Tempe Fire, Medical, Rescue Department Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)
Firefighting requires above average aerobic and anaerobic capacity, muscular endurance and strength, and flexibility. The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) is a standardized physical ability test adopted by the Tempe Fire, Medical, Rescue Department. The test is designed to identify individuals who have the physical attributes to perform the job of a firefighter. The Tempe Fire, Medical, Rescue Department conducts CPAT tests as part of its hiring process. All individuals must successfully pass the CPAT test to be eligible for employment. Testing is by invitation only.
There are two reference guides to help candidates prepare for the CPAT test, which include:
Orientation Guide – The CPAT test consists of eight separate job-related physical tasks performed in a continuous sequence. The Orientation Guide provides a detailed description of the CPAT course events and explanation of the “Pass/Fail” scoring system.
CPAT Preparation Guide – provides information about basic exercise concepts, specific flexibility, aerobic and strength training exercises, how to design your own exercise program and how to practice some of the events at home.
Commonly Asked Questions
- Do you accept lateral transfers from other departments/states? No.
- Do you have paramedic positions? Yes. Our paramedic positions are available to firefighters who have been on the job one year after completion of the training academy. At that time they are able to test for this assignment position, which is performed in conjunction with their regular firefighter responsibilities.
- Do I need to be a certified firefighter? No, it is not required. However, any training or schooling in the firefighting field may be of assistance in the testing process.
- How and where can I go through the training academy? Our training academy is designed and operated for those firefighter-recruits who are hired after our testing process.
- Do you have a reserve, cadet, or volunteer program? Yes
- Do you have a citizen ride along program? Yes, but it is a limited program and not intended for regular recurring ride alongs. For information call the administrative offices at 480-858-7200.
- What can I do to prepare for the application process? Evaluate any fire science classes offered at a college near you. Be physically fit, specifically in the areas of cardiovascular and upper body strength. Familiarize yourself with fire department operations and programs.
- How often do you hire? We hire off of our eligibility list periodically throughout the year as openings occur from retirement or new positions developed.
Selection Process Overview
Qualified applicants will be invited to participate in a written examination. Applicants who pass the written exam become eligible for a first level interview. Applicants who are selected will go on for a second level interview. After the second level interview, applicants who are selected will be scheduled for a candidate physical ability test. Applicants who pass the CPAT are placed on an eligibility list. As openings occur, firefighter recruits musts complete a 12 week academy and are then placed in the field as probationary firefighters for a period of 12 months. Successful completion of all phases of the selection process does NOT automatically guarantee a position with the City of Tempe Fire, Medical, Rescue Department. Position vacancies, academy class size and time constraints dictate if a candidate will be hired.
Links to National Firefighter Organizations
• International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters
• International Association of Fire Fighters
• National Association of Hispanic Firefighters
• Women In The Fire Service, Inc.