A firefighter in training climbs a stair machine while wearing 75 pounds as part of a training demonstration.
San Diego Miramar College’s state-of-the-art Fire Technology and Emergency Medical Technology facility will serve as a Candidate Physical Ability Testing (CPAT) center thanks to a $44,000 Neighborhood Reinvestment Program Grant provided by the county of San Diego. Previously, firefighter candidates had to travel to Orange County or Sacramento to undergo their mandatory CPAT training. The Firefighter Candidate Testing Center (FCTC), the agency that administers the CPAT examinations, has also selected Miramar College as the state’s third testing site.
The Neighborhood Reinvestment Program Grant will allow for the purchase of vital equipment necessary to successfully prepare local firefighting candidates.
San Diego Fire Chief Brian Fennessy, CalFire Unit Chief Tony Meacham, San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts, Yvonne de la Pena, executive director of the Firefighter Candidate Testing Center, and George Beitey, dean of the School of Public Safety at Miramar College gathered Tuesday to make the announcement at a news conference on campus.
“We are always looking for new recruits,” said San Diego Fire Chief Brian Fennessy. “It will be much easier now that this training facility is open here at Miramar College. The certifications firefighters can receive here can help aspiring firefighters compete for positions here in San Diego County as opposed to neighboring counties. That is good for us and it is good for public safety.”
“Since our County has such a high fire threat, it’s imperative that we have the most advanced facility and resources here in our county to protect and train our firefighters,” said Supervisor Dave Roberts. “That is why in 2014 I recommended an initial county grant to fund specialized equipment for the Miramar College Fire Technology Program. These enhancements have allowed us to bring the CPAT testing center to San Diego County.”
The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) simulates skills needed for search and rescue, high-rise response, forcible entry and other functions. Through CPAT, firefighting candidates can take written and physical ability testing and be certified for hiring eligibility at departments throughout the state.
The new, $16 million dollar firefighting and EMT training facilities at Miramar College opened in fall of 2014 and includes a five-story rappelling tower, command simulators, a “roof prop” for cutting ventilation holes, and classroom space. The facility was paid for through Proposition N funds.
George Beitey, dean of the School of Public Safety, speaks at the training demonstration at Miramar College.