Candidate Physical Ability Test

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Candidate Physical Ability Test
TypePhysical ability test
Duration10 minutes and 20 seconds
Score / grade rangePass/Fail

The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) is the standard assessment for measuring an individual's ability to handle the physical demands of being a firefighter. The CPAT is a timed test that measures how candidates handle eight separate physical tasks or functions, designed to mirror tasks that firefights would have to do on the job.[1][2][3][4][5]


During the test, candidates are required to complete 8 separate tasks in a period of 10 minutes and 20 seconds. The tasks are the following:

  • Stair Climb (climbing stairs while carrying an additional 25 lb. simulated hose pack)
  • Hose Drag (stretching uncharged hose lines, advancing lines)
  • Equipment Carry (removing and carrying equipment from fire apparatus to fire ground)
  • Ladder Raise and Extension (placing a ground ladder at the fire scene and extending the ladder to the roof or a window)
  • Forcible Entry (penetrating a locked door, breaching a wall)
  • Search (crawling through dark unpredictable areas to search for victims)
  • Rescue Drag (removing a victim or partner from a burning building)
  • Ceiling Breach and Pull (locating a fire and checking for fire extension)

During the test, candidates are required wear a helmet, gloves and a 50 lb weighted vest. This is designed to simulate the weight of a firefighter's personal protective equipment. For the stair climb, candidates are required to carry and additional 25 lb weight, which simulates the carrying of a hose pack into a high rise fire. Candidates are accompanied by a test proctor, who calls out directions for the test events and scores the candidate's success. Each event of the CPAT must be completed as directed. If a candidate fails any component of the test or does not complete the test within the 10 minute and 20 second time limit, they will fail the entire test.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Candidate Physical Ability Test". Firefighter Candidate Testing Center. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  2. ^ "Candidate Physical Ability Test". International Association of Fire Chiefs. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  3. ^ "CPAT at NTN". National Testing Network. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  4. ^ Annillo, John. "The CPAT: The Events In The Fire Department Physical Ability Test". Breaking Muscle. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  5. ^ "Firefighter Physical Ability Tests". Modern Firefighter. Retrieved November 3, 2018.

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