9 changes readers would make to CPAT

Here are eight serious and one not-so-serious changes readers would like to make to CPAT-style tests


It is necessary but by no means free of controversy. The physical agility, strength and endurance tests fire departments put candidates through is one of several methods to evaluate who will excel at firefighting. Yet it seems more often criticized than are the psych or written tests.

So we put it to our FireRescue1 readers and asked, "What would you like to see changed on the firefighter physical agility test?" Here are the nine most interesting responses.

1."Don't lower the standard to allow unqualified persons to pass the test. Doing so puts the lives of able-bodied firefighters in jeopardy." — Oren Breach

2."Stairs with a 75-pound pack taken out of the CPAT." — Jim Robertson

3."Being fit to be a firefighter takes more than physical prowess, I don't want to go into a house fire with a guy who can run a marathon but can't be safe in a pressure situation." — B.P. Parry

4."Not a thing. If you can't do it, go be a cop." Sean Howard

5."Do it on air. A lot are in shape, but putting on the mask and going on air changes the whole game. It would eliminate those who can't handle it, and make many think about the job they think they want." — Gary Marchlewicz

6."How far you can drive a golf ball!" — Ron Brunetti

7."Make it the same standard nationwide, and have an independent third party administer the test." — Will Lane

8."Make it required every year paid or volunteer." — Christopher Michael Boyer

9."CPAT is too easy — bottom line." Jessy Fields

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