Park rangers have many unique responsibilities, some of which can be physically demanding and dangerous, including law enforcement activities. A park ranger’s capability to perform those functions can affect personal and public safety. Physical fitness underlies a park ranger’s ability to perform many aspects of the job. The minimum fitness standards identified below are the requisite levels for a ranger to effectively learn the frequent and critical job motor skills.
The physical ability test (PAT) is comprised of four tests, listed in the typical order it is administered:
This test measures the muscular strength/endurance of the abdominal muscles, which are used in self-defense and high intensity arrest-simulation training. Further, these muscles are important for performing tasks that involve the use of force, and it helps maintain good posture and minimize lower back problems.
Score in repetitions: 30 – 38 Mean: 34
This test measures the muscular strength/endurance of the upper body muscles in the shoulders, chest, and back of the upper arms (the triceps) used in high intensity self defense and arrest simulation training. This is important for use of force involving pushing motion breaking one’s fall to the ground, use of the baton, etc.
Score in repetitions: 21 – 35 Mean: 28
This test is a measure of cardio-respiratory endurance (or aerobic capacity) used in extended control and defensive tactics training. This is important for performing tasks involving stamina and endurance (pursuits, searches, prolonged use of force situations, etc.) and for minimizing the risk of cardiovascular health problems.
Score: 13:35 – 14:31 Mean: 14:02
This test measures anaerobic capacity used in high intensity baton and defensive tactics training, and is important for performing short intense bursts of effort such as foot pursuits, rescues and use of force situations.
Score in seconds: 56 – 71 Mean: 62.5
The PAT score for each test item is recorded and added on the individual participant’s sheet. The passing score is 160, with the range of scores for each test between 30 and 50.
Example: The below measures are merely for illustration and are only approximate values.
Participants who score below the 30-point level have failed the test but will be allowed to continue on the other test items with the option to re-test on any of the following: sit-ups and push-ups. Participants who scores above the 50-point level on a given test item will not be awarded more than that 50 points to apply towards the other test items.