Naperville Fire Department Obtains License to Test Firefighter Candidates

Naperville is one of only four CPAT administrators in the state

Naperville is now one of only four locations in the State of Illinois licensed to test the physical ability of firefighter candidates looking for employment.

The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) is a standardized test that many departments nationwide, including the Naperville Fire Department, require during the application process as a predictor of an applicant’s ability to perform basic firefighting tasks. Until recently, the test was only administered at three Illinois locations – Decatur, Glenview and Indian Head Park. Naperville will administer the CPAT at 1200 W. Ogden Avenue beginning in January.

“Our fire department, along with many others throughout the United States, places a great deal of importance on this test as a way to recruit quality candidates,” said Naperville Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis. “We’re pleased to be able to house a test site in Naperville to potentially give some applicants a more convenient test location as well as the opportunity to train for this test with skilled Naperville firefighters as their proctors.”

The Candidate Physical Ability Test consists of eight activities, which candidates must complete in less than 10 minutes and 20 seconds while wearing a hard hat, gloves and a weighted vest to simulate the weight of firefighting equipment. Exercises include a stair climb, hose drag, equipment carry, ladder raise and extension, forcible entry, search, rescue and ceiling breach and pull. Success is measured on a pass/fail basis.

To ensure that all candidates have an equal opportunity to succeed, the CPAT includes an orientation and mentoring process that begins eight weeks prior to the test. This process involves an explanation of the test and its physical demands, recommendations of training and conditioning drills, and an opportunity to preview and practice the exercises with trained proctors.

More information about the CPAT program in Naperville and how to register for the first session, which begins with an orientation on February 18 and culminates with a final test on April 9, can be found at

About Naperville: Located 28 miles west of Chicago, Naperville, Ill., is home to approximately 145,000 people. This vibrant, thriving city consistently ranks as a top community in the nation in which to live, raise children and retire. The city is home to acclaimed public and parochial schools, the best public library system in the country, an array of healthcare options and an exceptionally low crime rate. Naperville has ready access to a variety of public transportation, housing and employment options. The city’s diversified employer base features high technology firms, retailers and factories, as well as small and home-based businesses. Residents also enjoy world-class parks, diverse worship options, the opportunity to serve on several City boards and commissions, a thriving downtown shopping and dining area, a renowned outdoor history museum known as Naper Settlement and an active civic community. For more information, please visit our website at