Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)

LAFD FF Recruitment Section offers a variety of preparatory programs for FF Candidates. All LAFD programs are free. The Department does not charge for any of our recruitment and mentoring services, nor do we accept gifts or special favors for our services. If someone approaches you requesting money or special favors, please notify a uniformed FF immediately.

LAFD Recruitment Section can be reached at (213) 893-9899

DOWNLOAD a FREE copy of the CPAT Test Preparation Guide HERE!

The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) is a new minimum requirement for the position of Firefighter. The job of a Firefighter is one of the most physically demanding jobs in North America. It requires high levels of cardiopulmonary endurance, muscular strength and muscular endurance. The CPAT consists of eight critical physical tasks that simulate actual job duties on the fire ground. Candidates must provide proof of a current passing score on the CPAT at PIQ/Baseline fitness. Proof must also be provided at the time of certification for hiring consideration. A CPAT score is valid for one year. The City of Los Angeles will only accept the Candidate Physical Ability Test. The Consolidated Physical Ability Test (formerly known as the Biddle Test) or any other physical ability test will not be accepted.

  1. What is the CPAT?

    The CPAT is a standardized test that is NOT administered by the City of Los Angeles. The City of Los Angeles and the Fire Department are NOT Affiliated with the Testing Centers.(See Question #2 for a list of agencies that administer the test.) The CPAT is a timed pass/fail test that consists of eight separate events:

    1. Stair Climb
    2. Hose Drag
    3. Equipment
    4. Ladder Raise & Extension
    1. Forcible Entry
    2. Search
    3. Rescue
    4. Ceiling Breach & Pull

    During the CPAT, you must progress along a predetermined path from one event to the next in a continuous manner. Participants wear a 50-pound (22.68-kg) vest to simulate the weight of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and firefighter protective clothing. An additional 25 pounds (11.34 kg), using two 12.5-pound (5.67-kg) weights that simulate a high-rise pack (hose bundle), is added to your shoulders for the stair climb event. You have 10 minutes and 20seconds to complete all eight tasks. It is your responsibility to schedule and pay for your own CPAT.

  2. What is the age requirements?

    Applicants must be 18 years of age and must show government issued photo identification (i.e. drivers license, school, or military ID; or a passport or visa). Candidates without a photo ID will not be allowed to take the CPAT.

  3. Where can I take the CPAT? How much does it cost?

    The following agencies currently administer the CPAT in Southern California. Please contact the agencies directly to obtain further information and to schedule a test. Before taking the CPAT, LAFD offers free training sessions every Wednesday evening at Frank Hotchkins Memorial Training Center. Please refer to the link for available dates and times:

    The CPAT program will not be available during the month of December due to the "LAFD Toy Drive", but it will resume in January.

    California Fire Fighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee (Cal-JAC)
    CPAT Testing Centers
    CPAT Website - Online Registration Available!
    Cost: $160.00

    FCTC Testing Center - South El Monte
    10316 Rush Street
    South El Monte, CA 91733

    FCTC Testing Center - San Diego
    Miramar College
    Fire Technology Building R3
    Corner of Westview Parkway & Hillery Dr
      FCTC Testing Center - Sacramento
    2560 River Plaza Drive
    Sacramento, CA 95833

    FCTC Testing Center - Livermore
    526 Commerce Way
    Livermore, CA 94551

    Grants are available for individuals who demonstrate a financial hardship; click here for more information to the CPAT Grant document.

    Out-of-state candidates may contact the CPAT National Testing Network
    or the International Association of Firefighters at for eligible testing locations.
  4. Is there simulated CPAT testing available?

    Yes. LAFD Recruitment Unit offers FREE practice CPAT, BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Sessions are specific by availability.

    DOWNLOAD a FREE copy of the CPAT Test Preparation Guide HERE!

    Frank Hotchkin Memorial Training Center
    Los Angeles Fire Department

    1700 Stadium Way
    Los Angeles, CA 90012

    The CPAT practice course is set up on the drill deck of the Frank Hotchkin Memorial Training Center with the exact same stations as the actual CPAT allowing candidates to evaluate themselves before paying to take the official test. Practice CPAT sessions at FHMTC provide candidates with a supervised practice run with a trained proctor. The sessions are designed to meet each individuals needs. A session may include: Training on the CPAT equipment, watching the instructional video, going through the course in its entirety. You also receive the benefit of mentoring: Our CPAT Proctors will provide techniques, expert evaluation and conditioning advice.

    *The City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Fire Department ARE NOT affiliated with the CPAT Testing Center.

    A handbook-sized, fully illustrated copy of the Preparation Guide for theCPAT is available from the CFFJAC for only $5.00, including tax and shipping. To get a copy of this helpful preparation guide, send a check or money order for $5.00 to:

    California Fire Fighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee
    1780 Creekside Oaks Drive, Suite 201
    Sacramento, CA 95833
  5. How can I physically prepare for a firefighting career?

    The job of Firefighter is one of the most labor intensive and physically demanding jobs around. Firefighters face uncertain and in many cases, dangerous conditions on a regular basis. Personal safety depends on proper training and the degree of each Firefighter's physical fitness. You can download an LAFD Fitness Log to help you prepare for the Academy.

  6. Can I get a guided, proctor-supervised practice session of the CPAT?

    For $30.00, the CPAT Testing Centers will allow you to schedule a supervised practice on the CPAT course with a proctor. Your session is designed to meet your individual needs. A session may include: Training on the CPAT equipment, watching the instructional video, going through the course in its entirety. You also receive the benefit of mentoring: Our CPAT Proctors will provide techniques, expert evaluation and conditioning advice.

  7. What to wear when taking the CPAT?

    The dress code is strictly enforced for safety. The CPAT dress code for the Orientation, Practice Sessions and Test is: Long pants(no shorts), T-shirt or sweatshirt, footwear with no open heel or toe, and no loose or restrictive jewelry. Candidates must be in proper CPAT attire before being allowed to participate in the orientation, practice sessions and test. Please bring water. This is a strenuous exercise. Please hydrate. The LAFD does not provide water at this event.