Thread: Cpat

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    Default Cpat

    I am taking the CPAT in 2 weeks for the first time. For those of you who have already taken this test, what is the hardest part? What do you recommend I focus on for the next week and a half? I'm not worried about my conditioning and have recently been increasing my running mileage.

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    Default CPAT Secrets

    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.

    Probably candidates have the most problems station #6 the search:

    #6 Search: Get in and get out! You may not move like a greased pig at the fair but you do need to move. One candidate wrote: Here is where I lost about 15-20 seconds. The event itself is pretty fun if you are not claustrophobic. Be aware of the obstacles inside. I could not figure one out, and I got disoriented and lost precious time figuring it out. Crawl fast as there are no abrupt edges that you'll run into. All the walls are tapered so as long as you keep your head down you can fly through. Doing the practice "run-throughs" will take away all doubt of what and where the obstructions are in tunnel crawl.

    Always remember to stay right, and come back to your right after an obstacle. The event is shaped in a horseshoe, so there are two right turns. This can be a good time to catch your breath as well in preparation for the dummy drag.

    You can read the complete Physical Agility CPAT in the Career Article section from the Jobs drop down menu just above this posting.

    “Nothing counts ‘til you have the badge . . . Nothing!”

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    Default CPAT

    While doing the stair climb, grasp the weighted vest up by your collar.(grasp where a suit tie knot is located) This will help keep your center of gravity and will also keep you from reaching for the railing (which is a no-no!). Hold the vest and keep walking. Don't count the steps, just keep going until it is over.

    After this is over the rest is much easier. Good Luck!

    KEEP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE

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    After all the hype about the CPAT, I was quite nervous about the whole thing. Then after taking it(4years ago), I have to say I was extremely dissapointed. I can't imagine what kind of person would fail this test. It is a joke and does not come close to some of the things you will encounter on the job. If you are in any kind of shape you will pass this test.
    Sometimes, in order to make an operation idiot proof, you must remove the idiot!

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    At least in Colorado, it looks like we mostly use the Firefighter Combat Challange, although I'm not quite sure. Denver, was talking with a Denver Firefighter, is redoing their whole fitness deal, making up their own. I hear talk like that going around, departments making their own fitness tests, most harder then what is standard.


    I haven't taken the c-pat, however, it doesn't matter how much you run. I had a friend of mine who probably couldn't do a mile very fast, however, he got the fourth best time on the Combat Challange.

    It's not about running shape; it's about strength and heart. I really don't think the majority of Firefighters in America (volunteer included; makes up 94% of all FD's in America) could do a mile in under eight or nine minutes. HOWEVER, I do beleive that the majority of Firefighters could beat most people in great running shape in any type of FF physical test. From what I've heard and saw, it's about lower and upper body strength, mostly lower on the combat challanges. I've seen out of shape FF's get the challanges down in no time, while in shape rookies struggle with it. It's all about experience and how to best beat the tests.

    Best advice I can give you, coming from a recently certified Fire Fighter One and looking to get onto my first Fire Department, is have fun with it. We all fail at some point; it's how we take that failure and go on that defines us from the rest.
    "The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials."

    "One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn't do." - Henry Ford

    "Don't wait for a light to appear at the end of the tunnel, stride down there...and light the bloody thing yourself." - Sara Henderson

    "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me...the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings...to bind up the broken hearted." - The Healing One

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    Default Those in the know

    The secret to passing the CPAT is to be in shape with a high cardiovascular fitness level and to know the techniques as Captain Bob has mentioned. The average time is between nine minutes and ten minutes, twenty seconds. Try to think of the CPAT (or any agility) as a marathon where you are trying to complete the event instead of going for the record time. You can burn out if you are going for time no matter how well in shape you are.

    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.

    You can read the complete Physical Agility CPAT in the Career Article section from the Jobs drop down menu just above this posting.

    “Nothing counts ‘til you have the badge . . . Nothing!”

    Fire "Captain Bob"
    Firehouse.Com Contributor

    www.eatstress.com

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    Originally posted by TheHealingOne
    At least in Colorado, it looks like we mostly use the Firefighter Combat Challange, although I'm not quite sure.
    CO departments that use the CPAT:
    Poudre Fire Authority
    Colorado Springs Fire
    Parker Fire
    South Metro Fire Rescue

    There may be more, but those definitely do.

    West Metro uses a modified combat with a 1/4 mile run with a weighted vest tacked on the end (arguably one of the toughest agility tests around, at least half fail and even those who pass usually get low scores). Denver and Aurora use their own version of a combat. Loveland, Greeley, and Windsor use another modified combat.

    Eric

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    I just passed the CPAT on Saturday of last weekend, and yes some people fail it, but NO they are not all in horrible shape. Most people I saw ran out of time. I had done a few practice runs which helps with technique, but most important is WALK AS FAST AS YOU CAN BETWEEN STATIONS. You can't run, but nothing says you can't walk really fast. If you can get into practice some (or all if the jurisdiction you are applying to allows it) of the events. Practice is almost as important as your level of fitness. Most importantly GOOD LUCK!

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    Practice is almost as important as your level of fitness. Most importantly GOOD LUCK!
    Practice makes perfect as they say.
    "The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials."

    "One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn't do." - Henry Ford

    "Don't wait for a light to appear at the end of the tunnel, stride down there...and light the bloody thing yourself." - Sara Henderson

    "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me...the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings...to bind up the broken hearted." - The Healing One

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    Originally posted by nsideff
    Most people I saw ran out of time.

    Probably because they weren't in propper shape, and were exhausted

    most important is WALK AS FAST AS YOU CAN BETWEEN STATIONS. You can't run, but nothing says you can't walk really fast.

    Every little bit helps, but you are given PLENTY of time to finish.
    I usually finish with around 2 minutes left,(I'm not bragging, I am certainly not in the kind of shape some of the other candidates are in) and I don't walk very fast in between events, I use that time to catch my breath etc.. The last CPAT I took (PHX) was harder then the rest of them have been, they put rubber mats under the hose drag and dummy drag so the friction was higher. It looked like a lot more people were failing.

    Practice is almost as important as your level of fitness. Most importantly GOOD LUCK!

    Every little bit helps, but you are given PLENTY of time to finish.
    I usually finish with around 2 minutes left,(I'm not bragging, I am certainly not in the kind of shape some of the other candidates are in) and I don't walk very fast in between events, I use that time to catch my breath etc.. The last CPAT I took (PHX) was harder then the rest of them have been, they put rubber mats under the hose drag and dummy drag so the friction was higher. It looked like a lot more people were failing.


    Luck doesnt have a lot to do with it.... hard work is much more important than good luck.

    Remember, the cpat is a MINIMUM. If you can barely pass it, you might want to reconsider if you are qualified to start an academy.


    Jeff

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    Are these posts serious? Did you people really find the CPAT to be challenging?
    And you wanna be firefighters???
    The CPAT was created as an annual test for career ff's to ensure baseline physical fitness levels were being met. The IAFF and IAFC accepted this test due to the LOW level of fitness required to pass it, thereby ensuring few ff's on the job would lose their jobs for failing it. It was never intended to be a challenging entry level test.
    Many "progressive" cities are utilizing the CPAT as a way to reduce the "negative impact" more challenging tests can have on certain segments of the population.
    A less challenging physical allows a broader, more diverse pool of candidates to hire from.
    If that is what's important in terms of hiring a firefighter, great, more power to ya.
    But please, let's not pretend that the CPAT is a difficult test. It requires a minimal level of strength, agility and endurance to pass it, and certainly does not stress a candidate to the level of "Combat Challenge" type physicals.
    Ever wonder why the CPAT doesn't allow for higher scores based on faster performance? Hmmm...

    Sorry for the lenghty post, but as a CPAT Test Proctor I couldn't sit back any longer and listen to candidates complain that the test is too hard.
    Get real people.
    It's a joke.
    And if you found this test to be challenging, you might want to think about a new career.
    Postal Service, anyone?

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    Exactly what I was thinking....

    Jeff


    Originally posted by mittlesmertz
    Are these posts serious? Did you people really find the CPAT to be challenging?
    And you wanna be firefighters???
    But please, let's not pretend that the CPAT is a difficult test. It requires a minimal level of strength, agility and endurance to pass it, and certainly does not stress a candidate to the level of "Combat Challenge" type physicals.
    I couldn't sit back any longer and listen to candidates complain that the test is too hard.
    Get real people.
    It's a joke.
    And if you found this test to be challenging, you might want to think about a new career.
    Postal Service, anyone?

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    I don't know why I was so nervous. I took the CPAT for the first time last Saturday and it was a huge joke. I was told not to rush through it to ensure that I wouldn't screw up on any of the events and I finished with about 2 and a half minutes left. The guy in the recovery room told me most of the other people who previously took the test had heart rates in the 130's, mine was in the low 90's and I wasn't even breathing hard. I wish the test would be more difficult and would allow those of us who are athletic and/or in good shape to stand out a little more than those people who struggle to barely pass the test.

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    Ahh, but that would give stronger, more athletic candidates an advantage over the weaker, less capable ones.
    We wouldn't want to hire those who score higher on all the tests, would we?
    We wouldn't want all aspects of testing, including the physical, to be performanced based, would we?
    That might result in a negative impact on certain segments of the population. And then we wouldn't have eqaulity.
    Ane we all know what a shame that would be...
    Imagine, hiring the best possible candidate- what a crazy idea!

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    I took the CPAT and was surprised as to how easy the thing was. I was more worried about letting the sledge hammer slip out of hands, or letting the rope slip during the ladder ascend/descend, rather than actually finishing it within the alloted time.

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    Default mittlesmertz see IAFF website

    Not that it matters, but according to the IAFF, the CPAT was designed for Candidates, thus the C in CPAT. It wasn't for FF's on the job. At least that is how I read it.

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    Actually, the CPAT (Certified Physical Agility Test) was created as a joint effort between the IAFF and the IAFC. They hired a University sports medicine team (I forget the school) to create a test for use by departments wishing to screen active firefighters on an annual basis to determine levels of physical fitness.
    The CPAT was never intended to be a strenuous entry level test. It has been adopted by many cities due to several reasons, namely:
    1. Standardization- all tests will be eqaul, there are no variables
    (ie wet stairs, different size manniquins, different ladders)
    2. Verifiability- The CPAT is accepted naionally as an accurate guage
    of daily firefighter duties.It has stood up to court challenges,
    which city attorneys seem to care about.It does not test for the
    "worst case"(ie dragging a charged 2 1/2", or a pt that doesnt
    have handles), which is when we need help the most.
    3.Gender Neutral- The CPAT is designed to have no "negative impact"
    on females, meaning that the pass/fail ratio should be roughly
    eqaul between all candidates.That makes me feel safer...

    In all the CPAT is an excellent test of fitness, strength and agility; it is not a challenging, strenuous entry level test.
    Compare walking on a Staistepper at a set pace with a weighted vest to actually running up stairs in a tower with a 2 1/2 bundle on your shoulder.Or how about dragging an uncharged 1 3/4 line versus a charged 2 1/2. Or dragging a 185lb manniquin compared to a 155 lb one with handles? Do you think that pulling lathe and plaster ceiling while in full turnouts and on air is the same as the "simulated ceiling breach" the CPAT uses?
    Do not be confused- I think the CPAT is a valuable tool, but a pass/fail test that is this easy is only a disservice to the members of the fire service. It allows weaker, less fit candidates to reach the same score as strong fit candidates. And who does this benefit?

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    Default Well then...

    Since the CPAT is so easy and most folks can pass it, the difference is in the written and the interview like Capt. Bob preaches then! Guess we'd better be studying and practicing then.

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    I took a physical agility test a year ago. It was based on Combat Challenge with a five station routine. The guy ahead of me "looked" like he was in very good physical condition (better condition than I perhaps). I would say he was no older than thirty. I'm 6'6" tall, weigh around 180, and was 22 at the time. He looked at me in disgust before he started.
    The last station was a dummy drag, he fell over backwards three times and seemed to struggle at every station. I completed the event in under five minutes. It was very demanding for me physically but I completed it in decent time. I had heard him talking about his workout routine before his turn. I work night shift in a warehouse store's freezers my job is most of my exercise.
    The point of my story is not to judge a person's physical ability by their appearance or lifestyle. Everybody is different in their strengths and weaknesses. Together, as a team, the job is done.

    Just my 4 cents worth.

    B
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