That thought is never far from Danny Chan’s mind whenever he talks about his career as a Firefighter with the FDNY. The sense of responsibility to the community that he serves as part of Ladder 109 in Brooklyn is enormous. He also has a responsibility to his fellow Firefighters – and to himself – to stay focused on everything he’s learned up to this point. “It takes a lot of dedication and hard work,” Danny tells incoming Firefighter candidates. “I spent a lot of time preparing for this job and learning more about it before the Academy and it was definitely worth it.”
Danny participated in the FDNY’s Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) Training Program, Firefighter Candidate Mentorship Program (FFCMP) and Fitness Awareness Program (FAP). Each program enabled him to learn more about the job before becoming a Firefighter.
Being a Firefighter is a very physically demanding career. The kind of training needed to get into the Fire Academy is intense. You have to make a commitment to getting – and staying – in great shape.
Firefighter candidates who take part in the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) Training Program learn what it takes to make it through this first step. Passing the CPAT is essential for moving on to enrollment in the Fire Academy. The goal is to help you gain the physical skills to complete actual tasks that you would do on the job – like carrying a person, pulling a hose, and similar duties.
Danny compares the 18-week Fire Academy to his Boot Camp days in the Marines.
Every Firefighter candidate receives a CPAT Prep Guide to prepare you on what to expect, give you some practical advice, and support you during this important step. The Prep Guide includes information on diet, exercise and training, and specific recommendations for improving your fitness level.
It is not an understatement to say that you need to be ready to get into the best shape of your life! Men and women who commit to taking the CPAT are measured on physical ability in terms of:
From warm-up through cool down, the goal is to advance from your initial fitness level in terms of frequency, intensity and duration. Important benchmarks for making progress include:
Being able to work out in a gym is ideal, but most of the training can be done at home with a simple set of weights. The most important thing you need is to equip yourself with the mental stamina to dedicate yourself to what it takes to become one of New York’s Bravest.
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