Visual: Introduction Slides with logos, bulleted lists, and short clips of various exercises
The IAFF IAFC Fire Service joint labour-management candidate physical ability test (CPAT) consists of eight separate events performed in a continuous sequence. The events in order are the stair climb, the hose drag, the equipment carry, the ladder raise and extension, the forcible entry, the search, the rescue, and the ceiling breach and pull. You will be required to progress along a predetermined path from event to event in a continuous manner.
Since the inception of the CPAT, the task force has protected the integrity of the test through a strict licensing procedure. To date, more than 500 fire departments and jurisdictions are licensed and therefore approved to use the test. The International Association of Firefighters and International Association of Fire Chiefs, in accordance with a conciliatory agreement reached with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, requires departments to offer two CPAT orientation sessions and two timed practice runs as a mandatory condition for using the CPAT program to hire firefighter candidates.
Visual: Clips of people doing various firefighting exercises (dragging a dummy, walking a stair climber, carrying tools, lifting a ladder)
All departments using the CPAT must offer these orientations and practice sessions equally to all candidates. At least eight weeks prior to administering the CPAT, you will be offered the first of two orientation sessions which include access to the official CPAT equipment. Certified peer fitness trainers, fitness professionals, and/or CPAT trained firefighters will be present to help you become familiar with and prepare for the test. In addition, you will be given no less than two timed practice runs on the CPAT course within 30 days of testing. These standard operating procedures provide full and equal access to the CPAT program and will improve your success rate on the test. If you feel you are ready to take the test and don't need to attend the orientation sessions or practice runs, you may choose to sign a written waiver acknowledging that you voluntarily waive your participation in these sessions.
The candidate physical ability test events and equipment were designed to standard specifications. While the order of events and lengths between events will remain the same, in order to conform to the fire department's test area, your course layout may vary. The CPAT course may be setup indoors or outdoors.
Visual: Candidate putting on described personal protective equipment and clothing.
You must successfully complete all eight events in ten minutes and twenty seconds or less. This is a pass/fail test. Disqualification on one event or a total test time exceeding ten minutes and twenty seconds will constitute a failure and the test will be concluded. Throughout the test, you will wear a 50-pound vest to simulate the weight of the self-contained breathing apparatus and the firefighters protective clothing. A hard hat with a chin strap and work gloves will be issued to you for your safety and must be worn for the duration of the test. Watches and loose jewelry will not be permitted. It is a requirement that you wear long pants and proper footwear; footwear with an open heel or an open toe may not be worn.
Visual: Clips of candidate doing firefighting exercises with a proctor (coach) watching.
The events are placed in a sequence that best simulates their use in a fire scene. Each event is connected by an 85-foot walk. This will allow you approximately 20 seconds to recover before the next event. To ensure the highest level of safety and to prevent exhaustion, you must walk between events. Running between events will result in a warning. A second infraction will constitute disqualification and your test will be concluded. A proctor will follow, not lead you, throughout the test. The purpose of the lead proctor is to time your performance, monitor your safety, and provide you with instructions during the events. Additional Proctors will be present during the events.
Event one: stair climb
Visual: Candidate putting on weighted vest and pads.
This event is designed to simulate the critical tasks of climbing stairs in full protective clothing while carrying a high-rise pack or hose bundle. An additional 25 pounds of weight will be added only during the stair climb event totalling 75 pounds to simulate the weight of the firefighters protective clothing, the self-contained breathing apparatus, and a high-rise pack or hose bundle.
Visual: Candidate walking on a mechanical stair climber while being monitored by two proctors.
You will walk on the step mill for 3 minutes and 20 seconds. Immediately prior to the initiation of the timed candidate physical ability test, you will have 20 seconds to warm up on and become familiar with the step mill at a preset rate of 50 steps per minute. This 20-second warmup is not counted in your total test time. During the twenty second warmup, you will be permitted to dismount, grasp the rail or touch the wall to establish balance and cadence. If you fall or dismount the step mill, you must remount and start the entire twenty second warmup period. You will be allowed to restart the warm-up period two times. If you dismount or fall off the equipment three times during the warmup period, you will be disqualified, and your test will be concluded. The warmup period and the time test are continuous there is no break between the warmup period and the timed test. Time begins when the Proctor says go and the rate of the step mill will be increased to a preset rate of 60 steps per minute. You will be required to walk on the step mill at this preset rate for three minutes. Just prior to the three-minute mark, the proctor will inform you that the step mill event is about to end. After three minutes have elapsed, the step mill will stop. You will dismount, the two weights totalling 25 pounds will be removed, and you will walk to the next event. If you fall, grasp any of the test equipment, or dismount the step mill after the timed candidate physical ability test begins, you will be disqualified, and your test will be concluded. During the time test you are permitted to momentarily touch the wall or handrail for balance. However, you will be given a warning if the wall or handrail is touched or grasped for an extended period of time or if the wall or handrail is used for weight bearing. Two warnings will be allowed. A third infraction will constitute a disqualification and your test will be concluded.
Event two: hose drag
Visual : Firefighters pulling a hose from a truck
This event is designed to simulate the critical tasks of extending an uncharged toes line from the fire apparatus to the fire occupancy and pulling the uncharged hose line around obstacles while you remain stationary.
Visual: Candidate completing hose pull in a gymnasium around red metal drums while being monitored by two proctors.
You will grasp the hose nozzle attached to two hundred feet of one and three-quarter inch hose. You will place the length of the hose line eight feet or less over your shoulder or across your chest. You will drag the hose 75 feet to a pre-positioned drum, make a 90-degree turn around the drum, and continue to the finish line. You are permitted to run while dragging the hose. This is the only event in which you are permitted to run. If you fail to go around the drum or go outside of the marked path, your test will be concluded. After you cross the finish line you will stop within the marked box, turn to face the hose line, and drop to at least one knee. You will then pull 50 feet of hose as indicated by a marking on the hose to the finish line. The mark on the hose line must pass the established finish line. Upon completion of this event, you will walk 85 feet along the established walkway to the next event. During the hose pull, you must remain on at least one knee within the marked boundary lines at all times. If you fail to do so, you will receive a warning. The second time you move outside of the boundary or fail to maintain at least one knee in contact with the ground will constitute a disqualification and your test will be concluded.
Event three: equipment carry
Visual : Firefighters carrying tools in a smoke filled street
This event is designed to simulate the critical tasks of removing power tools from a fire apparatus, carrying them to an emergency scene, and returning them to the fire apparatus.
Visual: Candidate carrying two chainsaws from a shelf around a barrel while being monitored by two proctors.
You will remove the two saws, one at a time, from the cabinet and place them on the ground. You will then simultaneously pick up one saw in your left hand and one saw in your right hand and carry them while walking 75 feet around a drum and back to the starting point. You will then place both saws on the ground; pick up one saw at a time and return each saw to its designated space in the cabinet. Upon completion of this event, you will walk 85 feet along the established walkway to the next event. During the equipment carry, you are allowed to stop, place the saws on the ground, and adjust your grip; however, if you drop either saw on the ground during the carry you will be disqualified and your test will be concluded. Throughout the equipment carry you must walk; you will receive one warning for running. A second infraction will constitute disqualification and your test will be concluded.
Event four: ladder raise and extension
Visual : Ladder extending against a smoke filled building
This event is designed to simulate the critical tasks of placing a ground ladder at a fire structure and extending the ladder to a roof or window.
Visual: Candidate raising an aluminum ladder while being monitored by two proctors.
You will walk to the end of a 24 foot aluminum extension ladder positioned on the ground, lift the top rung of the unhinged end of the ladder from the ground, and walk it up in a hand over hand fashion using each rung of the ladder until the ladder rests against the wall. If you miss any rung during the raise, you will receive a warning. If you miss a rung after receiving a warning or if you allow the ladder to fall to the ground or the safety line yard is activated due to completely losing your grip during the raise, you will be disqualified and your test will be concluded. After successfully completing the ladder raise, you will proceed immediately to a second pre-positioned and secured 24-foot aluminum extension ladder. You will extend the fly section by pulling on the rope halyard hand over hand until it hits the stop. You will then lower the fly section hand over hand in a controlled fashion and return the ladder to its original starting position. Upon completion of this event, you will walk 85 feet along the established walkway to the next event. You must fully extend the ladder and maintain control of the ladder using the rope halyard in a hand over hand manner at all times. Failing to do so or allowing the rope powder to slip in an uncontrolled manner will result in a disqualification and your test will be concluded. During the ladder extension, you must remain within the marked boundary lines. If you fail to do so, you will receive a warning. A second infraction will constitute disqualification and your test will be concluded.
Event 5: forcible entry
Visual : Firefighter using a sledgehammer to open a door in a smoke filled home.
This event is designed to simulate the critical tasks of using force to open a locked door or to breach a wall.
Visual: Candidate striking a metal pad while being monitored by two proctors.
You will use a 10-pound sledgehammer to strike the measuring device in the target area until the buzzer is activated. You will then place the sledgehammer on the ground. Upon completion of this event, you will walk 85 feet along the established walkway to the next event. If while swinging the sledgehammer, you lose control of the sledgehammer and release it from both hands you will be disqualified, and your test will be concluded.
Event 6: search
Visual: Firefighter climbing into a window of a smoke filled building.
This event is designed to simulate the critical task of searching for a fire victim in limited visibility and in an unpredictable area.
Visual: Candidate crawling through a dark tunnel maze.
You will crawl on your hands and knees through a tunnel maze that is 64 feet long and approximately 3 feet high and 4 feet wide. While in the tunnel, you will navigate around over and under obstacles. In addition, at two locations, you will crawl through narrowed portions where the dimensions of the tunnel have been reduced. Upon completion of this event, you will walk 85 feet along the established walkway to the next event. Throughout the maze, your movement will be monitored. If for any reason you choose to end the event, you may call out or rap sharply on the wall or ceiling of the tunnel and you will be assisted out. Requiring assistance while in the maze, including the opening of an escape hatch or the entrance or exit cover, will result in disqualification and your test will be concluded.
Event 7: rescue
Visual: Firefighter dragging a colleague out of a building
This event is designed to simulate the critical task of removing a victim or injured partner from a fire scene.
Visual: Candidate dragging a mannequin around a metal drum while being monitored by two proctors.
You will grasp one or both handles of the shoulder harness attached to a 165-pound mannequin and drag it 35 feet around a pre-positioned drum, make a 180-degree turn around the drum, and continue an additional 35 feet until the entire mannequin has been dragged completely past the finish line. Upon completion of this event, you will walk 85 feet along the established walkway to the next event. During the rescue event, you are allowed to stop and adjust your grip if needed. The mannequin is permitted to come in contact with the drum; however, if you touch or rest on the drum at any time you will be given a warning. A second interaction will constitute a disqualification and your test will be concluded. Remember the entire mannequin must be dragged past the marked finish line to complete the event.
Event eight: ceiling breach and pull
Visual: Firefighters pull down ceiling material in a building with smoke coming from the roof
This event is designed to simulate the critical task of breaching and pulling down a ceiling to check for fire extension.
Visual: Candidate using a hooked pole to push and pull a weight over their head while being monitored by two proctors.
You will remove the pike pole from the bracket, stand within the boundary established by the equipment frame, and place the tip of the pole on the painted area of the hinged door in the ceiling. You will push up fully with the pike pole on the hinge door in the ceiling three times, then you will hook the pike pole to the ceiling device and pull down the counterbalance lever five times. Three pushes and five pulls constitute one complete set. You will be required to perform four entire sets. If you drop the pole, you must pick it up by yourself and resume the event. You will be permitted to drop the pike pole to the ground only once. Dropping the pike pole to the ground a second time will constitute disqualification and your test will be concluded. If you do not successfully complete a repetition, the proctor will call out miss and you must push or pull the apparatus to complete the repetition. If you do not repeat the missed repetition, the entire set will not count. If you step outside the frame during this event, you will receive a warning. A second infraction will constitute disqualification and your test will be concluded. In this case you will not receive any warning. You are permitted, if needed, to stop and adjust your grip. Should you release your grip or should your hand slip from the pipe pole without the pole falling to the ground, you should re-establish your grip and resume the event.
Visual: Organization Logos and text on screen
This concludes the description of all eight events in the IAFF IAFC joint labour management candidate physical ability test. Remember, this is a timed test. You must pace yourself and be prepared to complete all eight events in order with a total test time that does not exceed 10 minutes and 20 seconds.