Although fitness is important, standards need to be kept relative and reasonable.

CO

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Re: EPS change their physical fitness requirements

Postby th » Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:57 pm

CourtOfficer wrote:
If you can't do 9 chinups and 18 dips then you probably can't pull your partner out of a building if he has been shot. If that's the case, then I certainly don't want you beside me.


I can't do 9 chinups nor 18 dips but I believe I could put you on my back and carry you out of a building. I know smaller Officers who could do the chinups and dips and wouldn't have a chance in hell of lifting my left leg.

Although fitness is important, standards need to be kept relative and reasonable.

CO

The point of the Pare/Popat is not so much a fitness test, but a physical abilities test. It's designed to replicate (as much as possible) the physical challenges of policing. All being able to do 9 chinups proves is that you can do 9 chinups.
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Re: EPS change their physical fitness requirements

Postby Macker » Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:16 pm

CourtOfficer wrote:I can't do 9 chinups nor 18 dips but I believe I could put you on my back and carry you out of a building. I know smaller Officers who could do the chinups and dips and wouldn't have a chance in hell of lifting my left leg.

Although fitness is important, standards need to be kept relative and reasonable.

CO


As I clarified in a second post I got a little carried away with that statement. But regardless, the better all around shape someone is in the hapier I would be to have them beside me....

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Re: EPS change their physical fitness requirements

Postby Macker » Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:32 pm

th wrote:
CourtOfficer wrote:
If you can't do 9 chinups and 18 dips then you probably can't pull your partner out of a building if he has been shot. If that's the case, then I certainly don't want you beside me.


I can't do 9 chinups nor 18 dips but I believe I could put you on my back and carry you out of a building. I know smaller Officers who could do the chinups and dips and wouldn't have a chance in hell of lifting my left leg.

Although fitness is important, standards need to be kept relative and reasonable.

CO

The point of the Pare/Popat is not so much a fitness test, but a physical abilities test. It's designed to replicate (as much as possible) the physical challenges of policing. All being able to do 9 chinups proves is that you can do 9 chinups.



If the Pare/ Popat is supposed to be a physical abilites test then I don't think it is a very good one. Although it is better then the Prep it is still a test someone who is in grade 5 should be able to pass. That why I like what the EPS does. You must be able to prove you have good cardiovascular endurance/ muscular endurance ie. pass the PARE and muscular strength ie pass the physical testing. The services who don't have a physical component are missing out on a large portion of what physical fitness is.

It literal terms, being able to do 9 chinups only means you can do 9 chinups, but like I mentioned in another post it also proves a lot more. It shows you have decent muscular strength, you exercise regularily.....which is a good indicator that you will continue to once on the job. It generally means you will get injured less and take less sick days. The EPS bodyfat test shows that you are within the acceptable standards for your age group and not letting the rigors of shift work get a hold of you.... I could go on and on about all the benefits of EPS testing.

Bottom line is I would rather have have someone beside me who can pass the PARE/ Popat and do 9 chinups then someone who can only pass the Pare/ Popat

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Re: EPS change their physical fitness requirements

Postby devilwoman » Sun Apr 20, 2008 2:11 pm

It generally means you will get injured less and take less sick days.


That's not quite true.....shift work plays havoc with the body. It doesn't matter how well you eat, how much you work out, and how much you exercise, once you start working shift work, your body's immunity is affected.....especially for a person who has gone from working a regular 9-5 job and goes to 12 hour rotating day and night shifts. Not to mention that you share a vehicle that is being driven by lots of other people, who may be sick while they drive it.

Same for the body fat percentage.....its a lot easier to maintain a lower body fat percentage when you work a regular job, as most office/factory type jobs have specific break and lunch periods. People who start working shifts, especially a law enforcement based position, have to cope with the fact that they may not eat for many hours due to call volume. Not to mention that its a proven fact that most people who work night shifts tend to be heavier as the body was never designed to eat "dinner" at 3 in the morning!

I've seen marathon runners who can't run the shuttle portion of the PREP.....its a lot different to run a specific distance for a certain time than training for the shuttle, or the PARE. I don't think being able to run 1.5 miles under a certain time is realistic to the job....don't get me wrong, I hate the shuttle and the PREP, but it simulates the physical requirements of policing better than chin ups, sit ups, etc.
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Re: EPS change their physical fitness requirements

Postby Macker » Sun Apr 20, 2008 3:53 pm

devilwoman wrote:
That's not quite true.....shift work plays havoc with the body. It doesn't matter how well you eat, how much you work out, and how much you exercise, once you start working shift work, your body's immunity is affected.....especially for a person who has gone from working a regular 9-5 job and goes to 12 hour rotating day and night shifts. Not to mention that you share a vehicle that is being driven by lots of other people, who may be sick while they drive it.

Same for the body fat percentage.....its a lot easier to maintain a lower body fat percentage when you work a regular job, as most office/factory type jobs have specific break and lunch periods. People who start working shifts, especially a law enforcement based position, have to cope with the fact that they may not eat for many hours due to call volume. Not to mention that its a proven fact that most people who work night shifts tend to be heavier as the body was never designed to eat "dinner" at 3 in the morning!

I've seen marathon runners who can't run the shuttle portion of the PREP.....its a lot different to run a specific distance for a certain time than training for the shuttle, or the PARE. I don't think being able to run 1.5 miles under a certain time is realistic to the job....don't get me wrong, I hate the shuttle and the PREP, but it simulates the physical requirements of policing better than chin ups, sit ups, etc.


At no point have I said that your body isn't affected by shift work or that its the same as a regular 9-5 job. What I said, was that if you eat right and exercise you will be better off then the person who doesn't eat right or exercise. Shift work is not an excuse to be fat and un-healthy. All of the people I work with that are out of shape, are never in the gym and are the ones who are eating cheesburgers at 0300 hrs instead of bringing a healthy lunch which they can take on the road with them.

I'll try and get the city of edmonton stats on sick days to help prove my point, but its going to take a couple of days. What they show is that EPS members take by far fewer sick days then any other city employees. That goes for shift workers and non- shift workers. Our physical fitness standards and yearly re- quals are part of the reasons for these stats.

The best example I can think of is a former squad- mate of mine who was shot several times while on the job. The Dr. told him one of the main reasons he lived was because of the shape he was in.

If there are marathon runners who can't pass the shuttle portion of the Prep then they must not be very good marathon runners. If they really wanted the Prep to stimulate the requirments of a police officer then you should do the shuttle run portion of the test and then immediately do the obstacle course portion. That would resemble a foot pursuit a lot better then the current format.

Maybe I'm just not seeing the bigger picture here but the Pare/ Prep seem way to easy to me. If at any point in my carreer I cannot pass the Prep and Pare I would pack it in. I'll never forget the first time I came to Edmonton for my initial interviews from London ON. I couldn't get over how much better the cops with the EPS looked then there counterparts in London. I'm not joking when I say this, there wass actually a noticable difference.

All I'm really trying to say is that it is better to have a physical fitness test and a Pare/ Prep test like the EPS then just a Pare/ Prep test like the majority of services.

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Re: EPS change their physical fitness requirements

Postby Mike Gatti » Sun Apr 20, 2008 3:59 pm

Sit-and-reach test -----> Favours people with longer arms and/or shorter legs. It is NOT an accurate judge of flexibility.

Push-ups or Bench Press test -----> Favours people with shorter arms (leverage advantage). They are NOT an accurate judge of upper body strength.

Chinup or Dip testing -----> Favours people with shorter arms (leverage advantage), penalizes those with higher-than-average body weights due to extra muscle mass. Therefore they are NOT an accurate judge of upper body strength either.

Squat or Leg Press testing -----> Favours stocky people with short legs and/or thick waists and/or short torsos. They are NOT an accurate judge of lower body strength.

Also, you'll never have to jog 1.5 miles non-stop after a fleeing subject (and the person that does really should remember where they parked their cruiser).

With the limitations of the testing methods I've pointed out, it only makes sense to make your tests job-specific. Ontario did away with them in favour of the PREP, and anyone can whine all they want about it but it IS more fair and equitable than the PIN test was. Sure the fence could stand to be a little bit higher, and the resistance on the push-pull should be higher to simulate a REAL person fighting to stay out of handcuffs, but it certainly is more job-specific than push-ups or touching your toes.

I agree that you want the fittest people possible working with you, but you have to balance that out with other requirements. You can't ask for university grads, people who've spent most of their past few years studying, and demand physical perfection from long hours of training as well. You can't ask for years of full-time life experience in a high-responsibility job, AND ask that person to perform like an olympic athlete. If you jack up your standards up to the level required of Tac team members on most services, your successful candidates will more often than not be people who've spent most of their free time at the gym and out running--people who aren't very well-rounded.
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Re: EPS change their physical fitness requirements

Postby Mike Gatti » Sun Apr 20, 2008 4:16 pm

On the topic of EPS members being more in shape than London members, could their age be a factor there? Most Services across Canada have been going through a renewal in the past few years due to retirements, so the older officers with the bad habits and slow metabolisms may have all retired by the time you got to EPS. If you grew up in London, then no doubt you spent years watching fat cops from the "old guard" on the job.

I very rarely see overweight members with OPS, unless they've been riding a desk for the better part of a decade. OPS has one of the lowest absenteeism rates in Ontario; last I heard, if you happen to take 2 days or less of sick days a year, the Chief's office will send you a thank-you letter, and your name will be entered in a draw for prizes. Most of the main stations have decent athletic facilities, and the city itself tends to favour an active lifestyle, with bicycle paths and reserved bike lanes, an abundance of health clubs, the canal to skate on in the winter, etc. And the only physical entry requirement is the PREP!
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