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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber fallujahff's Avatar
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    Exclamation Taking the CPAT <gulp>

    I'm getting ready to take the Charlotte FD's CPAT. It looks daunting---anyone have any hints, tips or comments?

    Thanks!
    "When you are safe at home, you wish you were having an adventure-when you're having an adventure, you wish you were safe at home"

    --Thornton Wilder


  2. #2
    Forum Member PFDE4's Avatar
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    We had the step machine, used for the cpat test, stored in our station for a while. We found that holding onto the vest itself while climbing, made the balancing much easier.

    Also make sure you wear proper clothing, sneakers etc.

    It's funny what people will wear to these things

  3. #3
    Forum Member PAVolunteer's Avatar
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    Here is a link to the Metro Phoenix Candidate Physical Ability Test Preparation Guide. This should help you get ready.

    http://comweb1a.ci.mesa.az.us/fire_t...ationGuide.pdf

    Stay Safe
    Last edited by PAVolunteer; 09-04-2002 at 09:37 AM.

  4. #4
    Forum Member joejoe33's Avatar
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    We take our organizations version of it once a year. All members take the entrance physical ability test once a year. If you're off sick for more than three 24 hour shifts you have to pass it to return to work. I never said I liked it.
    joejoe33

    Comments and opinions are mine and do not represent the agency or IAFF local that I am affiliated with.

  5. #5
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    As a CPAT proctor, I can tell you that the stairs are what kill people. The only way to beat the CPAT is to practice. Get a weight vest, or fill a backpack full of weights. Also, be aware that the step mill is different from a stairmaster. When you are training, do not touch the railings or otherwise support your weight.

    The preperation book is very good, and it is very obvious those who follow it, and those who don't. Even guys who are in very good shape have trouble when they add on the first 75 pounds for the stairs.

    Yours in Service,

    Jason
    Jason Zigmont

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    Jzig, hit it on the head...you gotta get into a gym and get on a step mill with weight. The one thing I will tell you is that no matter how in shape you are, your legs will be stiff, its all in the endurance keep moving along, that is the secret, if you don't stop and keep a steady pace you will be fine. And don't get frustrated with the forcible entry simulator. Steady, well aimed shots will get the job done, some guys can do it in 7 shots, some it takes 10-12, and it will get you a little huffin again.

    Also the only other thing I can tell you is if you have a size 11 or bigger shoe, expect your big toes to be sore when you get done, the steps on the mill are shorter then your foot, and you will be digging your foot into the wall of the steps. And it does seem to help if you hold the vest, and every once in a while, I would lift up on it to get a good breath in without the added weight on my chest.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber fallujahff's Avatar
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    Thanks for the good tips--

    The thing I'm most concerned is the time. Only 10 min and 20 secs, but 3 minutes are burned on the stair, that plus an 85 foot walk (no running allowed) between each event doesn't allow for a whole lot of time for each event. I'm not too worried about the events themselves since I know I can do them--

    I guess I'm worried about the rules (foot here but not there, 1 knee down only etc) interfereing with the time.

    Thanks again everyone--I've got until the end of the month.....
    "When you are safe at home, you wish you were having an adventure-when you're having an adventure, you wish you were safe at home"

    --Thornton Wilder

  8. #8
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    Anyone who has decent cardio can breeze through the cpat. I had almost 3 minutes to spare when I did it. I think it's too easy. In fact, I am currently working with a female rookie and she said it is too easy! If you get to the gym and train hard for it you will have no problem.

  9. #9
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    Jatkins, don't worry about the rules, be conscious of them, but don't dwell, if you make a mistake they will tell you, then just be cautious you don't do it again. 10 min. 20 secs. is more time then you think, and the 85 ft. walk is a lot shorter then you think also, its like I said you have to keep moving, don't stop while walking.
    Also there are several events that only take a few seconds, like the compartment/tool simulator, and the ladder raise takes a few ticks but there isn't much to it. the only one that will seem like you are taking a lot of time is the forcible entry simulator, and the few seconds it will take to drag the dummy. At the end you'll be so pumped your finishing you'll be beatin the hell out of the overhaul sim. Just drink a crap load of water for 24-48 hours before, and only water, and get some carbs (pasta is what most runners eat) the night before.

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber SIGNAL99COM's Avatar
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    Default Nervous In Syracuse

    Jatkins,

    Don't worry brother, your not the only one nervous about the CPAT. I'll be in Charlotte with you the week of September 23rd and I am a nervous also. Even though I have taken and passed an agility exam just like the CPAT a couple years ago in my NFPA 1001 class I am still sweating bullets. Maybe it's because I want to get on the job so bad down there that I am afraid that I am not going to make it.

    One thing that I have been told is to go to a local shopping center that has escalators. Ask if you could come in before the stores open when the mall walkers are doing their thing and walk up the down escalator wearing your scba on your back. 30 minutes a day of doing this for a few weeks will get your legs ready for the stair climb.
    Chris Shields
    Lieutenant / EMT
    Haz-Mat Technician
    East Syracuse Fire Dept
    Onondaga County, NY

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber fallujahff's Avatar
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    Signal 99,

    Glad to see someone else who is going! What did you think of that test? (The written) Boy that was something! Totally unexpected. Are you coming down from NY?

    I knew Charlotte was a good department but I was really thrown by how many people showed up for the written!

    See you there~
    "When you are safe at home, you wish you were having an adventure-when you're having an adventure, you wish you were safe at home"

    --Thornton Wilder

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber SIGNAL99COM's Avatar
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    Default Charlotte...

    Yup, I'm coming down from Onondaga County, New York. Onondaga County surrounds the City of Syracuse if your familiar with that. Took almsot 12 hours to drive down there but it was well worth it. The written was the most difficult test that I have ever taken. Another firefighter from my department came with me and took the test also. He was also called to come back for the CPAT however he isn't coming. He wasn't impressed by the City. The more people who don't go back for the CPAT betters our chances on getting on......
    Last edited by SIGNAL99COM; 09-08-2002 at 06:45 PM.
    Chris Shields
    Lieutenant / EMT
    Haz-Mat Technician
    East Syracuse Fire Dept
    Onondaga County, NY

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber fallujahff's Avatar
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    I agree with everything you said brother! That test was unbelievable! I told my wife it was the hardest I've taken. You're right about the city though--I'm from up there (Long Island)and I've seen my share of cities but Charlotte is very impressive. That Uptown area is some thing else!


    See you there!
    "When you are safe at home, you wish you were having an adventure-when you're having an adventure, you wish you were safe at home"

    --Thornton Wilder

  14. #14
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    Guys -- Having been through the hiring process in CLT, and having taken the CPAT, legs are it, along with a solid cardio base. Your nerves will get taken care of in the stair mill, a long 3mins. Knowing the pace you are capable of going and the pace you need to finish are also key, as the proctors will not tell you your time. Walking between stations can be as fast as you want without running. Having spoken to guys who took the old charlotte test and the CPAT, the old test you could just bust through, but this new one is all about conditioning, although it's a bit easier overall. There will be a question and answer session and video of the CPAT before the actual test and there should be info online at charlottefire.org. Also, Charlotte may stay brutally hot well into the fall, so hydrate and eat right for a couple of days so you won't fall out. Good luck.

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    Jatkins, I'm not sure how familiar you are with the test but on our department website in the recruiting section you can view video clips of the individual events. http://www.calgaryfire.ca
    Good luck!!

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    Thumbs up

    Jatkins:

    I took the CPAT exam in April, glad I took it too!!

    Don't sweat the exam though, I'm sure you were given a training booklet if you attended a preview of the exam. Drink PLENTY of water for a day or two before the exam!! I like the escalator idea, give that a try!!

    Take it easy! Relax. Drink water, the 10 min 20 sec will fly by!!

    Good luck and remind us how you did!!!

    Brin

  17. #17
    MembersZone Subscriber SIGNAL99COM's Avatar
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    Default Tuesday

    Jatkins,

    I got scheduled 9/24 - 1330 hours. What you get?
    Chris Shields
    Lieutenant / EMT
    Haz-Mat Technician
    East Syracuse Fire Dept
    Onondaga County, NY

  18. #18
    MembersZone Subscriber fallujahff's Avatar
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    Signal--

    I didn't get the package in until September 1st so I've not gotten the letter yet. I'm expecting any day but we're having a little storm out here so....

    ...The mail is slowwwwwer than usual.
    "When you are safe at home, you wish you were having an adventure-when you're having an adventure, you wish you were safe at home"

    --Thornton Wilder

  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber fallujahff's Avatar
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    Signal--

    9/26 at 0930!

    See ya--
    "When you are safe at home, you wish you were having an adventure-when you're having an adventure, you wish you were safe at home"

    --Thornton Wilder

  20. #20
    Junior Member fireme1's Avatar
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    Default CPAT

    Most everyone has hit it on the head. Leg endurance is key. Also, I would add that mental prep plays a huge role. When I took the CPAT, I was able to practice twice and each time breezed through usually with 2:00 to spare without being too winded. On the day of the test I was so nervous, because I wanted the job so bad, my whole body tightened up. It took until the forced entry for me to calm my body down and relax. By that time my legs were burning. I was plenty fit, but your body doesn't function as well when your nervous. Just relax and remind yourself you can do it. Good Luck!!
    Don't talk unless it improves the silence.

    Life without danger is a waste of oxygen.

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