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  1. #1
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    Default Anyone know CPAT failure rates?

    I was just wondering what the numbers are on that.

    Say you have 100 people take it...was wondering how many/100 would pass. Are these numbers ever recorded centrally or just by whatever dept. is giving the test for hiring purposes...


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    Forum Member pasobuff's Avatar
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    I think it depends on what type of situation the test is given - my husband proctors the CPAT here, and there are very few failures - usually he is prety sure who will fail even before they start the test. This is usually in a Fire academy setting also - not just people off the street.

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    Thanks for the reply. This is kind of what I though about it but wasnt sure if anyone knew exactly

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    The CPAT is very easy and I would suspect anyone that fails it should look for a new career. I don't mean to be rude but the standard is very low and compared to other fitness evaluations, the CPAT evaluates the absolute minimum fitness level of a fire fighter candidate.
    Last edited by jeffcollett; 04-28-2010 at 12:30 AM.

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    Forum Member pasobuff's Avatar
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    I don't know about it being 'easy' - there is preparation that should be done before the test - especially the stairs.....you also have to be able to pace yourself so you don't time out - that is what just happened to one candidate yesterday.....you need to be able to go fast enough to make time, but not too fast that you wear yourself out before the last event.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffcollett View Post
    The CPAT is very easy and I would suspect anyone that fails it should look for a new career. I don't mean to be rude but the standard is very low and compared to other fitness evaluations, the CPAT evaluates the absolute minimum fitness level of a fire fighter candidate.
    I would have to disagree. I would take it as I was not hitting the gym hard enough.
    RIP Hela

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    Quote Originally Posted by pasobuff View Post
    I don't know about it being 'easy' - there is preparation that should be done before the test - especially the stairs.....you also have to be able to pace yourself so you don't time out - that is what just happened to one candidate yesterday.....you need to be able to go fast enough to make time, but not too fast that you wear yourself out before the last event.....
    I compared it to power walking. Ya know when you see older folks walking around the mall at an ungodly early hour doing the fast walk shuffle? That's what you got to do. Keep moving steadily and don't stop. 10:20 of hustling is worth every minute of a 30 or more year career. I trained hard for about 6 months prior to the event, but that was mostly because I have never taken one before and didn't really know what it was gonna be like. Now that I've passed and know what to expect, I can adjust my training to meet the expectation. Be proactive and just do it!

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    MembersZone Subscriber tajm611's Avatar
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    I'll make it easy.

    If you are worried, you won't make it.

    If 10 minutes of easy easy work makes you scared, you're ****ed.
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

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    Quote Originally Posted by pasobuff View Post
    I don't know about it being 'easy' - there is preparation that should be done before the test - especially the stairs.....you also have to be able to pace yourself so you don't time out - that is what just happened to one candidate yesterday.....you need to be able to go fast enough to make time, but not too fast that you wear yourself out before the last event.....
    It should be easy, since you're competing against hundreds or thousands of other applicants. If you want the job bad enough, you'll perpare for the test properly and smoke it.

    It should be easy since what the academy does is way tougher physically than the joke CPAT test. If you barely pass the CPAT, you'll most likely be too weak and deconditioned to survive an academy.

    I'll give you an example: During my academy, we did what's called a work performance circuit for two rounds, twice a week. It's like the CPAT on steroids. You start out the first two times in PT clothes, then bunker pants, then full PPE sans scott pack, then fully dressed and on air the fourth or fifth week.

    We start by going on air, hitting the keiser sled the whole way, not halfway. Then, we immediately kneel and receive a 2 1/2" high rise pack (25 lbs or so), and sprint up to the fifth floor and back down (that's what the 3 min treadmill station with 75# of weight is supposed to simulate). Then, 10 weighted pike pole thrusts each arm. Then a 24' ladder raise. Then pulling a charged 2 1/2 hose out 50 feet, crawling back to the last coupling, and then pulling the hose and nozzle back to you. Then equipment carry to and fro, then carrying a 24' ladder to and fro, then forcible entry with a 10 lb sledge x 10, and lastly a 160 lb dummy drag to and fro. Two rounds. Twice a week. We've had some recruits vomit into their facepieces, or be sent to OHC after a syncope/near syncope.

    Still think the CPAT is tough? Pace yourself? The CPAT doesn't even come close to the physical demands of the job. If you can't jump off the stepmill and sprint with the (dry, not wet) hose, how could you ever handle carrying a high rise pack and officer's bag/tools up 20 flights of stairs or so? If you die out on the dummy drag, how are you going to drag a civillian or firefighter out of the building? It shouldn't take you twenty shots, or even ten to set off the buzzer on the forcible entry station. Good luck taking a door or breaking out of a room with an axe or halligan if conditions deteriorate. IF the short, U - shaped maze makes you nervous, you'll be permanently psychologically damaged when the real maze training starts in the academy when you're on air with a blacked out facepiece. Forget about if you get trapped in a collapse or get disoriented and cut off from your crew. You'll have a nervous breakdown and die right there where you're curled up in a fetal position. If the breach and pull smokes you, then...... oh, forget it. Also, in the real world the situations these stations simulate are done in full gear, not comfy, breathable PT clothes, sometimes on air depending.

    The CPAT and the academy demands don't compare, let alone the real world.
    Last edited by edpmedic; 04-30-2010 at 11:15 PM.
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipys View Post
    I would have to disagree. I would take it as I was not hitting the gym hard enough.
    What Jeff means is that if you fail the (easy) CPAT, you must not want the job so bad after all. Why wouldn't you be hitting the gym hard enough in the first place unless you were just lukewarm about pursuing the FF position in all honesty?

    As I said in my last post, the CPAT doesn't even come close to the academy work performance circuits or real life firefighting. If you fail a test that easy, then what does that say about your desire and determination in getting the job?
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    I'll make it easy.

    If you are worried, you won't make it.

    If 10 minutes of easy easy work makes you scared, you're ****ed.
    No, you and I are ****ed if one of these slackers is backing us up on the line inside.
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

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    Forum Member Tipys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edpmedic View Post
    What Jeff means is that if you fail the (easy) CPAT, you must not want the job so bad after all. Why wouldn't you be hitting the gym hard enough in the first place unless you were just lukewarm about pursuing the FF position in all honesty?

    As I said in my last post, the CPAT doesn't even come close to the academy work performance circuits or real life firefighting. If you fail a test that easy, then what does that say about your desire and determination in getting the job?
    Me I just started getting into this. No I dont believe the CPAT is all that hard. I was thinking more along the lines of failing something because you werent paying attention. Or you just werent training the right way for it. Mainly the stairs it is awhole nother ball game with the vest. I can do 60mins at 60 steps pre min no vest. With 40lbs vest that I just got at 4 mins at 60 steps a min my legs are burning. But after working with the vest I am not worried about failing it cause I know I am going to pass.


    Myself even if I pasted the CPAT and I felt I wasn't truely ready for an acadmey which is likely right now mostly cause I still can run for ****. (just seem to not be able to get the breathing right.) I would likely pass on an academy so save myself from washing out and having to work 5 times harder to get another shot.
    RIP Hela

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    BUD's instuctor Class 234


    "A man who won't die for something is not fit to live."
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    I noticed something that held true every time I was out of shape and started running to get back in shape. If you do distance running, for a couple of weeks, and then try to do sptints, you're done after four or five, tops. However, if you just do sprints, and can make it up to 15 or 20, you'll find that distance running will be a joke. Need proof? You were doing an hour on the stepmill at BW, but with only 40 lbs extra (for the future, you can hold a pair of 20's and exceed the CPAT weight by 5 lbs) you were gassed in four minutes. Do higher intensity intervals, such as sprints, and the breathing will take care of itself.

    You need to still be fresh after the stepmill, or the rest of the CPAT will be challenging. I like box jumps, barbell thrusters, burpees, 96's - BW 24 squats, 24 alternating lunges, 24 jumping squats, and 24 alternating jumping lunges. For the stepmill, start with 80 lbs at level 7 or 8, when you gas drop the bells, when you gas again drop the vest, then do level 10-12 to failure. Steadily increase the time with each weight. When you can do 80 lbs for 8-10 minutes straight (it's realistic if you train for it) you'll come off the mill nice and fresh for the real test.

    There's a good 28 day progression here, and also some good WOD's:

    http://www.firegroundfitness.com/

    Add these to your sprints, and you'll be good to go:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4o-RM6ebuis

    Start with five rounds, progress to ten, hopefully with at least 30-50 lbs.

    The things that fail people are coming off the stepmill with weak legs, and the dummy drag. Train the most for those two events and the rest will take care of itself.
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

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    Quote Originally Posted by edpmedic View Post
    No, you and I are ****ed if one of these slackers is backing us up on the line inside.
    I remember in the academy, we had a guy who just didn't cut it. Made bare minimum on every certification test and was just lazy. He was third man on a line and would hold it with it on his forearms and arms across his chest. He passed every certification. The chief in charge told him he couldn't graduate because he would get some one killed.


    It only came about AFTER he tried to ventilate a controlled burn before ever putting water on it, while I was in between the fire and the window. He performed a left hand search patter with hoseline in hand and when told to back out, continued on the left wall out..... When asked what a reverse lay was he gave an example of an accordion lay... He is now a volunteer in a town of less than 100 and that still scares me.


    He passed the CPAT, he passed his test, could he have been an adequate firefighter? Hell no.
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

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    As I was headed into the U shape tunnel my proctor was reading the statements and said "alert us if you are scared of the dark".... I'm pretty sure he was having some fun with me but that would be sad if they actually wrote that into the test!

    Having recently finished an academy and seeing the difference between the academy tasks and the cpat tasks I can see the huge difference. yes the CPAT has some tough things especially if you're smaller (stair climb and the dummy)... But dragging and pulling 50ft of 1 1/2 compared to 200 ft of 2 1/2 ... Or the U turn tunnel that they inform you how to pass through unhindered compared to smoked out tunnels with drop offs and tight spaces that you have no clue where they go....?

    I can only imagine how hard it all is when you're stressed and possibly scared for your safety in a hot room... Can't wait to find out though =)

    To the original poster I don't think anyone fails if they get into decent shape first and aren't a midget. I think most people fail for technical reasons like mishandling the ladder or going the wrong way... which the orientation session should keep you from doing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffcollett View Post
    The CPAT is very easy and I would suspect anyone that fails it should look for a new career. I don't mean to be rude but the standard is very low and compared to other fitness evaluations, the CPAT evaluates the absolute minimum fitness level of a fire fighter candidate.
    You wouldn't know easy if it smacked you broadside. The only reason a CPAT would be a cake walk would be to allow everyone to pass and get another step on being hired. Why make it so easy that every slug and drone will get hired and we have to deal with them for the next 25 to 30 years??

    Some people will never be able to raise a ladder or work the sled. I've seen guys who could be line backers that had one hell of a time passing something that was like a cpat. I've seen folks who you would never think they could pick up a nozzle, let alone drag the hose line blow throught it like nothing.

    Some people can't do well with it and some can.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnee View Post
    You wouldn't know easy if it smacked you broadside. The only reason a CPAT would be a cake walk would be to allow everyone to pass and get another step on being hired. Why make it so easy that every slug and drone will get hired and we have to deal with them for the next 25 to 30 years??

    Some people will never be able to raise a ladder or work the sled. I've seen guys who could be line backers that had one hell of a time passing something that was like a cpat. I've seen folks who you would never think they could pick up a nozzle, let alone drag the hose line blow throught it like nothing.

    Some people can't do well with it and some can.
    It's beyond easy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnee View Post
    . The only reason a CPAT would be a cake walk would be to allow everyone to pass and get another step on being hired. Why make it so easy that every slug and drone will get hired and we have to deal with them for the next 25 to 30 years??
    There are many, many, "progressive" depts in the US that are doing exactly that every day.
    They use the CPAT to facilitate the hiring of "under-represented" segments of society that historically have had a hard time passing traditional physical agility tests. You might be able to figure out what segment that is.
    A test that is ridiculously easy, set up as pass/fail (no extra points for being stronger or faster), serves only one purpose- it provides a larger, more diverse pool of applicants to hire from, including some that have no business ever being on the fire ground.

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    democrats?
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

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    Quote Originally Posted by flipper123 View Post
    There are many, many, "progressive" depts in the US that are doing exactly that every day.
    They use the CPAT to facilitate the hiring of "under-represented" segments of society that historically have had a hard time passing traditional physical agility tests. You might be able to figure out what segment that is.
    A test that is ridiculously easy, set up as pass/fail (no extra points for being stronger or faster), serves only one purpose- it provides a larger, more diverse pool of applicants to hire from, including some that have no business ever being on the fire ground.
    That sounds accurate to me. Lowering the bar so everyone can play is inherently wrong. Maybe we should get rid of doctors and use PA's and NP's as our general practitioners. I'll use someone who read Taxes for Dummies to do my returns every year. This job isn't a joke, people will get injured or die if the FF isn't physically capable. Just passing the CPAT proves nothing as to whether you're fit for the job, just that you're not a cripple. Like we've said earlier, the physical demands of the academy are much tougher, and the need to work at fireground pace and work in extreme heat are tougher still.

    When watching some fail on the stepmill or dragging a dummy, I have to wonder, how easy did you think the firefighting job is, that you thought you could get through those stations? Is the test something you took on a whim, because the job sounds cool or something? If you can't drag a 160# dummy for a few feet, how are you going to drag a victim or another FF out of a structure on air? It's not like they made you do a 6:00 mile and 100 burpees before hitting the dummy, you know. Doing the mill in PT clothes and a vest is nothing like going 15 or 20 floors with a 2 1/2 high rise pack and tools. You do the dummy after crawling through a tunnel, which should allow you to catch your breath after swinging the sledge. Not being able to move the dummy means you lack the strength to do the job, by far. The hoseline advance is with a dry line, for crying out loud.

    Take a step back and look at the CPAT vs real life. There's no comparison.
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

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