Shawnee Fire Chief Dru Tischer is putting out a call for those interested in becoming firefighters to sign up and mark their calendars because the Spring deadline for written and physical testing is getting close.

“The test is conducted twice a year — in the spring and fall — at Eastern Oklahoma County Tech Center (EOC) in Choctaw, and it is how our department and many others conduct pre-hire physical fitness and agility testing,” he said.

The upcoming Spring 2017 Candidate Physical Agility Test (CPAT) signup deadline is March 1, Tischer said.

“Basically, there is a written test that candidates must sign up for and pass before being allowed to take part in the physical evaluation,” he said.

If the candidate passes both the written physical tests, Tischer said their name and contact information is made available to the 23 consortium member departments: Bethany, Chandler, Chickasha, Cushing, Del City, Duncan, El Reno, Guthrie, Jenks, Kingfisher, Midwest City, Mustang, Newcastle, Nichols Hills, Noble, Norman, Ponca City, Shawnee, Stillwater, The Village, Wewoka, Will Rogers World Airport and Yukon.

“We do our hiring from this list,” he said.

Tischer said the test satisfies the pension system requirement for a physical agility test at the time of hiring and doing it that way allows the member departments to share the cost of testing.

“EOC has the facilities to conduct the CPAT, which is based on and designed to measure a candidate’s physical ability to perform actual firefighting tasks,” he said.

The physical portion of the CPAT consists of eight simulated firefighting events that each candidate must complete while wearing a 50 lb. weighted vest (to simulate firefighting protective clothing) within a prescribed time limit. They are:

• Stair Climb (candidate wears an additional 25 lb. of weight to simulate SCBA during this event)

• Ladder raise and extension

• Hose drag

• Equipment carry

• Forcible entry

• Search

• Rescue drag

• Ceiling pull

As the CPAT is used to satisfy the physical agility test required for entrance into the Oklahoma State Firefighters Pension System, he said the department gives preference to applicants who have a current, accredited CPAT passing score.

“We do accept results from any accredited CPAT agency,” he said.

Candidates can call or come by and pay the $75 fee by March 1. This fee includes: the written test, access* to written or computer based test study guide, access* to written or computer based CPAT Prep Guide, Interview Prep class, 2 CPAT Practice days, and the CPAT test.

(*Access, means a link to allow you to purchase from I/O Solutions web page.)

Thursday, March 2 and Friday, March 3 is open orientation from 8 a.m. to noon, or from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the EOC Tech Public Services building.

Participants must call to reserve a time.

The written test will be given at various times on the first four Thursdays in March. The test time must be reserved.

May 13 is the date for the CPAT (open to candidates who scored 70 percent or better on the written examination).

Those interested in applying at the Shawnee Fire Department should contact Cathy Dawson at EOC Tech at (405) 390-5315 (Option 6) for more information on testing.

Tischer said the Shawnee Fire Department plans to accept applications for employment beginning May 15, through June 4.

You can reach Vicky O. Misa at (405) 214-3962.