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  1. #1
    Forum Member yjbrody's Avatar
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    Question Switch to CPAT test for our dept?

    Hey guys,

    Just trying to get some info on the CPAT from Depts that already use it/run it. My dept is thinking about changing it's old PAT to something more difficult and I'm wondering if it would be worthwhile to move to the CPAT for a few reasons: the current one is too easy and makes no sense (in my opinion) and also to see if this could be a good idea for raising funds for our volunteer dept. There are several depts within our state that require CPAT, but don't host their own testing so other testing facilities and depts charge applicants to maintain their CPAT cert so they can test.

    For those that are using it:
    1. What are the costs? (fees to become a recognized testing facility, equipment, etc.)
    2. Is there a cost to have your firefighters trained as proctors? If so, is this a one time thing or yearly?
    3. Do you have to maintain a minimum amount of proctors?
    4. Does your agency only test in house (for your hiring only)?
      4b. If no, do you use the test to help raise money for the dept or does the cost of becoming a testing facility offset the money you bring in?
    5. Any other advice or suggestions you may have?

    Like I said though, just feeling out the idea for now to see if it's even worthwhile taking it up the chain of command.

    Thanks for any feedback or advice in advance.


  2. #2
    Forum Member Tipys's Avatar
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    Having taken your PAT I would say its not that easy of one. It is to date the only one I have failed. Just saying.

    But it also makes sense to try and go to the standard test. Which may also crate funds for your dept. Also possible recruitment.

    I know it would be more looking into but if difficultly is your goal maybe look into the Biddle. Just a thought.
    RIP Hela

    "You have to do better then your best."
    BUD's instuctor Class 234


    "A man who won't die for something is not fit to live."
    Martin Luther King, Jr

  3. #3
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    In Florida pretty much every Fire department in the Tampa-St. Pete area have moved to a standardized CPAT from the National testing network. The National Testing Network is not yet available in Colorado but may be there is another type of provider which offers the same principle? Check it out, it is typically cheaper that way then to put on your own process, or so I have heard.

  4. #4
    Forum Member yjbrody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipys View Post
    Having taken your PAT I would say its not that easy of one. It is to date the only one I have failed. Just saying.
    Sorry if I came across as a jerk Tipys. I guess I left out some details.

    I was referring to the time standards once you are on with the dept. I agree with you about the test being a decent barometer for guys testing to get on with our dept, but once you are on the time standards that each member has to perform to are a joke in my opinion.

    Thanks for the reply bro.
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

  5. #5
    Forum Member yjbrody's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply Truck 10. I will do a little looking into the National Testing Network that you mentioned to see what we might have that's equivalent.
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber ffbam24's Avatar
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    Can you give us the breakdown of your current PA?
    I can't imagine something being easier than CPAT.

  7. #7
    Forum Member yjbrody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ffbam24 View Post
    Can you give us the breakdown of your current PA?
    I can't imagine something being easier than CPAT.
    Sure, there are 8 stations. You are wearing your coat, helmet, gloves and an SCBA- no running at any point and not on air. Here's the sequence of stations:
    1. Dummy drag (50ft on our smooth bay floor using a strap)
    2. Hydrant (15 turns open, 15 turns closed- This hydrant is out of service so it has no resistance. You literally spin the hydrant wrench with your finger.)
    3. Wildland hike (halfway around the parking lot: 300ft? maybe)
    4. Tool carry (carry 2 15lb dumbbells for 20ft while weaving in and out of cones)
    5. Uncharged hoseline drag (75 feet?)
    6. Roof ladder removal, set on ground and replace (from side of our apparatus)
    7. Sledge hammer (hit wood prop on the ground 15x on left side, 15x on right- you don't need to move it anywhere, you are hitting straight down. Were encouraged not to hit it too hard so we don't destroy the prop. Just essentially touch the sledge to it and raise the head above your shoulder.)
    8. Climb 2 ladders to the roof and using a rope haul a 3" rolled section of hose to the roof
    Most guys that take it seriously and like to compete with each other are right around the 3:20-3:50 marks. New guys testing to come on as a volunteer are given 5 mins and guys on already are given 10 mins. You literally see some guys strolling through the course because of this max time.

    Firstly, one of my gripes is that they make no sense in the order that they are placed. Why am I rescuing someone before I even catch the plug? I'd like to see something like the CPAT where the rescue is put near the end to test the endurance of guys that might be gassed already. Why am I taking a ladder off the rig and putting it right back on?

    Secondly, I would like to see some of the stations difficult level increased. At the very least move the dummy drag to the asphalt parking lot so it doesn't slide so easily. Oh and did I mention that the dummy is missing it's legs, so it's lighter than a standard rescue randy now? Have us take a ladder of the rig and use it to climb to the roof (or at least carry it to the side of the building).

    Lastly, I don't feel like you are testing anything in 3:30-4:00 minutes. Anyone can do anything for that long. Or you've got people taking their sweet time and not breaking a sweat. What I've observed with the CPAT is that people taking it and shooting for a good time can be pretty gassed towards the end, but need to push through those last stations. Sort of a gut check.

    Overall, I just think it comes down to the how-we've-always-done-it mentality and a little bit of convenience factor. It's very easy to setup and easy to reset for the next person, and can be done with minimal staffing (which I can understand). I just don't feel like it's a good representation of the type of dept that we are. We've got very dedicated and committed firefighters that are in great shape, with a few outliers, but who doesn't. I'm just looking for a way to have our PAT match our dept's other areas of high expectations for it's members.

    Also, if we can make some money for our dept by hosting a CPAT for guys that need their cert to test with other depts in the state, I see it as a win/win situation.

    Sorry for the novel...
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

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