Where to Take the CPAT

How and Where to Take the CPAT

The CPAT stands for the Candidate Physical Ability Test, which evaluates firefighting recruits for their physical strength in performing the tasks involved in firefighting and rescue operations. The official website of the CPAT is http://www.candidatephysicalabilitytest.com. This article gives valuable information on the testing sites that are available for the test.

The Testing Center

The CPAT is popular as a physical ability test; however, it may not necessarily constitute the eight main skills areas alone. Some state firefighting departments may even ask for a written test to assess the most basic skills in areas of Math, writing and reading; however, most of the departments will call you for an extra round of interview post the test.

The testing sites, however, are designed keeping in mind the eight basic skills which are enlisted below:

  1. Stair Climbing: For testing this skill, you will be asked to climb stairs at the rate of 60 steps per minute. While doing this, you are required to wear a vest that contains 50 lbs of weight. Additionally, you will have to carry 25 lbs of weight separately.

  2. Hose Drag: This event starts where the stair climb event ends. In this, you have to grab a hose and place it over your shoulder. Then you have to drag it for 75 feet, make a turn and then drag it for a further 25 feet.

  3. Equipment Carry: This event requires you to pick up designated pieces of equipment and walk around a designated path and then drop it and pick up another piece of equipment.

  4. Ladder Raise: In this event you are required to raise a ladder from horizontal to a vertical position. Then you need to go to another vertical ladder.

  5. Forcible Entry: In this event, you need to enter an area forcibly. Here, you need to destroy a blockage such as a door, a wall or even a window. Then, using a sledge you have to knock the blockage down to make way for yourself.

  6. Search: In this event, which is the sixth event of this test you have to search for a missing item or an injured victim in a smoke filled or dark area. This skill is very important because you will be using this in most of your real-life firefighting and rescue operations.

  7. Rescue Drag: In this seventh event, you need to walk ahead and grab the mannequin. You need to hold it by the shoulders and drag it across the area into a safe place.

  8. Ceiling Breach and Pull: This is the last event of this test. In it, you have to break open a ceiling to check whether there is any fire or any one trapped in the floor above yours.

The entire test goes on according to the events. There is no fixed time limit for each event. You just need to complete the events successfully within a total time frame of 10 minutes 20 seconds. However, the criterion for passing individuals' event is different. It must be noted that some sites have an outdoor facility for carrying out all these tests whereas others have an indoor facility with a fixed layout and floor plan.

How to Choose a Testing Site

In order to know about the testing sites in your state, you need to visit the official website of the test (www.candidatephysicalabilitytest.com).

  • Here you have to click on the tab ‘Find a CPAT Testing Location’. You may also directly visit the link http://www.candidatephysicalabilitytest.com/find-a-cpat-testing-location/.
  • On the main page, you will see a list of all the states. Click on the name of your state to find out all the sites that are located there.
  • For example, if you are a resident of California, you can click on the name of your state. There will be a list of centers in front of you for the particular state. You can choose the nearest one and register yourself.

However, not all states have their own test centers and you may have to travel to another state for taking this test. For this purpose, you need to check the link mentioned above regarding your particular state.

Hence, the CPAT is a test of your physical skills and endurance. The events conducted under it are the same at all testing sites. However, there may be a slight change in the layout at times. Hence, you must prepare yourself both mentally and psychologically for taking this test successfully in all circumstances.

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