CPAT Entrance Exam
The CPAT entrance exam is a test that firefighting aspirants have to take, in order to qualify for admission in professional firefighting academies, in the United States of America. This firefighting aptitude test is developed by the Task Force and conducted by the California Fire Fighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee. The CFFJAC CPAT is conducted in Orange, Livermore and Sacramento, and the CPAT is a tough examination of international standards. It is meant for those with a robust health and athletically-oriented lifestyle.
An Overview of the CPAT
The CPAT entrance exam has eight events comprising activities that simulate the tasks that professional firefighters may have to perform, while on duty. The CPAT test-takers have to wear a 50 lbs. vest for the entire test, to simulate the weight of the firefighting costume that professional firefighters wear. These events are summarized as below:
Stair Climb- This event involves, a CPAT candidate climbing up a given set of stairs, at a rate of 60/min. carrying a total weight of 75 lbs. on his/her body.
Hose Drag- This event, requires the CPAT candidate to drag a long hosepipe behind him/her, while running, for a distance of 75 feet. On reaching the destination, this examinee has to drag the hosepipe across the finishing boundary line, while taking care to follow the instructions given by his/her proctor, strictly.
Equipment Carry- This event, involves carrying a set of given equipments, by the CPAT entrance exam candidate, for a distance of 75 ft., and keeping them back in the place from where they were picked up. Professional firefighters have to take out power tools from firefighting apparatus, use them, and place them back in the firefighting apparatus. The Equipment Carry CPAT activity is designed for testing the ability of a CPAT candidate to simulate the above mentioned task of the professional firefighters, impeccably.
Ladder Raise/ Extension- This activity involves, lifting a 24 feet ladder from a horizontal position and placing it in vertical position, and in the next step, extending it with the help of a rope.
Forcible Entry- This event involves, a CPAT candidate's hitting a target, with a 10 lbs. sledge hammer till a buzzer buzzes. Often, firefighters have to break open doors and walls in order to rescue lives trapped behind them. This activity tests a CPAT candidate’s ability to perform such tasks efficiently.
Search- This event is based on the goal of searching for fire victims in dark places. The CPAT entrance exam activity, for this event, requires the CPAT candidate to pass through a dark "tunnel (a passage made for CPAT testing purposes)", without disturbing any of the objects that he/she may encounter within it.
Rescue- This activity, requires the CPAT examinee to carry a dummy firefighting victim, for a specified distance, on a predetermined path.
Ceiling Breach and Pull- This activity is aimed at testing the extension of fire to a location, and is performed by opening a "ceiling (a structure resembling a ceiling made for CPAT purposes)", with a pike pole, in the CPAT entrance examination.
CPAT Duration- The total duration of all the CPAT entrance exam activities is 10 minutes 20 seconds. The candidates have to complete all the CPAT activities within this time duration; otherwise, they will be disqualified in this test.
CPAT Scoring- The CPAT entrance exam is a pass/fail test. Taking part in all the events of the CPAT is mandatory. Thus, a CPAT candidate has to pass in each and every event of this test, in order to pass this test. As the CPAT events are organized in a sequence, failure in one test, will lead to the conclusion of the CPAT for the concerned candidate.
Here is a checklist of things that one has to do in order to appear for the CPAT entrance exam:
- Check your suitability for CPAT by collecting information in detail about a career in firefighting and the CPAT.
- Register for the CPAT at the official CPAT webpage (https://www.cffjac.org/go/jac/cpat/registration/?display=login&returnURL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cffjac.org%2Fgo%2Fjac%2Fcpat%2Fregistration%2F)
- Decide upon a CPAT test date, taking care to keep sufficient time for preparation in hand.
- Prepare well for the CPAT entrance exam by attending the official CPAT Orientation and CPAT Practice sessions, and taking CPAT coaching from a good CPAT preparation center.
- Keep in touch with your CPAT testing center for information updates on this examination.
Firefighting is a competitive, well-paying and adventurous career, in which a person, with the courage of risking his/her own life for saving the life of another, is suited.
A firefighter should be available for work in very short notice periods, and should be willing to go at any location under short notice, as required by the firefighting organization for which he/she works.
Persons, who are willing to embrace challenges in life, are the ones who are fit for a career in firefighting. Hence, they should be the ones taking the CPAT entrance exam.
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