Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)

For Entry-Level Career Fire Fighters In Vermont

2016 CPAT Testing Information

CPAT Orientation
2016 orientation dates have not been announced.

2016 exam dates have not been announced.

Application Deadline
2016 application period has not been opened.

Orientation & Exam Location
To be announced.

For Information or questions on our CPAT Testing Program contact
Program Coordinator Christopher Corbin at

The 2015 Test Period is now closed.

The State of Vermont and the participating Fire Departments allow for reciprocity for successful completion of the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) from another licensed jurisdiction.


The State of Vermont no longer administers a written examination as part of the entry level fire
fighter testing process. Individual fire departments have accepted the responsibility of administering their own written examination to candidates that apply for employment within their jurisdiction.

CPAT Orientation Guide (PDF)

Currently, the following municipalities have committed to using this testing process for hiring.  If you are interested in applying for employment with any of the following fire departments, you must contact them directly for application information.

  • Brattleboro
  • Burlington
  • Hartford
  • Saint Johnsbury
  • South Burlington
  • Williston

CPAT Summary

The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) was developed by a joint labor management initiative between the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) to address the need to develop a physical ability test for consistent pre-employment testing for the hiring of candidate fire fighters. A survey of tools and equipment, protective equipment, and job descriptions, as well as the demographics of both the fire fighters and the citizens they serve was conducted. From the results of this survey, fire ground tasks were studied and certain tasks were determined to be a fair and valid evaluation tool in the selection of entry level fire fighters.

In 2008, a working group was developed in Vermont to determine the need for, and implement the CPAT process. The working group, much like the original IAFF / IAFC task force, is a joint labor / management initiative, consisting of representatives from the Professional Fire Fighters of Vermont, the VT Career Fire Chiefs, the Vermont Division of Fire Safety, and the Vermont Fire Academy. Before CPAT in Vermont, career fire departments had varied physical agility testing requirements for entry-level firefighters. This results in a lack of standardization. CPAT is a licensed process that requires a study to be performed that ensures all firefighters within the jurisdiction, in this case Vermont, perform similar tasks with similar equipment during similar time frames. In turn, the study ensures that the CPAT test is valid and fair for all entry-level firefighters throughout Vermont. Currently the municipalities of Burlington, South Burlington, Williston, Hartford, Saint Johnsbury, Springfield, and Brattleboro have committed to using this testing process.

A test that is proven safe and is standard with job specifications results in a test that cannot be challenged by a candidate as discriminatory in any manner. The IAFF and IAFC have worked with the Department of Justice to ensure the test is fair and legal.

Just as this test is fair for all candidates, CPAT also ensures a high level of professionalism within the fire service in Vermont. Along with education and training, fitness and health are essential for an individual to succeed in today’s fire service. A fire fighter that is healthier and more physically fit is a fire fighter that will be able to provide the best possible fire protection and emergency medical services to the community they serve. Health and fitness also contribute to a fire fighter’s enjoyment of a fulfilled, and hopefully injury-free career, placing less of a burden on communities and coworkers.