The SES fit for task project was undertaken by Australia’s SES agencies in partnership with the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, jointly funded with the Australian Council of State Emergency Services and completed by Natural Hazards Research Australia with support from AFAC.
It built on earlier research completed between 2014 and 2016. This national research was undertaken with AFAC, the National SES Volunteer Association and staff and volunteers from State Emergency Service (SES) agencies across Australia. The aim was to develop an evidence-based program that defined the minimum physical fitness required to undertake certain SES tasks, supplemented with a set of physical fitness assessments that can be undertaken by SES units and groups.
The subsequent SES Fitness for Role program, launched in August 2023, is the first time that state- and territory-based emergency services across Australia have collectively developed and implemented a single national approach to safe physical fitness of first responders. Based on almost a decade of research and translation, the program is now being implemented across all SES agencies to improve the health and wellbeing of SES members, to ensure safety as members perform required tasks.
The project report has a number of appendices. Appendix C is a spreadsheet of data processing and results. The spreadsheet shows the detailed results from each of the stages during the job task analysis. Please read the ‘Start Here’ tab before viewing the subsequent tabs. Download Appendix C.
In the first video below, Human Performance Science researchers Rob Savage, Dr Jared Bailey and Aaron Silk explain the research process.
In the second video, SES members demonstrate the tasks they completed as part of the research.
This research was commissioned by AFAC. It was completed initially through the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and then Natural Hazards Research Australia, and has allowed the SES to measure the minimum physical fitness that SES members are required to have to be able to safely and effectively undertake tasks during operational responses and training.
The SES Fitness for Role program, launched in August 2023, used this research to develop its evidence-based program. It is the first time that state- and territory-based emergency services across Australia have collectively developed and implemented a single national approach to safe physical fitness of first responders. This program will have safety, health and wellbeing benefits for SES members across Australia and will reduce the risk of injury while performing required tasks, and contribute to building a culture of wellbeing. It will also ensure that when SES members are deployed interstate, they will have an appropriate level of physical fitness to safely undertake all of the roles for which they are deployed.
To develop the evidence, job task analysis was used to determine the most common and physically demanding tasks that are required for the most common SES operational activities. More than 3,000 SES staff and volunteers from every state and territory participated in the job task analysis.
This evidence-based research was used to develop activities that mimic operational activities, and which can be used to demonstrate that SES members have the physical fitness to meet these minimum requirements and undertake their roles safely.
There are nine activities that have been developed that assess physical fitness for land-based and water-based operations and training. These activities were subject to verification and validation, confirming that the activities were considered to closely replicate the relevant operational tasks, and that the level of effort required to meet these minimum physical fitness levels was appropriate for the work that SES members undertake and the environments in which SES members operate.
|24 August 2023
|Hazard note edition
|Hazard Note 4: A national evidence-based SES program to reduce injury