Fire Fitness Preparation


Preparing for the CPAT:
The four major areas of fitness include:
Cardiopulmonary Endurance
Muscular Strength
Muscular Endurance

Warm-up and Flexibility:
A warm-up serves several functions, including:
Increased blood flow to working muscles and joints
Decreased likelihood of injury
Decrease in pre-event tension
Possible improved performance
Improved flexibility
A proper warm-up should begin with a few minutes of the same type of activity you are about to do at a very light exertion
level. The next step is to stretch to improve flexibility and further your warm-up.
Flexibility rules:

  • No bouncing
  • Stretch slowly
  • No pain
  • Stretching is not competitive
  • Breath slowly to help you relax
  • Stretching should feel good

Cardiopulmonary Endurance:
Cardiopulmonary endurance is the ability of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems to deliver oxygen to working muscles. It consists of both aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. Aerobic activities include: bicycling, hiking, climbing stairs, and running when performed at a low enough intensity. These should be done 3-5 days a week.
Anaerobic activities include sprinting and circuit training and should be done 2-3 days a weeks, resting at least a day in between for recovery necessary to prevent over training. Try some or all of these stretches:
Knee to chest

  • Forearm stretch
  • Knee to chest - diagonal
  • Leg cross
  • Side quadriceps stretch
  • Butterfly stretch
  • Straddle stretch
  • Cross over stretch
  • Calf stretch
  • Upper back stretch
  • Chest stretch
  • Triceps stretch
  • Knee to chest - leg straight

Muscular Strength/Endurance

This is a resistance program designed to improve your total body strength and endurance. If you are not familiar with lifting programs, have any joint pain or feel uncomfortable performing any weight training exercises, you should seek the advise of a professional trainer. 

The workout should follow a warm-up and stretching program.
General safety tips while performing resistance training:

  • Always lift with a partner
  • Ask for help from an expert if you don’t know what you are doing
  • Progress slowly to avoid injuries
  • Never show off by attempting to lift more weight than you normally lift
  • Use proper lifting technique when lifting weight plates and dumbbells
  • Never drink alcohol or take medications that may cause drowsiness prior to lifting weights
  • Do not lift too quickly, always control the weights
  • Always use strict form. Proper technique is more important than the amount of weight lifted
  • Keep head in neutral position, looking straight ahead and not upwards or downwards

CPAT Training program consists of two training programs:
Aerobic Training and Interval Training
Although this is best accomplished at a gym with an array of equipment, exercise can be done with little or no equipment. For more information see the Maricopa County Colleges CPAT Prep Guide.

Hiring ProcessPFD Logo with Banners
Here is information on each step in the hiring process, including the written exam, the eligibility list, oral board interviewing, background checks, physicals and drug testing.

EMT Certification
Every Phoenix Firefighter is required to obtain and maintain Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Certification.

CPAT - Candidate Physical Ability Test
Proof of successful completion of a Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) from a licensed agency within 6 months is required at the scheduled date of your final selection interview.

Firefighter Recruit Training
Firefighter Recruit is an employment classification for entry level members assigned to the Phoenix Fire Training Academy for Firefighter Recruit Training.

Affinity Groups
An Affinity Group is a group of people formed around a shared interest or common goal who support each other and work together.  There are several groups associated with the fire department.  Please contact them directly.

Firefighter I & II Certification
Firefighter I & II Certification may be obtained from a number of sources.  To assist you we have identified a few.

Cadet Program
The Phoenix Fire Department Cadet Program was started in 1975. The purpose of the program is to provide cadets with hands-on emergency medical training, work experience at fire stations, training in firefighter skills and volunteerism for the community. 

Fire Science Classes
The Maricopa Community College District is a great resource to prepare you for a career as a firefighter. Current and former firefighters work as adjunct faculty and are there to help you prepare for a career as a firefighter. Click here to locate Fire Science Classes.

Sample Recruitment Packet
A Sample Recruitment Packet is available for downloading.  This is a sample of what will be available during the recruitment process.

Frequently Asked Questions
Click here for answers to frequently asked questions.