Ability Works Consulting provides physical assessments to evaluate candidates for paramedic employment across Ontario. In 2010, 24 EMS employers in Ontario used the Ability Works Physical Agility Evaluation (PAE) as a component part of their physical criteria for hire.
The PAE evaluation is a series of tests that evaluate your strength, agility, endurance, lift technique, cardiovascular fitness, body movement and fine motor dexterity. Paramedic job demands require lifting and transport of the average 190-200 lb patient. The PAE tests physical characteristics to safely complete patient-transport related job tasks. For example, the PAE includes tests that assess body strength capacities from initiation lift positions (ie. spine board lifting from low level), transition strengths (ie. upper body strength to turn a scoop stretcher), and isolated body strengths (ie. torso strength for confined space lifting) to name a few. To assess a minimum cardiovascular capacity, the PAE uses the CAFT step test. The PAE uses the first 3 minutes of this 9 minute step test (without weight) where your heart rate must not exceed 85% of your age related maximum heart rate (220 - age). The PAE tests your agility and endurance during controlled backward stair climbs and flat ground carries with a 103 lb Single Lift Simulator (SLS) unit. Each candidate is required to demonstrate, with the SLS unit, a HEAVY Physical Demand Level (PDL) ability that represents their portion of physical demands that may predictably occur during an emergency call.