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  1. #1
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    Default Question about CPAT

    Is there only one test? I ask because I'm wondering if women take the same CPAT that the men take. After reading through some of these threads in this forum it seems as though the CPAT is no joke. But I can't imagine it being that difficult if women are able to pass it. I'm just wonder how much training is really needed to pass it. Thanks.


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by InTheBlood View Post
    Is there only one test?
    Yes. The CPAT is a very specific test. Google it. However, many depts use "CPAT" as the name for the test that they run, which may be very different from the original CPAT. So always best to figure out EXACLTY what the test involves.


    I ask because I'm wondering if women take the same CPAT that the men take. After reading through some of these threads in this forum it seems as though the CPAT is no joke. But I can't imagine it being that difficult if women are able to pass it. I'm just wonder how much training is really needed to pass it. Thanks.
    I'm going to assume that you're asking a serious question, and aren't just a troll looking for fun.
    Search for previous threads about the CPAT.
    Bottom line is, the CPAT is a very easy, very basic test.
    It establishes that a candidate possesses the bare minimum of physical abilities to attend a firefighting academy.
    It was never intended to be a challenging test!!!
    It is designed to be "gender neutral", and was created, in part, in response to litigation involving women challenging the "fairness" of other tests.
    The CPAt has been upheld in court challenges, and is perceived as being the industry standard in terms of legally defensible physical entry tests.

    That's why it is pass/fail.
    There is no benefit to being in good condition, as opposed to poor condition.
    There is no benefit to being stronger as opposed to weaker.
    As long as you can pass the test, you are considered to be equal to anyone else that passes the test.
    We all know that's inherently untrue, but in the eyes of the human resources folks, it makes sense.

    For a healthy, active male, it shouldn't be a real challenge.

    Good Luck!

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    ok, thanks for that info, it was a serious question. I haven't spoken too much about it with my dad but he told me that it was a lot harder back in the day when he took it (about 15 years ago).

    I still plan on training and getting in great shape but was just curious how hard the test actually is after reading some threads in here.

    Thanks.

  4. #4
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    My department uses the CPAT, and it's NOT easy, for men or women. I wouldn't even begin to guess what our failure rate is.

    Prep for the test. Months in advace. And everytime a practice session is offered at the CPAT facility, take advantage of it...you'll learn something every time you go through it.
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    Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    My department uses the CPAT, and it's NOT easy, for men or women. I wouldn't even begin to guess what our failure rate is.

    Prep for the test. Months in advace. And everytime a practice session is offered at the CPAT facility, take advantage of it...you'll learn something every time you go through it.
    I hope what you are saying is true. I think that the CPAT should be a difficult test to pass.

  6. #6
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    So here we have the confusion.
    1 guy says the CPAT is very easy.
    1 guy says no way, it's really hard, and ya need to train for months for it.
    Who do ya believe?

    Note that your dad says it was "alot harder" when he took it 15 years ago.
    If so, then he didn't take "THE CPAT", he took an entry test.
    The CPAT hasn't changed. It's always been the same, because it is a licensed, certified program.
    Thus the confusion!!!

    The CPAT came about as part of the wellness/fitness program from the IAFF/IAFC. It initially was designed for people already on the job, as an annual test of a baseline level of fitness.
    By design, it was relatively easy, as the IAFF/IAFC have a vested interest in keeping it's members on the job. duh.
    Then, the IAFF/IAFC decided to ask a selection of depts to help make an entry level test.
    They used ideas from the 10 depts, as well as info from the test they already had, and came up with the CPAT.
    It has evolved into an entry level test of candidates, endorsed by the IAFF/IAFC, and as I mentioned before, it has withstood legal challenges.
    Here's the IAFF link:
    http://www.iafc.org/displaycommon.cf...articlenbr=382


    Note that the CPAT is a licensed program. It includes mentoring, recruiting, and legal assistance. There is only one CPAT.

    The test consists of 8 events, with a pass/fail time of 10:20.
    They had over 1,000 people run through the test to get that time. On the job ff's, admin, and recruits all participated. Even me
    They used a representative group that reflected the ethnic/gender makeup of the participating depts. (that means they had females test too).

    They were very careful to set a time that was reasonably attainable by every segment of the population, so that no one group could claim the test was unfair.
    However, as I mentioned before, many depts call their test a CPAT.
    The difference is, is the test "THE CPAT", or "A CPAT"? Minor difference in wording, possible huge difference in tests.

    The official CPAT has very specific equipment, layed out in a very specific manner. The guidelines for the CPAT is a book!
    Here is the basic setup:
    After a municipality has completed all aspects of recruiting and mentoring candidates they may administer the actual eight-event test. During the entire test the candidate must wear a 50 lb. weighted vest (simulating the weight of a fire fighters protective clothing and equipment). The eight events are:

    * Stair Climb (climbing stairs while carrying an additional 25 lb. simulated hose pack)
    * Ladder Raise and Extension (placing a ground ladder at the fire scene and extending the ladder to the roof or a window)
    * Hose Drag (stretching uncharged hoselines, advancing lines)
    * Equipment Carry (removing and carrying equipment from fire apparatus to fireground)
    * Forcible Entry (penetrating a locked door, breaching a wall) and
    * Search (crawling through dark unpredictable areas to search for victims)
    * Rescue Drag (removing victim or partner from a fire building)

    * Ceiling Pull (locating fire and checking for fire extension)

    So a dept can't just throw a tire on the ground an say that's the simulated victim. They can't use a 2 1/2" hoseline. They can't use a 35 foot ladder instead of a 24. The eqpt carry must be 2 saws, not 2 buckets of sand. The distances to walk are measured out exactly.

    Here's an example of the course description for a certified CPAT:
    http://www.cffjac.org/jac/cpat/for_c...uide/index.cfm


    Read it carefully, it tells you EXACTLY what the course is.

    Any test that doesn't look EXACTLY like this is not "THE CPAT", it is "A CPAT".

    Now, when you read through the CPAT test guidelines, can you really say it's hard? cmon, gimme a break

    For example, the CPAT requires a stair climb evolution.
    The CPAT has you walk on a stairstepper, at a rate of 50 steps per minute, wearing a weighted vest. Can't go faster, can't go slower. Just 1 step about every second. You do this for 3 minutes. You fail if you fall off, or can't do it for 3 minutes.
    Some depts actually have you run up some real stairs, carrying a hosepack, wearing a real SCBA. You are timed-the faster you go, the better your score.
    Which is harder?
    Which is "less fair" to weaker people?
    The CPAt has a hosedrag. You need to pull an uncharged hoseline in a straight line, then pull some more around a corner.
    Some depts actually make you pull a charged hoseline (even a 2 1/2" god forbid).
    Which is easier?
    Which is "less fair" to weaker people?

    Get the idea?
    Last edited by mitllesmertz1; 12-19-2007 at 02:52 PM.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for clearing all that up. Now it makes sense.
    So I assume every dept can make up their own "CPAT" entry level test?
    Last edited by InTheBlood; 12-19-2007 at 03:32 PM.

  8. #8
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    I just took the written test for one county and they mentioned failure rates. The males who took the practice sessions 94% passes, for those who didn't 86% passes. Women it was about 77% vs. 25%

  9. #9
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    The test is pretty much a no brainer....simple stuff. Go on to cpatonline.org and watch the video they have on there. I took it last week, and I didnt take the practice or the orientation and passed it in 9 minutes. As long as you are in decent physical shape. Its easy.

  10. #10
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    Red face

    1. Yup, any dept can make up any test they want.
    2. The problem (as some see it) is when the test is challenged legally. If it can be shown that the test "ADVERSELY IMPACTS" any particular segment of society, it can be thrown out. This has happened when someone finds that a certain minority fails a written test at a higher percentage than other groups. It is implied that the test has an inherent bias against the group that didn't do as well.

    In the physical testing world, this means that if 100 males take the physical, and 20 fail, it has a 20% failure rate. Therefore, if 100 females take the test, but 30 fail it, it is an unfair test.
    Obviously this is ridiculous, but it is the legal basis for why so many depts are now using the CPAT- is was developed to be a test that any group (male,female,Norwegian) can pass it with equal rates of success.
    So a test that assumes that all males and females are physically equal is what is being used as a standard entry level test.
    Feel safer?

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