Salient Features Of The CPAT





How to Earn CPAT Certification?

A CPAT certificate is the document that candidates who have passed the examination receive from the certifying body. This document serves as a proof of a firefighting aspirant having taken this test and having passed in it. Firefighting academies refer to the performance statement(s) of admission seekers in this document, for taking decisions regarding their admissions in their academies. The certificate is issued on site to candidates who pass this examination. The validity period of this certificate is mentioned on it.

An Overview of the CPAT

The IAFF and IFCC Fire Service Joint Labour-Management CPAT comprises eight categories of physical tests. The pass certificate is awarded to candidates who have successfully completed all the tests.

CPAT Sections- The eight sections of the CPAT are as follows:

  1. Stair Climb- In this activity, the examinee must climb stairs for 3 minutes and 20 seconds carrying a total weight of 75 lbs on the body. The candidates are allowed a warm-up period of 20 seconds for the event, in which one has to climb about 60 steps/minute. One is allowed to hold the rails of the stairs or touch the walls for maintaining balance while climbing the stairs during the warm up period, but not after that. A candidate is allowed to restart the test, but only twice, failing which he/she will be disqualified in the test.

  2. Hose Drag- This event involves dragging a long hose behind you and running for about 75 feet. Upon reaching the destination, one has to drag the hose over a specified boundary line without disturbing the objects around it. Professional firefighters are required to drag hoses from the fire fighting apparatus to the point of usage, skillfully, in a short duration of time. This activity of the test is used to assess the abilities of a candidate to perform this activity efficiently.

  3. Equipment Carry- This test is aimed at assessing a candidate's ability to remove power tools from the firefighting apparatus, taking them to the location where they are going to be used, and returning them back to the firefighting apparatus. This event is performed by carrying weights for 75 ft and placing them at their original locations.

  4. Ladder Raise/Extension- This event of the test involves lifting a 24 feet aluminum ladder from the floor and making it stand vertically against a wall by using gradual and step-by-step movements. After you place the ladder, you should be able to extend it with the aid of a rope tied to it.

  5. Forcible Entry- Firefighters have to break open closed doors or walls. This activity of the test assesses a candidate's ability to perform this activity by providing a simulated environment in which the candidate has to hit a target with a sledgehammer till an alarm bell rings.

  6. Search- This activity consists of making the examinee pass through a "tunnel". There will be obstacles in the "tunnel" which the candidate has to avoid while coming out of it. Firefighters, often, have to pass through dark and dusty places in search of fire victims and rescue them. This activity tries to mimic this rescue operation of the firefighters.

  7. Rescue- In this activity of the test, one has to drag a dummy which represents a fire victim.

  8. Ceiling Breach/ Pull- This activity involves opening up a ceiling of a room with the help of a pike pole to check for fire extension.

All the activities listed above have to be performed in sequence, continuously. A proctor will guide, supervise and instruct the candidates throughout the different events.

Other Important Aspects of the CPAT

Duration- These activities of the test must be performed in a maximum time period of 10 minutes and 20 seconds. A relaxation period of 20 seconds is allowed between each event. A candidate has to walk during this period, and not rest at a place or run.

Costumes and Equipment- Candidates must wear the prescribed gear and use the provided equipment, if required, while performing the physical activities. The costumes and the equipment that are to be worn by the candidates, while performing the activities, are all designed as per international standards.

Scoring- A candidate is judged on a pass/fail criterion. The certificate is awarded to the person who passes in all the individual activities of the test and completes the test within a maximum permissible time period of 10 minutes and 20 seconds. One has to bear in mind that even if one successfully completes all the sections of the test, he or she will fail in this examination if the time taken for the completion of all the activities is longer than 10 minutes and 20 seconds.

Costumes- The exam dress code is listed out below and it is mandatory for a test taker to follow these guidelines accurately:

  • Long pants, which do not expose the legs, have to be worn throughout the examination.
  • Closed shoes have to be worn while performing the activities.
  • Wearing watches and rings is not permitted.
  • Throughout the test, the test taker has to wear a 50 lbs. vest, which is a substitute for the weight of the firefighter's breathing apparatus and protective costume, which professional firefighters wear.
  • The candidate will have to wear a hard hat with a chin strap, and gloves, while performing the different exercises.
  • Finally, shoulder pads weighing 25 lbs. are placed on the shoulders of the candidates for the Stair Climb event.

Conclusion

A certificate is obtained by passing in all the events. One has to bear in mind that for performing well in this test, one should be athletically sound and practice the different activities properly before attempting this test. One should carefully follow all the instructions of their proctors, be cautious to not exceed the prescribed time limits for the different activities in order to pass this examination with good grades and obtain the certification.


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