Important Things You Should Know about CPAT Equipment
CPAT equipment refers to the equipment that CPAT candidates have to use while performing the different activities prescribed by the CPAT examination norms. These equipments are, generally, the ones that a firefighter would use, when in action, as a professional firefighter. CPAT candidates are officially trained on using the CPAT equipment correctly during their orientation and practice session. Hence, these sessions constitute a mandatory part of the CPAT examination preparation process.
It is a common misconception that persons who are athletically well-trained do not need to practice using the CPAT equipment. The fact is that even though one may be athletically well-trained, and may be knowledgeable about the usage of the CPAT equipment, one should never skip the official orientation and practice sessions organized by the CPAT examination authorities. This is because it has been noted that even the best athletes were not able to perform well in this test, when they were not specifically oriented or trained for this examination, beforehand.
A Look at the Different CPAT Equipments and Important Facts about Them
In this section, we will study about the different types of CPAT equipments and note some important points about them:
Stair Climb Equipment- In this activity, a CPAT candidate has to climb 60 tall steps, in about 3 minutes 20 seconds, carrying an extra weight of 75 lbs., in the form of vest and shoulder pads. You may not need any special CPAT equipment for performing this activity on the day of this examination, but you may need some equipment to help you in preparing for this activity. You can practice by wearing weighted vests specially sold in the market for CPAT practice purposes. You may also need to perform certain exercises involving weights (by using dumb bells or similar equipment). You will also need a stop watch to time your activity to accurately assess your performance.
Hose Drag Equipment- This activity, which is immediately performed after the Stair Climb, consists of pulling a heavy pipe towards yourself and sprinting from point to point. This activity is intended to simulate a situation, in which you will be required to release a jet of water on an edifice on fire. The firefighter's hosepipe is a heavy one. In order to practice for the event, you can buy a hosepipe, or can purchase a rope to which you can tie some weights (dumbbells, buckets, barrels, bricks, broken furniture, sandbags, etc. Anything that weighs around 25 lbs will do). The next step for you to perform is to tie the weights to the rope and pull it towards yourself, and sprint from point to point.
Equipment Carry Equipment- This activity is quite simple and requires one to carry chainsaws for about 85 feet and place them back in their original place. If you want to practice for this test, you should practice carrying items which are identical in weight to this CPAT equipment for the required distance. Generally, a couple of dumbbells of moderate heaviness suit the purpose well. Your ability to have a firm grip over the CPAT equipment that the examiners give you is assessed in this examination. If you drop the equipment, you will be disqualified.
Ladder Raise and Extension Equipment- This exercise requires you to raise and extend a couple of ladders, each measuring 24 feet in height. As it is not feasible to buy such equipment for practicing, you can request some nearby firefighting academies to train you in using this CPAT equipment.
Forcible Entry- This CPAT exercise requires one to demonstrate the destruction of an object in front of him/her to access something valuable behind it, without damaging the latter. This requires skilful use of a heavy sledgehammer. You can practice Bench Press and using the sledgehammer properly, to prepare for this event.
Search Equipment- This exercise tests the candidate's ability to move about in confined and dark places. It is aimed at testing a candidate's ability to rescue victims when they are stuck in dark rooms. You should be able to practice for this effectively in good CPAT training centers. Initially, you could also try finding your way through dark rooms (deliberately made dark by you) by crawling. This exercise does not involve the usage of any specific CPAT equipment.
Rescue Equipment- This operation does not require the usage of any special CPAT equipment, but requires the candidate to lift and carry a dummy of a human being that weighs around 165 lbs. At home, you can practice this by carrying dummy weights which weigh 165 pounds. The best option for you to practice this activity would be at a good CPAT coaching center.
Ceiling Breach Equipment-The CPAT equipment that comes into play in this event is a pike pole which has a point and a hook, which the candidate has to use to demonstrate checking for extension of the fire to the roof after it has been extinguished.
Most of the CPAT events require the usage of CPAT equipment either in the final CPAT examination or for preparing for it. Though one can purchase or hire some equipment for practicing, a wise option would be to join a CPAT training center to avail the actual equipments under expert guidance, rather than practice with substitutes that may not be effective in yielding the desired results.
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