Candidate Physical Ability Test © (CPAT)
This Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) consists of eight separate events. This test is a sequence of events that requires the candidate to progress along a predetermined path from event to event in a continuous manner. This test was developed to allow fire departments to obtain pools of trainable candidates who are physically able to perform essential job tasks at fire scenes.
This is a pass/fail test based on a validated maximum total time of 10 minutes and 20 seconds.
You must present valid identification and sign a number of forms before taking the CPAT. Prior to the start of the CPAT you must complete the sign-in Form. You are provided an opportunity to review a video detailing the CPAT and failure points. It is your responsibility to ask questions if you do not understand any parts of the test events or procedures. You are required to complete both the CPAT Waiver and Release Form and the CPAT Medical Release Form before participating in Orientation, Mentoring or Testing. If you are under the age of 18 you must have a parent or legal guardian sign the Waiver & Release Form. At the conclusion of the CPAT, you must sign the CPAT Evaluation Form. Additionally, prior to leaving the rehabilitation area, you must complete and sign the Rehabilitation Form. If you fail to complete and sign any of these forms you fail the CPAT.
Weights and Clothing
In these events, you wear a 50-pound (22.68-kg) vest to simulate the weight of a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and fire fighter protective clothing. An additional 25 pounds (11.34 kg), using two 12.5-pound (5.67-kg) weights that simulate a high-rise pack (hose bundle), are added for the stair climb event.
Throughout all events, you must wear long pants, a hard hat with chinstrap, work gloves and footwear with no open heel or toe. Watches and loose or restrictive jewelry are not permitted.
Tools and Equipment
All props are designed to obtain the necessary information regarding your physical ability. The tools and equipment were chosen to provide the highest level of consistency, safety and validity in measuring your physical abilities.
Sequence and Timing Procedures
The events are placed in a sequence that best stimulates fire scene events while allowing an 85-foot (25.91-m) walk between events. To ensure the highest level of safety and to prevent exhaustion, no running is allowed between events. This walk allows you approximately 20 seconds to recover and regroup before each event.
To ensure scoring accuracy by eliminating timer failure, two stopwatches are used to time the CPAT. One stopwatch is designated as the official test time stopwatch; the second is the backup stopwatch. If mechanical failure occurs, the time on the backup stopwatch is used. The stopwatches are set to a pass/fail time and count down from 10 minutes and 20 seconds. If time elapses prior to the completion of the test, the test is concluded and you fail the test.
Mentoring - Preparing for the CPAT
Being a career firefighter is one of the most physically demanding jobs a person can have, and our hiring standards reflect situations you are likely to encounter on the job. Use the links below as a guide to help you prepare for the CPAT. Candidates who attend the CPAT practice session and who participate in some form of physical training prior to taking the test have a higher pass rate.