Ability Works Consulting Inc.

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Ability Works Consulting provides physical assessments to evaluate candidates for paramedic employment across Ontario. In 2014, 26 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 evaluates various strengths for moving patients, agility, control, endurance, equipment carry, lift technique, body movement and occupational fitness. Paramedic job demands require lifting and transport of a 190-200 lb patient. The PAE tests physical abilities to suggest an ability to safely complete the physical demands tied to the essential functions of patient-transportation in the Paramedic position. For example, the PAE includes tests that assess body strength capacities from initiation lift positions (ie. scoop stretcher lifting from low level), transition strengths (ie. upper body strength to lower a spine board), and isolated body strengths (ie. body strength for control during two paramedic lifting) to name a few. Spinal and shoulder Range of Motion is assessed for gross deficits. Hand and grip strength testing suggests occupational tolerance for upper extremity job demands. To assess occupational fitness to get to call sites and perform necessary patient care, the PAE assesses the ability to carry equipment and perform proficient CPR compressions. The PAE tests your agility, control and endurance during controlled forward and backward stair climbs and flat ground carries with a 104 lb Single Lift Simulator (SLS) unit that represents your half of the load. Each candidate is required to demonstrate, with the SLS unit, a VERY HEAVY Physical Demand Level (PDL) ability that represents one paramedic’s portion of the physical demands that predictably occur during an emergency call.

During the past fourteen years, EMS employers have found the PAE to be a reliable component of their hiring process and continue to use it. Currently, PAEs are scheduled for 60 min durations; the fee is $245; and the test includes:

  • Occupational Capacity (CPR, Equipment & Patient Carry showing control, agility & endurance)
  • Spinal & Shoulder Range of Motion
  • 8 Bilateral Strength Evaluations
  • Hand & Grip Strength Evaluations
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