CANDIDATE PHYSICAL ABILITY TEST
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 and waiver. 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. 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
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.
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. Candidates who attend the CPAT timed
session and who participate in some form of physical training prior to taking the test have a higher pass rate.