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  • Cpat

    Does anyone know if there is a web site that shows a video demonstation of the exercises in the CPAT test, I've read the instructions, but would like to see the exercises demonstrated. Thanks for the help.

  • #2

    Here are some valuable tips for CPAT from Tom Dominguez and Reed Norwood:

    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.

    #1 Stair Climb: No matter how hard you train for the stair stepper, your legs are going to be like rubber after you get off the machine and start pulling hose. The recovery time for rubber legs depends on your fitness. Even still, rubber legs or not, you have to get moving and keep moving, and stay moving! If you stop at anytime during the events, the clock is ticking and you are losing time.

    The tendency is that as you start wearing down on the stair stepper machine, your pace and stride will change and that will affect your balance. As you lose your balance, you start to wobble and the momentum of the weight on your body increases the swaying. As the distance of the sway increases, you will make a natural grab for the handrails. Grab the rail (more than twice?) to many times and you are disqualified. Instead of "grabbing the rail", use the back of your hand and push your self back. Adjusting your stance and concentrating will help you avoid the "wobble". Just like wearing a SCBA, you also have to concentrate on your breathing.

    #2 Hose Drag: As soon as you step off the stair machine, turn and face the line that takes you to the hose pull. As soon as the proctor takes the two sandbags off your shoulders, get moving! Pick up the nozzle and shoulder the hose and GO! This is not the time to worry about those rubber legs or try to catch your breath. MOVE! Go as fast as you can. Step into the box, turn around, get down on one knee (being careful not to come down too hard and injuring your knee) and PULL the hose, hand-over-hand as fast as you can. That drum will give you some resistance when you turn the corner but if you're going at a good clip it won't be too difficult. You can breathe while hand pulling the hose.

    #3 Equipment Carry: When you get to the saw carry, just do it! Face the cabinet and remove each saw one at a time. Now, turn around and pick up both saws. This will ensure that you have both saws touching the ground before you begin moving down the line.

    #4 Ladder Raise and Extension: When you arrive at the ladder raise, get down, grab the rung and raise the ladder. You have to push the ladder up, rung-by-rung as fast as you can. Move over to the fly extension and just do it.

    #5 Forcible Entry: Breathe, as you follow the line and pick up the sledgehammer. Start swinging as soon as you can in short choppy strokes. Departments may set the forced entry device at a level that fits their needs. When the alarm sounds, let go of the sledgehammer and move to the tunnel crawl.

    #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.

    #7 Rescue: At the dummy pull, size up where the handles are before you get there. Grab them and get going. You may feel the burn in your legs but don't stop. It saps your strength to have to get the dummy moving again each time you stop. When you reach the barrel, do not make the turn until the dummy's knees are even with farthest side of the barrel. If you try to pull the dummy around the barrel any sooner, it takes more energy and it will take more time. Get over the line and let go of the dummy and get to the ceiling Breach and Pull.

    #8 Ceiling Breach and Pull: This is the event where folks run out of time and fail the CPAT. Grab the pike pole and step in. Start pushing and pulling with all you got! If there's a D-handle on the pike pole put a hand under it for increased leverage. Get a rhythm/fast pace going. An object at rest requires energy to get it moving. An object that is moving requires less energy to keep it moving. If those ceiling hatches are not making lots of loud noise, you are not working very hard. You can buy yourself some time here that you may need to finish the CPAT in time.

    Follow the instructions of the proctor! The proctor will either tell you where the line is or point to the line you are to follow. People have been failed for not following the right line to the next event.
    If you were to pause five seconds at the start and stop of every event, or to stop and breathe or think about each event, you can loose about a minute and a half of precious time. Once this time is gone, you cannot get it back. This goes back to what Captain Bob was writing about when it comes to the manipulation and techniques of each event.

    You can over train by carrying extra weight in your backpack while you train for the stair stepper. Seventy-five pounds on your back places a tremendous amount of stress on your ankles, knees, hips and back. Practice the event as you are actually going to do it. Work out at the same pace and distance as the actual stair event. The stair stepper event (as are most of the CPAT events) is based on cardiovascular fitness and endurance. It is expected that you will be anaerobic and that is what the CPAT is attempting to do. While strength is required, you don't need to be an Olympic weight lifter.

    Here are two link resources to gain information on the CPAT:

    Captain Bob

    Call Now Thousands are now firefighters after using our program of proven time-tested inside secrets gained from over 40 years of experience " This program is dedicated to those who possess the burning desire to acquire a firefighter badge and become one of

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:

    Fire "Captain Bob"



    • #3
      Physical agility testing events in most departments are very strenuous in nature. You must begin your workouts immediately in order to put yourself in top condition to perform well. This training should be year-round. In preparing firefighter applicants for physical agility examinations for over 50 years, one of the most important aspects is overall good strength, with emphasis on good leg strength and most importantly your wind endurance (lung strength and capacity). Time and time again we see individuals who are 6'4", 250 pounds, can squat 350 pounds 10 times, run 2 miles and think that they are in good physical shape. However, if they have not built up their wind endurance (lung capacity) they may have the strength equivalent of someone who is 100 pounds. Nothing drains your strength more than a lack of wind. Most physical agility test events are of short duration but very demanding. Most of these events are completed in a 5-10 minute timeframe. During that time, it is an all-out effort. We belief that the emphasis of your preparation training should be on developing your wind. Wind sprints are an excellent way of increasing your endurance. Start off by sprinting 30 yards, 3 or 4 times. Then proceed to 40 yards, 50 yards. After a period of training and feeling that your lungs are developing, we suggest that you undertake the following physical agility training.

      Mark off 20 yards, 30 yards, 40 yards, and 50 yards. Use a nearby recreation field in your area or even a parking lot. Start your sprints by sprinting 20 yards and then sprint back to the start. Then immediately sprint 30 yards and back to start. Then sprint 40 yards and back to start. Sprint 50 yards and back to start. As you continue training, you will see that your wind endurance is building. You may be able to complete 5-6 of these wind sprints in a single training session and not feel winded.

      Applicants also need to concentrate on overall strength training – your chest, triceps, biceps, back, legs, sit-ups. We have included descriptions of some physical agility exercises and programs for your review.

      Some additional training tips:

      Many times you are required to wear a vest that is from 30-40 pounds, simulating firefighter equipment and air tank. If possible, get a backpack, fill it with sand or weights, and use it while training. For example, wear it while running stairs.
      Run stairs. If you have a school football field accessible to you, we strongly suggest that you run the stands' stairs. You may also be able to use an office or apartment building stairs. You may also want to run the stairs carrying 20-30 pound dumbbells in each hand or your weighted backpack. It is also good practice to skip every other stair – it will build leg strength and endurance, and on some exams you can skip stairs, which will decrease your overall time and better your score.
      If you train in a gym, you may have access to a Stairmaster machine (revolving stairs – not stepper type). We suggest that you build your endurance by not holding onto the rails and increasing the level of difficulty each time you work out. If you have a training backpack, wear it while on the machine.
      If you train by running distance, the best training for firefighter examinations is to aim for your fastest 2-mile time. If you want to alternate a 3-4 mile run in between, that is fine. Your emphasis while training, however, should not be on a steady pace but on a faster pace in order to build your endurance. Physical agility examinations are short in time, but require endurance.
      Remember - always warm up before exercising and cool down after exercising.
      Do not begin these workouts until you get yourself in good physical condition by jogging 15 to 25 minutes, 3 to 4 times a week for at least 3 to 4 weeks. This will strengthen your heart and lungs so it won't be too much of a demand on your body.

      Good luck!!!!!

      Since 1950, Don McNea fire school has prepared over 40,000 fire applicants with our entry level seminars and products. Go to our website at www.fireprep.com and register for our free fireprep e-mail newsletter. You have nothing to lose and you will only increase your chances of obtaining the best job in the world. Click on our website below to enter. Good luck!!!!
      Don McNea Fire School Established 1950 Custom-designed written exams are why our customers finish in the top percentile.

      Last edited by dmfireschool; 07-30-2003, 06:46 AM.


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