Fitness standards: Developing effective and legal tests for public safety professionals

Over the last century, public safety professionals have made extensive and frequent changes both to their duties and to the fitness standards required to attain and maintain these esteemed roles. When such yardsticks accurately measure the ability to perform essential job functions, first responders are safer and more effective. Irrelevant or inaccurate assessments, however, can result in reduced trust and collaboration during emergencies, endangerment of life or property, and extensive litigation. Only departments with a keen awareness of this landscape can avoid these pitfalls by crafting fitness paradigms that are legally defensible.

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