City Leaders in Kingsport Experience Firefighter Physical Agility Test

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(L to R) Alderman Mitchell, FF Osbourne, DC Hayes, Asst. City Manager McCartt, and Asst. City Manager McReynolds during a visit to KFD Fire Station 1.

The Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen (BMA) made a stop at Fire Station 1 to experience the firefighter candidate physical agility test first hand.

A number of applicants have been practicing the CPAT (Candidate Physical Ability Test) for a few weeks now after successfully passing the written portion of the hiring process. These applicants will attempt to successfully pass the CPAT later this week, but the Kingsport BMA members were able to learn about all of the steps that are involved.

As Kingsport Mayor John Clark took office, he often spoke about the #OneKingsport initiative to improve our community. To continue this working relationship between those who have been elected to take our great city in the right direction, the Kingsport Fire Department leadership invited members of the BMA to the firehouse. After they were given a walk through of the CPAT, explained below, a few members of the City of Kingsport Leadership team wanted to get sweaty and throw on the helmet, gloves, and weighted vest.

The CPAT test was developed to allow fire departments across the nation to obtain pools of trainable candidates who are physically able to perform essential job tasks at fire scenes.

The International Association of Firefighters and International Association of Fire Chiefs Wellness-Fitness Task Force developed the CPAT. During the entire test the candidate must wear a 50 lb. weighted vest (simulating the weight of a fire fighters protective clothing and equipment).

The eight events are:
• Stair Climb (climbing the stair stepper while carrying an additional 25 lb. simulated hose pack for an allotted amount of time
• Ladder Raise and Extension (placing a ground ladder at the fire scene and extending the ladder to the roof or a window),
• Hose Drag (stretching uncharged hoselines, advancing lines)
• Equipment Carry (removing and carrying equipment from fire apparatus to fireground)
• Forcible Entry (penetrating a locked door, breaching a wall)
• Search (crawling through dark unpredictable areas to search for victims)
• Rescue Drag (removing victim or partner from a fire building)
• Ceiling Push and Pull (locating fire and checking for fire extension)

Assistant City Manager’s Chris McCartt and Ryan McReynolds, along with City Alderman Michele Mitchell completed portions of the course to experience what firefighters in the city could potentially be tasked on the fire scene on a daily basis. They all did an excellent job, and were able to learn about the hiring process, as well as the job skills.