1. #1
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    Default There's no point to the CPAT...

    First of all, hello to everyone. I'm new to the forum and enjoy reading some of the topics. Since i'm in the middle of two processes right now my interest in this forum is at an all time high. I have recenty done the Cpat for two departments and it really does not make sense to me.

    People show up to this so out of shape, yet they are given oppertunity after oppertunity to practice the course. Their hands are held the entire way until finally the are able to pass the CPAT with like 20 seconds remaining.

    Whats the point of this? These canidates have allowed themselves to get completely out of shape (lets not forget they are only in their 20's) and they have to bust their tail just to pass the CPAT. What kind of FF are they going to be?

    I would think the Fire department would want people who live a somewhat healthy life and are already in decent shape. The Cpat should be a test to see where you are at physically not a PR stunt to get everybody who applied an "equal" chance. What's the pass rate of these Cpats? 95%? It seems to me if you can't get yourself into shape to get the greatest job in the world, then maybe you don't want that bad.

    I understand the idea is to give equal oppertunity to everyone, but it seems to discriminate aqainst those who have busted their tail to stay in great shape their whole life. Its not a filtering system anymore, it just sounds like it is.

    Sorry if this sounds harsh.(and this has nothing to do with females)

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    I agree, the cpat is weak. Academy pt will weed out the physically inadequate. I've observed people throwing up, and nearly passing out after doing work performance while in full gear + SCBA. One instructor commented that the cpat should be like a warmup for us, and shouldn't even be a challenge. If you barely pass the pre-hire cpat, that would hopefully be a wakeup call. Also, the females here at the academy weren't the ones vomiting, either. I'm impressed!

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    I agree wholeheartedly. Make the test the combat challenge, or a similar variation, and rank candidates by time. Firefighters would have more faith in their crewmates' abilities and the citizens would be getting better service. I have heard that some departments are recognizing the negative effects of hiring personel that squeeked past the CPAT and are going away from it.

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    are all cpat the same? im from ohio and had to do a physical agility test prior to the academy, i applied to myrtle beach and going down there to take there test and cpat in august, going to be nice and warm, and not really sure what there cpat is made up of. i finished all the academy pt without a problem so im guessing ill be fine with it. if anybody has any info it on please share. thanks

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    I vote for the Combat Challenge type of test.

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    How bout we do it Gladiator style? Put all the candidates in a ring, give them access to a charged hose line, a spanner wrench and a dry chemical extinguisher and the last man standing is the new probie?

    Who's with me? Hell, you could make a reality show out of that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shrek929 View Post
    are all cpat the same? im from ohio and had to do a physical agility test prior to the academy, i applied to myrtle beach and going down there to take there test and cpat in august, going to be nice and warm, and not really sure what there cpat is made up of. i finished all the academy pt without a problem so im guessing ill be fine with it. if anybody has any info it on please share. thanks
    This has been discussed before, search it.
    Short version is NO!!!
    All CPATS are not the same!!!!!!!!!!!
    Some are the official CPAT, very specific, also very easy.
    However, many depts run a"cpat", which is just an entry test.
    Make sure you know what your test is.

    And yes, the CPAT is a joke, it was never designed to be a challenging entry-level test.
    But it is gender-neutral

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    Wink Cpat...

    The CPAT is what it is... you must remember not just Buffs that jack themselves up want to be FFs but also the regular Joes with ambition. You need to remember for the most part people volunteer to be FFs so it cannot be too hard for the "average" person.

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    Default I vote for a grammar test.

    Quote Originally Posted by shrek929 View Post
    are all cpat the same? im from ohio and had to do a physical agility test prior to the academy, i applied to myrtle beach and going down there to take there test and cpat in august, going to be nice and warm, and not really sure what there cpat is made up of. i finished all the academy pt without a problem so im guessing ill be fine with it. if anybody has any info it on please share. thanks
    I vote for a grammar test.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mitllesmertz1 View Post
    This has been discussed before, search it.
    But it is gender-neutral
    Ding Ding Ding

    If you make the CPAT more challenging, we won't hire any females, and thus we won't be politically correct.
    The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened. --Norman Mattoon Thomas, 6 time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America

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    Keep in nmind that the physical agility test, whether it be the CPAT, Biddle, or a homegrown test, is the MINIMUM standard. Any candidate who meets the MINIMUM standard will have great difficulty in an academy.

    If you are a candidate who is testing for the fire department, passing the physical agility test should not be the pinacle of your physical fitness. it should be the starting point.

    For the record, the physical agility test is also only one portion of the test. You need to be smart and articulate too.

    When we hire candidates we look at the entire profile.

    Best of luck to all,
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

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    Default Failure rate

    I am not sure which CPAT you took but the number of people failing out of the two CPATs that I have been through would not echo your sentiments. Of course the two I have done were the IAFF certified(approved or whatever they call it...) ones so there may be a variance to what you have experienced.

    I have no source to verify this but I also heard that the failure rate nationwide is close to 65% Male and 85% female. No one seems to be able to get off of the stairs or if they do they are too gassed to finish in the allotted time.

    But there is a lot of localization to the process as has been stated each department sets the bar for what they believe to be a minimum physical capacity to complete the academy.

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    Most people who fail the CPAT fail the first event (Stair Climb/Stair Stepper), or run out of time during the last event (Ceiling Breach). People who run out of time at the breach and pull lost a few seconds at all the prior event stations because they PAUSED to THINK of how to do the event or PAUSED or SLOWED down to catch their breath. If youíre going to the whip around the club house turn to come in for a photo finish to pass your CPAT, after you got into the best shape ever, think twice going forward in a hiring process.

    CPAT will tell you just because you passed the physical agility doesnít mean you are ready for the fire academy or you will be a good firefighter. Departments know this. So, the training division is going to put you through the wringer to make sure you can do the job before you go on line. If you canít keep up they will wash you out.

    Training officers have told me the problem is candidates might be able to complete CPAT and one evolution but the wheels start coming of the wagon when they have to do the same evolution two, three, four times or more and then move on to another evolution multiple times. They just donít have the endurance.

    "Captain Bob" www.eatstress.com

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    llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll
    Last edited by bugsy2007; 08-22-2008 at 05:27 PM.

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    Yea, i looked at Chicago's...it looked Brutal. And I have been training for Cleveland's for a few months now, and they aren't till Spring 2009 (allegedly when they are giving a test). Heard, never did it myself, it was one of the hardest out there.

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    Here's a fun test:
    http://www.cityoftacoma.org/Page.aspx?hid=1378

    (notes-(1)it's a charged 2 1/2, not uncharged 1 3/4 like CPAT
    (2)dummy is 175lbs
    (3)extinguisher weighs 45lbs for hoist

    But they call it a PAT
    Last edited by flipper123; 06-09-2008 at 01:26 AM.

  17. #17
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    Reminiscing is fun.....
    Tacoma's was a blast.
    Seattle's before they went to the CPAT at Station 14 in their tower. Especially the final hose hoisting event.....
    Bellingham's. That one I've seen people puking at. (hey WT, there's no "puking" emoticon)
    Everett's had to be one of my favorites. Sadly I hear it is under review.

    All of these great departments had something in common too. Department members were there to cheer the candidates on during these physical agility tests.
    I remember one proctor at one of these asked me, "Encouragement or harrassment?" I chose the latter.

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    CPAT is an INITIAL entry test. Many of the folks that can easily pass it don't really have the deep desire to risk their lives for others and go on to be great fire fighters, many of those that squeak by have the heart of a lion, and will become GREAT firefighters with the right training and mentoring. CPAT should not be easy, and really it is not, it should not be impossible either. It is sort of like the SAT's, the purpose is not to see what you really know, it is to see what you might be capable of with the right training. If we had no academies and folks were expected to ride the back step and hump hose into an actual burning building on day one on the job, then I would say it should be much harder from a physical demanding and skills point of view. However that is not its purpose, it is one part of the screening process and if folks are out of shape and can still pass, it shows a lot more heart than those folks that show up and fly through without breaking a sweat. The guy/girl that passed after having sweated it and suffered from the begining stairclimb to the end without giving up is the guy/girl that is going to make a great firefighter once his/her instructors get his physical shape up to par.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    The guy/girl that passed after having sweated it and suffered from the begining stairclimb to the end without giving up is the guy/girl that is going to make a great firefighter once his/her instructors get his physical shape up to par.
    Or maybe they'll fail in the training academy, or better yet get hurt and be on the Dept's injured list for awhile.
    Or they'll sue after getting injured, saying the Academy was much more difficult than the CPAT, and they didn't know how hard it would be.
    Or most likely, they'll squeak through the tower, and then become a fat, worthless piece of goo for the next 25 years.

    The Rocky-Balboa, Rudy image of someone striving to overcome their physical challenges is heartwarming, but the reality is that most candidates that struggle to complete the CPAT will have a major struggle in the Academy.

    And the people that breeze through it?
    Maybe they have realized that firefighting is challenging, strenuous work, so they have dedicated their time to living a healthy,active lifestyle, which they will continue for the rest of their careers.
    They don't have to work out more to pass the CPAT- they are always in the condition required to pass the CPAT, everyday.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flipper123 View Post
    The guy/girl that passed after having sweated it and suffered from the begining stairclimb to the end without giving up is the guy/girl that is going to make a great firefighter once his/her instructors get his physical shape up to par.
    Or maybe they'll fail in the training academy, or better yet get hurt and be on the Dept's injured list for awhile.
    Or they'll sue after getting injured, saying the Academy was much more difficult than the CPAT, and they didn't know how hard it would be.
    Or most likely, they'll squeak through the tower, and then become a fat, worthless piece of goo for the next 25 years.

    The Rocky-Balboa, Rudy image of someone striving to overcome their physical challenges is heartwarming, but the reality is that most candidates that struggle to complete the CPAT will have a major struggle in the Academy.

    And the people that breeze through it?
    Maybe they have realized that firefighting is challenging, strenuous work, so they have dedicated their time to living a healthy,active lifestyle, which they will continue for the rest of their careers.
    They don't have to work out more to pass the CPAT- they are always in the condition required to pass the CPAT, everyday.

    Bingo! This idea that because you pushed yourself to the limit to pass the Cpat so you must have a huge heart...blah, blah, blah. What about those of us that push ourselves everyday in the gym and on the bleachers because we realize the importance of being fit and how being ready for anything, anytime is what being a firefighter is all about! Having the knowledge of what to do, but being so out of shape to do it doesn't help anybody.

    I also doubt it's the "job" of the instructors to get you in shape. Sure they end up having to do it, but I bet if you asked them, they would much rather have smart, ready-to-learn, soon-to-be firefighters that came into the academy READY to be pushed to the extreme. Not the guys that dread every minute of it because they can't find the motivation (which comes from within) to push themselves.

    When my time comes I will be ready mentally and physically to be the best I can. I only compete against myself but I've waited too long and worked too hard to let something as weak as laziness slow me down! Damn I just pumped myself up. Time to run (literally)!!

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    I know plenty of very fit firefighters who's firefighting skills and knowledge have much to be desired, I doubt they had any trouble with CPAT when they joined the department. I also know of some great firefighters who are now in good shape, but not olympians by any stretch, who squeeked by CPAT showing that they could do the minimum and were ready to be trained to get well above that level. CPAT is what it is and succeeds very well at what it is for.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
    -Big Russ

    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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