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CPAT stands for the Fire Service Joint Labor Management Wellness/Fitness Initiative Candidate Physical Ability Test. PFA uses the CPAT to assess the physical condition and abilities of potential candidates.

Applicants must acquire a CPAT card prior to first interviews. Our expectation is that you will maintain a current CPAT card while you are on the PFA eligibility list. Please go to the Qualifications link for further assistance on what is needed in regards to the CPAT. It is the candidates responsibility to obtain and maintain their CPAT. Your CPAT card will need to be presented at your interview check-in. Candidates without a valid CPAT card will not be allowed to interview. Below is a list of some of the locations that offer the CPAT test. 


Test Location  Testing Dates                                                     
Pikes Peak Community College

Summer/Fall 2018

Colorado Springs, Colorado
Phone: 719-502-2000




Summer/Fall 2018

Aims Community College
Windsor, Co 


August 24, 2018

November 16, 2018

January 25, 2019

April 19, 2019

Hutchinson Community College
Hutchinson, KS


Ongoing Test Dates
National Testing Network 


 Continuous Dates 

 Check for dates

California Firefighter Candidate Testing Center 
 1. Sacramento, CA
 2. Orange, CA
 3. Livermore, CA


Variety of dates

College of Southern Nevada 



For other states, go to the IAFF Wellness & Fitness Initiative Page.

The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) consists of eight separate events. The CPAT is a sequence of events requiring you to progress along a predetermined path from event to event in a continuous manner. This test was developed to allow fire departments to obtain pools of trainable candidates who are physically able to perform essential job tasks at fire scenes. There is a Preparation Guide for the Candidate Physical Ability Test [PDF] which is available online.

Watch the CPAT Orientation Video.

This is a pass/fail test based on a validated, maximum total time of 10 minutes and 20 seconds.

In these events, you wear a 50-pound vest to simulate the weight of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and fire fighter protective clothing. An additional 25 pounds, using two 12.5-pound weights that simulate a high-rise pack (hose bundle), is added to your shoulders for the stair climb event.

Throughout all events, you must wear long pants, a hard hat with chin strap, work gloves and footwear with no open heel or toe. Watches and loose or restrictive jewelry are not permitted.

All props were designed to obtain the necessary information regarding your physical ability. The tools and equipment were chosen to provide the highest level of consistency, safety and validity in measuring your physical abilities. While the course layout may vary in order to conform to the fire department's test area, the events and distances between events are always the same.

The events are placed in a sequence that best simulates fire scene events while allowing an 85-foot walk between events. To ensure the highest level of safety and to prevent exhaustion, no running is allowed between events. This walk allows you approximately 20 seconds to recover and regroup before each event.

To ensure scoring accuracy by eliminating timer failure, two stopwatches are used to time the CPAT. One stopwatch is designated as the official test time stopwatch, 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 you fail the test.

• Event 1 – Stair Climb

• Event 2 – Hose Drag

• Event 3 – Equipment Carry

• Event 4 – Ladder Raise and Extension

• Event 5 – Forcible Entry

• Event 6 – Search

• Event 7 – Rescue

• Event 8 – Ceiling Breach and Pull


Test Forms

You must present valid identification and sign a number of forms before taking the CPAT. Prior to the start of the CPAT, you must complete the Sign-in Form. You are provided an opportunity to review a video detailing the CPAT and the failure points. It is your responsibility to ask questions if you do not understand any parts of the test events or procedures. You are required to complete the Waiver and Release Form. At the conclusion of the CPAT, you must sign the CPAT Evaluation Form. Additionally, prior to leaving the rehabilitation area, you must complete and sign the Rehabilitation Form. If you fail to complete and sign any of these forms, you fail the CPAT.

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