Information Regarding The CPAT California

All about CPAT in California

The CPAT is a firefighter admission test for aspiring candidates in the state of California. It is administered by CFFJAC (California Firefighter Joint apprenticeship committee) and LAFD (Los Angeles Fire Department), which are organizations licensed by the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) and International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) to conduct this test. This article focuses on the primary aspects of the test, including the details about the test centers, dates and training opportunities etc.

The Key Aspects of the CPAT:

  1. Intent

    The primary intent of the examination is to evaluate the physical endurance and capabilities (such as muscular and body strength, grip, balance, cardiopulmonary, aerobic and anaerobic endurance etc.) of the candidates in completing all the essential tasks that are typically part of a fire rescue operation. This test is administered in line with the standards of the requirements that have been established by IAFF and IAFC.

  2. Test Structure

    The test consists of 8 task-assessments that are conducted one after the other. While performing these tasks, the candidates must don a 50-pound gear (vest) and must complete the entire test within 10 minutes and 20 seconds. The skills tested in each assessment are briefly explained as follows:

    • Stair Climb - The ability to walk on a stair-climbing machine that is set to predetermined rates without falling or dismounting (while wearing an additional weight).
    • Hose Drag - The ability to pull the nozzle of a standard-sized hose pipe up-to a specified distance and around a target.
    • Equipment Lift - The ability to carry heavy equipment in both hands while covering a specified distance.
    • Ladder Raise & Extension - The ability to raise and extend 2 ladders with control and balance.
    • Forcible Entry - The ability to apply the necessary force to break open a door or a wall.
    • Search - The ability to navigate through enclosed spaces that have obstacles (without panicking).
    • Rescue - The ability to drag a human-sized dummy for a specified distance without resting more than twice.
    • Ceiling Breach - The ability to push and pull a pike-pole against a weighted ceiling door and device for a specified number of times.
  3. Test Centers & Schedule
    • CFFJAC Test Locations: There are 3 centers administered by the CFFJAC in the following locations - Orange County, Livermore and Sacramento. All of these centers are indoor testing facilities. The testing schedules for these centers are published for the current quarter of the year (and for every month in that quarter) on the CFFJAC website. You may register for suitable test dates after reviewing the schedule and location details at the CFFJAC website -

    • LAFD test locations: LAFD offers 2 in-state testing centers in Orange County and Camarillo. There are separate centers designated for candidates from other states. For further details on the testing schedule and centers, you may visit the LAFD website at

  4. Coaching

    There are several coaching options available for candidates, which are listed as follows:

    • CFFJAC Tutoring Program: CFFJAC provides a dedicated orientation session and simulated practice tests for reasonable fees. Candidates are advised to attend the orientation session at-least 8 weeks before the actual testing date. This orientation promises to make the candidates comfortable and familiar with the tasks and the equipment required for the test. During the orientation, the candidates will also receive a copy of a preparation guide, which provides valuable information on physical fitness and training techniques that are essential for performing well in the exam. On the other hand, the practice tests provide a simulated environment for the candidates to try 2 timed test-runs of the entire test, while using the actual test equipment. During these practice tests, all candidates will be supervised and guided by trained fire personnel. Candidates are recommended to take the practice tests only when they are physically and mentally prepared and may register for these sessions within 30 days of the actual test. For fee and scheduling details of these sessions, please visit the CFFJAC website (The website link is provided in the previous section of this article).

    • LAFD Tutoring Programs: The LAFD offers a simulated test, which includes a training session on the fire equipment, instructional videos for review, followed by a supervised and timed run of the entire CPAT test with actual test. For details about registering for this program, please visit the LAFD website (The website link is provided in the previous section of this article).

Thus far, we have reviewed the important features of this test, along with the details regarding testing centers, schedules and coaching programs in California. Conclusively, we wish the candidates in California all the very best!