Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)

Breach and Pull

The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) is a test that you must pass to move forward in the hiring process. This is a pass/fail test that must be completed within a total time of 10 minutes and 20 seconds.

The events are meant to simulate physical activities that you would have to do when responding to a fire. There are eight different events:

  1. Stair Climb
  2. Hose Drag
  3. Equipment Carry
  4. Ladder Raise and Extension
  5. Forcible Entry
  6. Search
  7. Rescue
  8. Ceiling Breach and Pull

To prepare, we recommend you read our CPAT Preparation Guide(PDF, 773KB) and attend conditioning classes.


Two stopwatches are used to time the CPAT. One stopwatch is designated as the official test time stop watch, the second is the backup stopwatch. If mechanical failure occurs, the time on the backup stopwatch is used.

The stopwatches are set to the pass/fail time and count down from 10 minutes and 20 seconds. If time elapses prior to the completion of the test, the test is concluded and the candidate fails the test.

Between Events

The sequencing of the events is designed to simulate a fire scene, while allowing an 85-foot (25.91-m) walk between events. The walk gives you 20 seconds to recover and regroup before each event.

To ensure the highest level of safety and to prevent exhaustion, no running is allowed between events.

Testing Gear

During the CPAT events, you will be given the following to wear:

  • a 50-pound (22.68-kg) vest - to simulate the weight of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and firefighter protective clothing
  • an additional 25 pounds (11.34 kg), using two 12.5-pound (5.76-kg) weights during the Stair Climb event - to simulate a high-rise pack (hose bundle).
  • Long pants
  • a hard hat with chin strap
  • work gloves
  • footwear with no open heel or toe

Watches and loose or restrictive jewelry are not permitted.