Everything about CPAT Vest
The Candidate Physical Ability Test or CPAT is an entry-level pass or fail assessment for all the aspiring firefighters in the United States. Eight crucial tasks in this test cleverly assess the physical skills of the candidates and determine if they are fit or not to become firefighters. This article discusses the usage of an important piece of firefighting gear called the "CPAT vest" and explains how it is employed during this test.
What is the CPAT Vest?
The CPAT vest is a 50-pound weight that is strapped to the candidates of the CPAT test. The purpose of this vest is to simulate the weight of the breathing equipment and heavy firefighting gear that firefighters must wear during every fire-rescue operation.
How is the Vest Used during the CPAT Test?
The CPAT vest must be worn by all candidates throughout the following eight task assessments that are part of the CPAT test: Stair Climbing, Hose Dragging, Equipment Lifting, Ladder Raising & Extension, Entering with Force, Search, Rescue and Ceiling Breach events. Apart from this, an additional vest of 25 pounds must be worn by all candidates in the Stair Climbing event, thus making the weight of the gear a total of 75 pounds during this event.
All tasks in this test are physically challenging in terms of the endurance, agility and flexibility, that are required to complete them. Moreover, the vests (along with other testing equipment such as the hose-pipe, saw, ladder, weighted mannequin, pike-pole etc.) add a greater but essential challenge to the efforts of the candidates. CPAT events that include stair climbing, running, dragging or lifting heavy equipment are especially challenging when performed along with the CPAT vest.
How to Train with the CPAT Vest?
Every CPAT training program or self-training regimen should include training with the CPAT vest. For training purposes, the candidates could simulate a vest by putting 50-75 pounds of weight(s) in backpacks or they could buy or borrow a weighted vest. To begin with, it is difficult to train while wearing the vest all the time. To get used to the vest, you could initially start walking or jogging short distances with it. After some practice, you could gradually increase the distance of the walk or the jog.
Another way to warm-up to the vest is to use it during your casual training in the gym i.e. for example on the treadmill or the elliptical walker. Once you are used to the vest completely, you may start practicing for the stair climbing and other tasks in the CPAT test. However, it is advised that you practice all the events, first without the vest, master the timing and then add the vest to your training. This way the vest will not weigh you down from the very beginning and wane your spirits. To start with, it is recommended that you use the weighted vest in the presence of a trained professional, so that you will be advised on how much further you could stretch with the CPAT vest.
How to Procure the CPAT Vest?
You could purchase a new or used (cheaper) CPAT vest from online shopping sites such as Amazon, BestBuy etc. or from sports or departmental stores such as Walmart etc. Generally, training vests are available in different sizes and with different features. They are also available for both genders. Some trainers recommend buying a 75-pound vest that comes with a 50-pound weighted vest and a 25-pound attachment. This gives you the flexibility of removing the 25-lb attachment during events other than the stair-climb, hose-pipe, ladder lift etc. where you will not require it. Brand new vests are usually quite costly, so you must make sure that you buy one with a lifetime or long-term warranty. One such vest is available for purchase at http://www.weightvest.com/75-lb-weight-vest-vmax-cpat-testing.
Thus far, we have discussed all the aspects of the CPAT vest, including its significance and usage instructions. We hope that this article has provided you with enough material on how to use and train with the CPAT vest. Best of luck with your CPAT training!
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