Testing Centers for CPAT

All about CPAT Testing Centers

The Candidate Physical Ability Test, or the CPAT, is a standardized physical ability test designed by the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC).

The test was designed with the aim to shortlist potential candidates with the physical skill sets required in the firefighting line of profession. This test is conducted in a well-equipped testing center, in order to provide a fair chance to all candidates to perform.

About the Exam:

Firefighters are required to work under intense and high pressure situations and thus, these candidates have to be physically fit. It should be known that the test includes eight continuous events designed on a predetermined path through which candidates are assessed by professional firefighters.

The test involves eight events i.e. Stair Climbing, Hose Drag, Equipment Carry, Ladder Raise and Extension, Forcible Entry, Search, Rescue, Ceiling Breach and Pull which have to be completed in 10 minutes and 20 seconds.

The results are declared as pass or fail to the candidates on the completion of the test within the stipulated time. It should also be known that in case candidates default any event, they are disqualified from this test immediately.

The Testing Centers:

Every State Fire Department conducting the CPAT has to have a testing center which should be equipped with firefighting gear for candidates who would undertake this test. The testing center is an indoor facility with a simulated environment created by the Fire Department for training firefighting recruits. These test centers will have a layout which enables candidates to perform all events continuously within the stipulated time limit.

The test centers are used for the following purposes:

  • Orientation: There are special orientation classes conducted in a test center for candidates in order to accustom them with the actual test. These orientation programs are carried out in a simulated environment and candidates taking them are coached on strategies to clear the actual test.

  • Practice Sessions: Apart from orientation programs for this test, the test center is also utilized for practice sessions conducted by Fire Departments for candidates. In general, such practice sessions are charged separately.

  • Testing: The test is conducted in the testing center where candidates are required to perform in all the eight events. During this test, candidates are required to complete all tasks while wearing their uniform and gear and have to utilize all firefighting equipments like staircase, ladder, hose lines, sledgehammers etc.

It is suggested that candidates avail an orientation program conducted in a well-equipped testing center few weeks prior to taking the actual test. By doing so, candidates would understand the requirement of the test and will get ample time to train themselves physically.

Moreover, through such training programs, candidates would also be accustomed to the gear, uniform and firefighting equipment which would help them to enhance their performance in the actual test.

Well-Known Testing Centers:

There are some well-known test centers which are available for candidates who desire to prepare for this test beforehand. Candidates can get more information on the practice and testing schedules on any specific center by visiting the links mentioned below:

  1. Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD):http://www.joinlafd.org/cpat.html#

  2. Testing center - Orange (CA):http://www.cffjac.org/go/jac/cpat/schedules/orange-california1/

  3. Testing center - Sacramento (CA): http://www.cffjac.org/go/jac/cpat/schedules/sacramento-california1/

  4. Testing center - Livermore (CA):http://www.cffjac.org/go/jac/cpat/schedules/livermore-california/

  5. National Testing Network: http://nationaltestingnetwork.com/publicsafetyjobs/cpat_info.cfm

Passing the CPAT is only the beginning of the journey of becoming a professional firefighter. Once a candidate clears the physical ability test, he or she has to undertake a written test and an oral interview in order to become certified firefighter. Hence, it is extremely important for candidates to be prepared for this test by utilizing good training programs available at a well equipped testing center in order to clear this test.