A good way to prepare yourself for this demanding occupation is to maintain or improve your overall physical fitness. A suitable weight-training program is a good place to begin. People of smaller stature should consider a specific program to develop upper body strength. Playing organized team sports may also increase your power and endurance, while giving you practice at being a “team player”.
Candidate Physical Ability Testing
If your are serious about becoming a firefighter, you might want to tailor your weight regimen to help you pass a firefighting physical ability test. The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT), utilized by the Alameda County Fire Department, measures the capabilities of firefighting candidates along eight job-specific areas.
- Stair Climb
- Hose Drag
- Equipment Carry
- Ladder Raise and Extension
- Forcible Entry
- Ceiling Breach and Pull
A good way to determine whether your current fitness regime will help you pass the test would be to talk to a firefighter, and ask what works for them!
Additional Resources to Help You Prepare
- Preparing for CPAT (PDF – 31.4 MB) *
- Description of CPAT – Visit www.cpatonline.org
* Portable Document Format (PDF) file requires the free Adobe Reader.
** To view Microsoft Office Word, Excel, or PowerPoint documents, you can download a free trial version of Office 365. Per Microsoft, you will be able to continue viewing files even after the trial has expired.