Candidate Physical Ability Test

The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) is the standard assessment for measuring an individual's ability to handle the physical demands of being a firefighter. The CPAT is a timed test that measures how candidates handle eight separate physical tasks or functions, designed to mirror tasks that firefights would have to do on the job.[1][2][3][4][5]

Candidate Physical Ability Test
TypePhysical ability test
Duration10 minutes and 20 seconds
Score / grade rangePass/Fail


During the test, candidates are required to complete 8 separate tasks in a period of 10 minutes and 20 seconds. The tasks are the following:

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

During the test, candidates are required wear a helmet, gloves and a 50 lb weighted vest. This is designed to simulate the weight of a firefighter's personal protective equipment. For the stair climb, candidates are required to carry and additional 25 lb weight, which simulates the carrying of a hose pack into a high rise fire. Candidates are accompanied by a test proctor, who calls out directions for the test events and scores the candidate's success. Each event of the CPAT must be completed as directed. If a candidate fails any component of the test or does not complete the test within the 10 minute and 20 second time limit, they will fail the entire test.[1]

See also


  1. "Candidate Physical Ability Test". Firefighter Candidate Testing Center. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  2. "Candidate Physical Ability Test". International Association of Fire Chiefs. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  3. "CPAT at NTN". National Testing Network. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  4. Annillo, John. "The CPAT: The Events In The Fire Department Physical Ability Test". Breaking Muscle. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  5. "Firefighter Physical Ability Tests". Modern Firefighter. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
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