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  1. #1
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    Default IAFF CPAT Law suit

    Austin TX just cancelled their current hiring process.

    We were months into the process
    3000 applicants
    Over two million dollars spent testing and performing oral interviews

    There were a few issues with the current hiring process but it appears that the reason the city decided to trash it was due to a law suit supported by the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. A female applicant filed a law suit do to her inability to make the time on the CPAT.

    We were using the IAFF standard physical testing.

    Personally, I'm disappointed and disgusted

    Thought you folks might want a heads up. Depending on the ruling it could set precedence.


  2. #2
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    There are plenty of candidates who pass the CPAT within the time frame. They just happen to be women... and fyi, men flunk it, too!

    Austin and the Texas EOCC should check around other FD's within Texas anbd other states to see how many women passed the CPAT.

    Someone should have trained a little bit harder....
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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  3. #3
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    Gonzo,

    I'm not criticizing the CPAT. Austin city management and AFD are well aware of standards used around the nation. That's why they went with the CPAT.

    I'm disgusted with the garbage going on in an effort to be PC these days and its effects on the service and the tax payer.

    We have great women working for us. Our department has over 1200 fire fighters and is working hard to create a diverse work force.

  4. #4
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    Gonzo,

    The reason they trashed it is because if they don't create a list they only deal with a single law suit.

    If the list is created they have the potential for every failing female to hop on the band wagon.

    They are attempting to cut their losses. I suppose they could fight it and continue the process. They obviously thought this was too risky.

    I think they may want to fight this single case in order to provide a precedence. If the city wins they can go back to the CPAT.

  5. #5
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    If you dont pass the cpat you should not be hired. It puts you, your crew, and the possible rescue paitents at risk.


    The cpat is based on the gear weight used and tasks performed.

    A good fire back would be to post the natl facts of how many women passed the test. EOEE would have to open their eyes.
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    When all else fails USE DUCT-TAPE!!!

    My views posted in this fourm are my personal views only and do not reflect on any agencies that I am afiliated with.

  6. #6
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    What a joke. Also if this lady wins I think it could really set women back in there stive for equality. Hey like they say you can't have your cake and it too.
    This is my opinion and in no way represtents the opinion of my department.

  7. #7
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    I don't want this post to reflect negatively on the great women we have working for us. We have females that stick up for tough standards and understand the physical fitness realities of the job.

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    This story happens to be about a female applicant. . . But in reality would this applicant getting preferential treatment open it up for ANY (male or female) applicant to sue if they failed?

    It seemed this type of lawsuit was inevitable.

  9. #9
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    for what its worth the cpat was approved by the justice dept as non-discriminatory. But some jurisdictions still see it as biased against women. In Cali there is a great deal of outreach to pepare folks prior to the testing. You can bring them to water ...

    Hi Nail hope all is well

  10. #10
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    Ive taken many cpat and variations of the test. It is hard for everyone, not just women. Anyone who cant pass test's that simulate fire ground conditions should not be a firefighter. Its that simple. To be a emt or paramedic you have to pass practical test that show you are able to perfrm your job. And physically being able to drag,lift, climb,chop, and handle a charged hose is our job. Strength is not all that is needed you must have the knowledge to do your job also, you cant have one with out the other.It's better to find out in a test setting that you dont have what it takes, then when peoples lives are in your hands. In my standards class we started with four women, only one made it to the end. We also lost six guys too. I took a test with Volusia county before I came to Iraq, if I remember correctly six women tested and only one finished, alot of guys failed too. The test is not biased though, everyone has to pass it. I also think that once you pass it and get on a Department, you should have to pass it again at least once a year.

  11. #11
    Forum Member FHandz15's Avatar
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    It seems to me that we are usually surprised when a new hire is in decent physical shape. A paramedic license is way more important (these days) than being able to walk on a treadmill wearing a lead vest. I remember when I was 18-20 years old running laps at the track every other day for months "preparing" for FF tests. The physical test for my current FD was a joke. It consisted of 7 or so FF related skill stations, with 3 optional "rest periods" in between. You could eat a sandwich while you did the test, and I imagine some people probably would.

    The days of the 6'2" broad shoulder FF are over around here, giving way to the 5'6" 150lb FF that was hired over the 6'2" FF because he has a medic license. Which isn't good when the average EMS patient weighs approx 300lbs, so the pumper goes on most EMS calls just to "remove" the patient from the 2nd floor bathroom......where are my happy pills?

    Just my observation.

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber EFD840's Avatar
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    Before I post, I want it understood that I believe CPAT is a well designed test that mimics fireground tasks. To translate: I AIN'T ANTI-CPAT.

    Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, I've got a question. Does anyone know if CPAT been previously challenged in federal court?

    Any test that shows adverse impact on a protected class has an uphill fight. In short, when adverse impact exists the burden of proof falls on the shoulders of the employer to prove the test instrument is valid. You're basically considered guilty and it is up to you to prove your innocence. If the case is in front of a liberal judge, severe adverse impact is pretty much prima facie evidence of discrimination.

    If she's got a liberal judge and no precedent exists, she probably has a very good chance at the trial court level. That doesn't mean CPAT would die - thankfully the judges with the final say have taken a fairer view of the process. Still, a victory at the trial court level could cause major confusion for years to come.

  13. #13
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    Philly no longer has a physical component of its hiring process. They also removed math and science related questions from the written test. Guess why.....
    IAFF
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  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber firefighterbeau's Avatar
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    I have taken one CPAT test so far and failed the first station due not warming up properly. I'm not against the CPAT, I feel that a standard test is a great idea. But I always have one question whether it is a CPAT, or modified combat challange, whatever the dept may call there physical test, and that question is when would one firefighter do ALL of them tasks in a 10 minute time frame on the fire ground? just a question that comes to mind.

  15. #15
    Forum Member JackTee09's Avatar
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    Philly no longer has a physical component of its hiring process. They also removed math and science related questions from the written test. Guess why.....
    Hmmmmmmmmmmmm
    Jacktee

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  16. #16
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    It seems to me that we are usually surprised when a new hire is in decent physical shape. A paramedic license is way more important
    Same here.

    And, Im probably in the minority, but I dont like CPAT. I think its more of an athletic event then anything else. I liked my departments old abilities test, I think it was more "fire ground" like.
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  17. #17
    Forum Member JackTee09's Avatar
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    Firefighters die too often of cardiac problems brought on by poor health habits - but they also die even after a CPAT and the yearly exams are done. My point: there is no answer! That means that there are good answers but not great ones. CPAT is decent - but so are a number of other solutions.
    Jacktee

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  18. #18
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    SON044,

    Doing well. Staying busy. Trying to get some time in my cabinet shop. No time to make any extra money, but it's a good stress releaver and feels good to turn something out every now and then.

    Hope all is well with you and yours.

    Dave,

    And, Im probably in the minority, but I dont like CPAT. I think its more of an athletic event then anything else. I liked my departments old abilities test, I think it was more "fire ground" like.
    I don't really care either way about how they do the physical test as long as it's appropriate to the job and implemented equally. From what I've heard this gal passed our physical abilities test in a prior aplication period before we went to the CPAT.

    EFD840,

    I think your post was on the money. I'd also like to know if the test has been challenged yet. If anyone has any info it might help.

    PYSICAL COMPONENT OF THE JOB:

    I agree with the folks talking about us working as EMT's and Medics.

    I still think the physical component of the job should be stressed. We may not Have these type of challenges on a regular basis but it is inevitable that one is around the corner somewhere. We train hard for the tough times. We all know when the crap hits the fan either fighting fire or performing rescues it takes everything we have. It's not uncommon for downed fire fighters in full gear and an extra air pack to weigh in at more than three hundred pounds.

    Fighting fires and performing rescues is a tough job. Forsaking minimum standards to be PC doesn't help us or the tax payers.

  19. #19
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    By thrashing the test this far into it, the City of Austin has not stopped the bleeding, they will be sued by others who passed the test and this problem is just beginning for them, just because they caved to a special interest group. Hope she makes a great employee. A prediction, if she gets hired, she will be on light duty within two years and filing for a disability with in 5 years. Not knocking women in the fire service, my comments are only directed to this woman in Austin.


    Just an opinion



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  20. #20
    IACOJ Agitator Adze39's Avatar
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    This is not pointed to women, but to anyone who cannot pass the CPAT...

    The test was designed to simulate the job we do in a controlled environment. Do you really want someone (regardless of gender) backing you up when they cannot adequately perform the physical duties required?

    I have heard that the CPAT has been unsuccessfully challenged in law suits in the past. I do not know of any particular cases, but I heard that from a very reliable source.
    IACOJ Agitator
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