1. #1

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    Default CPAT Event #5 Forcible Entry

    I will be taking my first CPAT in the next few months and I am curious about the technique used in the Forcible Entry event. After watching videos on the event I have noticed that most people are grasping the hammer with the left hand (for right-handed people) at the base of the handle and the right hand around the middle and swing repeatedly with their hands always in the same position. However, I have always used an axe and sledge hammer by grasping it the same way but as I swing I slide only my right hand down the handle. I feel that I gain more momentum and power by doing it this way.

    Am I doing it incorrectly or will I be disqualified for doing it this way? From what I have read in the CPAT Orientation Guide my technique is acceptable as long as I do not release the hammer from both hands at the same time.

    Also, a similiar question: What is actually being measured to set the buzzer off? Is it force, number of hits, or something else?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadec37 View Post
    I will be taking my first CPAT in the next few months and I am curious about the technique used in the Forcible Entry event. After watching videos on the event I have noticed that most people are grasping the hammer with the left hand (for right-handed people) at the base of the handle and the right hand around the middle and swing repeatedly with their hands always in the same position. However, I have always used an axe and sledge hammer by grasping it the same way but as I swing I slide only my right hand down the handle. I feel that I gain more momentum and power by doing it this way.

    Am I doing it incorrectly or will I be disqualified for doing it this way? From what I have read in the CPAT Orientation Guide my technique is acceptable as long as I do not release the hammer from both hands at the same time.

    Also, a similiar question: What is actually being measured to set the buzzer off? Is it force, number of hits, or something else?

    Thanks.
    I don't think you'll have a problem swinging that way. You can always ask a proctor if you arrive at the testing site early enough. As far as I know you are actually moving the device along the slide. I know there are some CPAT proctors on here though maybe they will be able to help you more.
    "...When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you." Isaiah 43:2

  3. #3
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    In my opinion, it's easier without sliding your hands. Keeping them apart helps you balance the weight and keeps your hits accurate. While you can impact the target with more force with a giant swing and sliding hands, the goal is to keep your hits fast and on target. The buzzer activates when the slide moves a certain distance. It moves very little if the hits aren't accurate, regardless of how hard you swing.

    If they offer CPAT orientations where you live, definitely go to one to get the feel for it. Several people I know have failed for stupid mistakes that never would've happened if they had made it to an orientation. Most people I've seen when I've gone to orientations have trouble the first time they swing the hammer... it's more awkward than it looks. It isn't difficult but it's something that's much easier with a minute or two of practice.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by SansMustache; 02-25-2009 at 02:16 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Thanks for the replies! I will be going to every practice CPAT available and I will make sure to ask the proctor's advice. The point on accuracy and the insight on what is being measured helps a lot. I definitely feel that I lose some accuracy by sliding my hand down as I swing, hopefully I can find a medium between accurancy and power during the practice tests.

    I have seen some guys complete the event with up to 10 swings, whereas another guy did it in about 3 swings. I figure this event is one of the three or four where precious seconds can be easily saved by understanding the proper technique and applying it.

    Any other replies are greatly appreciated.

  5. #5
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    When I think of CPAT, I think of 0 mistakes. Which technique will give you 0 mistakes? 1 mistake like dropping the hammer ( nervous?) could be failure.

    Unless you are really out of shape, you aren't necessarily shooting for time on these events. Besides, the time that most people pick up is in between events, and events like dummy drag etc.. ( Also , check to see if it is pass or fail rather than rank time)

    I caution you about this.

    Recently I applied for a department here in Texas. I was Ranked #1 on the list. The physical test was a pass or fail, it was much different than a CPAT.

    One of the skills ( among 9-10 or so) was a station with an SCBA. As we all know, one of the pass or fail things you must do is check the seal. I checked the seal ( by sticking my fingers underneath the seal) and I realized it wasn't quite tight enough. I pulled on it a lil more, and quickly said " SEAL GOOD" ( I didn't even need to verbalize it anyways). I get stopped..... Bad feeling in my stomach... He said I didn't check the seal..

    I sat there.... Dumbfounded... He explained the 2 approved methods ( Fingers, and covering the regulator opening) . I of course explained to him that I had checked the seal., Turns out , when he was observing me, he listened to me say that the seal was good, AFTER I had checked it. And it confused the proctor. I explained what I did a few times. I realized it was pointless to argue. There is no way in hell I would get hired under controversy like that. What did I learn?

    Make things obvious. Do things the easy way. If I had taken 10 more seconds on that skill and just checked the seal AGAIN while verbalizing i'd be fine.


    That was a lot of typing. basically, don't take risks. Just do what needs to be done consistently and safely. Good luck.

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    When i took my CPAT for Fairfax co VA i used a combination of body movment and arm movment. I kept my hands apart to keep good balance and used a slight twist of the upper body to build power and used my arms to deliver. Four good hits and it was done. I had to try a few different ways in the gym....one thing is to not let go...person infront of me let go of the hammer and was done for the test. Good Luck and practice, def goto a walk around of the course if you can.


    good luck

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    In my opinion, definately accuracy over brute strength.

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