School public safety agents may need to exhibit strength and endurance in the course of their duties. Most police and fire departments use their own physical-agility tests to weed out unsuitable candidates. The New York City Police Department, however, has a specific exam that officers serving in schools must pass: the School Safety Agent Physical Agility Test. This performance-based examination assesses each officer's response to two likely school-based scenarios.
Emergency Response, Restraining and Detaining
This task begins with the candidate closing a 900-foot distance to the power-training machine by running, walking or jogging. The machine was designed to simulate a resistance force of 80 pounds, which the candidate must control. The candidate must complete four semicircles while pulling on a rope, counteracting the 80 pounds of force, before pushing against a lever bearing that same force for another four semicircles. Once completed, the candidate will have successfully demonstrated her ability to restrain potential threats to school safety.
Stair Climb and Victim Rescue
As the name implies, this scenario requires the candidate to climb the equivalent of four flights of stairs, usually on a portable stair system. Following this exercise, the candidate must approach a mannequin weighing 142 pounds and drag it to safety. The candidate must approach the mannequin's head, grasp a chest strap and haul it backward for 25 feet; once the mannequin's feet have crossed the finish line, the candidate has passed the exercise.
General fitness routines and exercise regimens will increase a candidate's performance on these physical tasks. Due to the high rate of glucose burned during intense exercise, the NYPD recommends that candidates consume plenty of carbohydrates both before and after a physical-agility test. Abstinence from smoking or alcohol consumption on the days before the test is recommended.
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