Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) for Entry-Level Fire Fighters in Vermont

Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) for
Entry-Level Fire Fighters in Vermont

The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) was developed by a joint labor management initiative between the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) to address the need to develop a physical ability test for consistent pre-employment testing for the hiring of candidate fire fighters. A survey of tools and equipment, protective equipment, and job descriptions, as well as the demographics of both the fire fighters and the citizens they serve was conducted. From the results of this survey, fire ground tasks were studied and certain tasks were determined to be a fair and valid evaluation tool in the selection of entry level fire fighters.

In 2008, a working group was developed in Vermont to determine the need for, and implement the CPAT process. The working group, much like the original IAFF / IAFC task force, is a joint labor / management initiative, consisting of representatives from the Professional Fire Fighters of Vermont, the VT Career Fire Chiefs, the Vermont Division of Fire Safety, and the Vermont Fire Academy. Before CPAT in Vermont, career fire departments had varied physical agility testing requirements for entry-level firefighters. This results in a lack of standardization. CPAT is a licensed process that requires a study to be performed that ensures all firefighters within the jurisdiction, in this case Vermont, perform similar tasks with similar equipment during similar time frames. In turn, the study ensures that the CPAT test is valid and fair for all entry-level firefighters throughout Vermont. Currently the municipalities of Burlington, South Burlington, Williston, Hartford, Saint Johnsbury, Springfield, and Brattleboro have committed to using this testing process.

A test that is proven safe and is standard with job specifications results in a test that cannot be challenged by a candidate as discriminatory in any manner. The IAFF and IAFC have worked with the Department of Justice to ensure the test is fair and legal.

Just as this test is fair for all candidates, CPAT also ensures a high level of professionalism within the fire service in Vermont. Along with education and training, fitness and health are essential for an individual to succeed in today’s fire service. A fire fighter that is healthier and more physically fit is a fire fighter that will be able to provide the best possible fire protection and emergency medical services to the community they serve. Health and fitness also contribute to a fire fighter’s enjoyment of a fulfilled, and hopefully injury-free career, placing less of a burden on communities and coworkers.

2013 CPAT Testing Information

Orientation:       August 13 & 14, 2013

Written Exam:   October 29, 2013 at 8:30 a.m.
CPAT Exam:     October 29 - 31, 2013

Location:           Robert E. Miller Expo Centre, 105 Pearl Street,
                          Essex Junction, VT 05453

Application, entry fees, and physician authorization must arrive at the Vermont Fire Academy by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, August 2, 2013


Aug 22, 2011

2013 CPAT Application.pdf

Apr 02, 2010

Jan 12, 2010

CPAT Orientation Guide.pdf

Page Last Updated: Jun 18, 2013 (09:58:00)
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