CPAT Preparation

Methods Available for CPAT Prep

Candidates aspiring to join the field of firefighting have to clear the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) in order to become certified firefighters. The test was designed by the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), in order to shortlist potential candidates for this field. Since the test is highly competitive, candidates are required to utilize good quality preparation resources in order to perform well in this test.

The CPAT Simplified:

The test is designed to test the physical strength and endurance of candidates through a series of eight events. These events are Stair Climbing, Hose Drag, Equipment Carry, Ladder Raise and Extension, Forcible Entry, Search, Rescue, Ceiling Breach and Pull. The overall time duration for the test in which all events have to be completed is 10 minutes and 20 seconds. In order to understand the test events of the test in detail, candidates can visit

The examination is a performance-based test where candidates have to complete each event with perfection without any errors. During the course of these events, if any candidate fails to perform or defaults more than the permitted limits, he or she is disqualified from this test. Hence, candidates should make use of prep resources like training and counseling resources which would provide simulated test environments.

Preparation Methods for the CPAT:

There are various methods to train for the test; however, candidates must consider the time required for training prior to finalizing their test dates. Since candidates are required to undergo rigorous physical strength and endurance work-outs, it is important for them to start training at least 2-3 months prior to their test date. Moreover, it is suggested that candidates utilize resources like gym programs and firefighting training sessions during their preparation.

  1. Professional Training Classes:

    There some of the well-known preparation courses designed by firefighting professionals available in the market, and are known to be one of the most preferred option for preparation. Some of these programs are mentioned below:

    • Kettlebell Fitness CPAT Program: The High Intensity Kettlebell Fitness and Cross Performance Training program is known for its rigorous training techniques created by trainers who are certified by the Fire Department of New York. Moreover, this program involves work-out regimes and exercises designed to develop strength and stamina in candidates. In order to gain more information on this program, candidates can visit

    • EOC Tech: The Eastern Oklahoma County (EOC) Technology Center also provides similar training programs along with customized fitness regimes and counseling sessions. It is suggested that candidates visit and gain more information on the programs offered by this institute.

  2.   Orientation and Practice Sessions:

    Apart from joining training programs, candidates can prepare for the test through orientation sessions conducted by CPAT testing centers. For example, there are such orientation and practice classes conducted by:

    It is suggested that candidates utilize the orientation programs conducted by the State Fire Departments, around 8-10 weeks prior to their test dates. Moreover, practice sessions also help in preparation as a candidate is trained to perform all the test events while wearing the heavy uniform and gear.

  3. Personal Training:

    In order to clear the test, candidates should consider personal training as well. There are many resources available which can help candidates with personal training for this test. For example, the information mentioned in the preparation guide ( is extremely helpful for personal training.

There are many methods to prepare for the test; however, candidates should choose the method which can help them develop the required strength and stamina for this test. Moreover, it is suggested that candidates get in touch with local firefighter forums and learn more about techniques which can enhance their performance in this test.

The journey towards becoming a certified firefighter with any State Fire Departments in the US starts with passing the exam. It should be known that candidates have to undergo a written test and an oral interview after passing the physical test. Thus, candidates have to invest their time in effective training techniques and utilize good preparation resources in order to become physically strong and fit to ace this test.

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