By REGGIE ROSS
Being a firefighter is one of the most physically-demanding jobs a person can have, and hiring standards reflect situations they are likely to encounter on the job.
The Grenada Fire Department will hold tryouts for the position of firefighter on Saturday, March 24, starting at 9 a.m. at Fire Station One on Van Dorn Street near Grocery Basket Shopping Center.
According to Fire Chief Ronnie Willis, applications and instruction should be picked up at Fire Station One near the.
The tryouts are known as the Candidate Physical Training Test, which is the recognized standard for measuring an individual’s ability to handle the physical demands of being a firefighter.
According to Willis, the timed test measures how candidates handle eight separate events, all designed to mirror tasks on the job.
“The CPAT has been going on for years,” Willis said. “It gives everyone a fair representation of what a fireman has to do. We’re not asking anyone to do something they wouldn’t do as a fireman.”
Participants in the CPAT must navigate the events on a closed course. Willis said the goal after training is to complete the course in less than 10 minutes and 20 seconds. He said each event simulates a physical skill or function that firefighters experience on the job.
“If someone is inside a burning building, we have to have people that are physically able to rescue them,” Willis said.
During the test, participants will take part in the stair climb, hose drag, equipment carry, ladder raise and extension, forcible entry, rescue drag and ceiling breaches.
Willis said during the test, candidates wear a helmet, gloves and 50-pound weighted vests.
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