On-the-job Training: Combat Challenge

July 24, 2014 | South Tampa Magazine | Categories: Editorial, Health & Fitness | Tags: Candidate Physical Abilities Test, Combat Challenge, CPAT, Tampa Fire Rescue

On-the-job Training

A tour of Tampa Fire Rescue’s fire combat challenge

The first year on the job is pretty tough for rookies at Tampa Fire Rescue. In addition to their normal duties at their respective fire stations, they must participate in the departments mandatory fire combat challenge a total of four times. Located at the police and fire training grounds in Ybor City, the test is quite a step up from the Candidate Physical Abilities Test (CPAT) that all new recruits must pass before entering fire academy.

The test mimics the touring competitive fire combat challenges from the 90s and replicates real-life scenarios that firefighters experience everyday. The city developed this examination nearly three years ago to help first-year firefighters as they cope with their new careers. Although there is no pass or fail grading, a peer fitness trainer is present to takes notes on the rookie’s progress.

We followed two rookies as they took on the four-story concrete tower in the center of the training facility. Take a look at the tests they had to complete:

  1. Carry a hose up four flights of stairs

2. Pull a hose up the exterior of the combat training facility and place it on the roof

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3. Simulate a forcible entry with a rubber sledgehammer and steel sled

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4. Pull a fully loaded hose 75 feet

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5. Carry a 185-pound dummy 100 feet


(The ideal firefighter can complete this examination in 4-8 minutes.)