Are you looking to embark on a career as a firefighter? In the challenging firefighting environment, certain skills and knowledge are needed to succeed. One of the first hurdles in this career path is the Firefighter Written Test. The Cooperative Personnel Services (CPS) HR Consulting Firefighter Test is a popular assessment used by a wide variety of fire departments. The CPS firefighter test aims to select candidates who possess the qualities to perform well in the firefighter academy, and thrive on site. The CPS HR Firefighter Civil Service Exam was created with job analytic data collected from various fire agencies to be used as a great predictor of future success in the field.
What Is the CPS Firefighter Test?
The CPS HR Firefighter Test is a comprehensive evaluation designed to assess the skills and abilities of potential candidates looking for a firefighting position. This test is administered by CPS HR Consulting, a firm that's specialty is providing public safety testing services for governmental agencies across the United States and Canada.
The CPS Entry Firefighter Test is composed of different sections, including Oral Communication, Reading Comprehension, Mathematical Ability, Teamwork, Public Relations, and Community Living, Analytical Ability, Written Communication, and Mechanical Aptitude. Each section measures a specific set of skills that are crucial for success as a firefighter. Depending on the version of the test the breakdown of questions may be different. Below is a table that includes what is covered on each version of the Entry-Level Firefighter Test. Each Fire Exam is 100 questions to be completed in two and a half hours.
|Teamwork, Public Relations, and Community Living||15||—||15||15||—|
|Total number of items||100||100||100||100||100|
|Total time||2 hr 30||2 hr 30||2 hr 30||2 hr 30||2 hr 30|
|Source||© CPS HR Consulting|
Inside Tip: Try and find out which version of the Firefighter Exam you will be taking so you can prepare appropriately. Don't fret if you are unsure. Each version is fairly similar. We recommend this Firefighter CPS Test Prep.
CPS HR Consulting Firefighter Test Sections
The Oral Communication section is presented as a listening exercise. This exercise is used to evaluate how a candidate comprehends spoken information accurately in various situations. This skill directly correlates to the experience you will have as a firefighter where you will need to understand oral information in loud emergency situations where lives may be at stake. This section covers listening to recordings and answering questions based on the information conveyed in them.
The Reading Comprehension section evaluates an important skill for firefighters during emergencies - the ability to quickly and accurately read and comprehend crucial information. In an emergency situation a firefighter will be presented with an LED screen with scrolling texts explaining the circumstances at hand. This section tests candidates on their capacity to identify essential details in a text and read efficiently.
Math is a crucial skill which plays an integral role in the daily operations of firefighters, as they must tabulate complex calculations under high-pressure situations to save lives. Some of the mathematical calculations firefighters perform include; understanding hose length requirements, determining the appropriate ladder height, and calculating water tank levels accurately. The Mathematical Ability section of the test measures the applicant's competence in solving these types of math problems. The section includes multiple-choice questions covering two aspects of mathematical ability - word problems and arithmetic reasoning.
Teamwork, Public Relations, and Community Living
The Teamwork, Public Relations, and Community Living section, commonly known as the Situational Judgment test, evaluates a candidate's ability to work effectively as part of a team and interact with the public in a professional and courteous manner. This section typically involves a series of hypothetical scenarios that require candidates to make decisions and take actions based on their understanding of best practices in firefighting.
Analytical Ability (Maps & Diagrams)
Navigation is a critical skill for firefighters, whether they are responding to an emergency or inside a structure. A firefighter's ability to read and use a map is a crucial part of their toolkit. The Analytical Ability, or Maps & Diagrams, section of the CPS Firefighter Test evaluates candidates' spatial reasoning abilities, proficiency in using maps, and reading diagrams.
A large part of the job as a firefighter is handling various tools of the trade, such as fire trucks, hoses, ladders, and pulleys. Understanding how to use these tools and the effective application of mechanical principles is essential for the job.
The Mechanical Aptitude section of the CPS Fireman Exam evaluates candidates' basic understanding of mechanics and how it relates to the many tools they will use. This section is often considered the most challenging. When taking this part, consider the strict time constraints you are under. We highly recommend brushing up on your mechanical aptitude skills.
CPS Firefighter Practice Test Questions, Answers, and Explanations
Reading Comprehension Sample Question
Read the following passage, identify the relevant information, and answer the question below.
Firefighters are frequently called to respond to emergencies in high-rise buildings. In these situations, the firefighters must be able to use specialized equipment and techniques to access the building and reach the affected area quickly and safely. One of the most important tools for high-rise firefighting is the aerial ladder, which can extend up to 100 feet in the air and allow firefighters to access upper floors and roofs. However, operating an aerial ladder requires specialized training and expertise, as well as strong communication skills among the team of firefighters involved.
What is the importance of communication skills for firefighters operating an aerial ladder during a high-rise emergency?
- Communication skills are not important when operating an aerial ladder.
- Communication skills are more important for the firefighters on the ground, not those operating the ladder.
- Communication skills are crucial for the team of firefighters involved in operating the aerial ladder.
- Communication skills are important during training, and during an actual emergency.
Answer + Explanation
Answer: C) Communication skills are crucial for the team of firefighters involved in operating the aerial ladder.
Explanation: Operating an aerial ladder during a high-rise emergency is a complex task that involves coordination and communication among the team of firefighters involved. The firefighters on the ground must communicate with the firefighters operating the ladder to ensure they are positioned correctly and safely. Similarly, the firefighters operating the ladder must communicate with the firefighters on the ground to ensure they have a clear path to the building and are able to access the affected area quickly and safely. Without clear communication among the team, there is a risk of confusion and errors that can put everyone's safety at risk. Therefore, communication skills are crucial for the team of firefighters involved in operating the aerial ladder during a high-rise emergency.
Mathematical Ability Sample Question
A fire hose is able to fill a pool in 6 hours. Another hose is able to fill the same pool in 4 hours. How long will it take to fill the pool if both hoses are used together?
- 1.33 hours
- 2.4 hours
- 3 hours
- 4 hours
Answer + Explanation
Answer: B) 2.4 hours
Explanation: Let X be the time it takes to fill the pool when both hoses are used together.
Using the formula: time = work / rate
We know that each hose can fill the pool at different rates. The rate of the first hose is 1/6 (pool/hour) and the rate of the second hose is 1/4 (pool/hour). When both hoses are used together, their rates are added up.
So the equation we need to solve is:
1/6 + 1/4 = 1/X
Multiplying both sides by the least common multiple of the denominators (24X), we get:
4X + 6X = 24
10X = 24
X = 2.4
Therefore, it will take 2.4 hours to fill the pool if both hoses are used together. The correct answer is B.
Analytical Ability Sample Question
You are the captain of a fire truck responding to a call at a building located at the intersection of Main Street and Elm Street. According to the map, Main Street runs north-south and Elm Street runs east-west. What is the best route for your firetruck to take to reach the building?
- Head south on Main Street, turn left on Oak Street, turn right on Elm Street, and the building will be on your left.
- Head east on Elm Street, turn right on Pine Street, turn left on Main Street, and the building will be on your right.
- Head north on Main Street, turn right on Elm Street, and the building will be on your left.
- Head west on Elm Street, turn left on Maple Street, turn right on Main Street, and the building will be on your right.
Answer + Explanation
Answer: C) Head north on Main Street, turn right on Elm Street, and the building will be on your left.
Explanation: According to the map, the building is located at the intersection of Main Street and Elm Street. Since Main Street runs north-south and Elm Street runs east-west, the best route for the firetruck would be to head north on Main Street and turn right on Elm Street. This would take the firetruck directly to the building, which would be on the left side of Elm Street. Options A, B, and D take the firetruck on a longer route or in the wrong direction.
Teamwork, Public Relations, and Community Living Sample Question
You and your team are responding to a fire in a residential area. When you arrive, you notice that several residents are gathered outside, visibly upset and concerned about their homes and belongings. What is the most appropriate action for you and your team to take in this situation?
- Focus solely on extinguishing the fire and let the residents handle their own concerns.
- Ignore the residents and proceed with your firefighting duties.
- Approach the residents and assure them that your team will do everything possible to protect their homes and belongings.
- Wait for the residents to approach you and ask for assistance.
Answer + Explanation
Answer: C) Approach the residents and assure them that your team will do everything possible to protect their homes and belongings.
Explanation: As a firefighter, it's important to understand that you not only have a duty to put out fires, but also to provide support and reassurance to members of the community who may be affected by the incident. By approaching the residents and acknowledging their concerns, you are demonstrating empathy and showing that your team is committed to protecting both lives and property. This can help to build trust and positive relationships between the fire department and the community. Option A and B are not appropriate as they ignore the concerns of the residents, and option D is passive and does not proactively address the situation.
Mechanical Aptitude Sample Question
Which type of valve is typically used to control the flow of water through fire hoses?
- Globe valve
- Ball valve
- Gate valve
- Check valve
Answer + Explanation
Answer: A) Globe valve.
Explanation: Globe valves are commonly used to control the flow of water through fire hoses. These valves have a globe-shaped disc that is moved up and down by a stem to control the flow of water. Globe valves are preferred over other types of valves because they offer more precise control over water flow, which is important in firefighting situations where water pressure and volume need to be carefully managed. Ball valves, gate valves, and check valves are also used in firefighting equipment, but they are not typically used to control water flow through hoses.
Is the CPS HR Fire Exam Hard?
In short, yes, the CPS HR Firefighter Test is a difficult test because it requires applicants to have a strong foundation in several key areas. Only 20% of candidate's pass the test on the first try. It will likely be hard to walk into the exam with no prior preparation as many of the content areas are very specific. We advise studying extra for the mechanical portion. Take a look at this CPS Firefighter Test Prep.
What Score Do You Need to Pass the CPS Firefighter Exam?
A passing score of 70 or higher is usually required to pass the CPS Firefighter Test. That being said, the specific passing score varies from department to department.
What Are Some Municipal Fire Departments Using the CPS Fireman Exam?
Municipal Fire Departments Using the CPS Firefighter Exam:
- City of Welland - Welland Fire Services
- Township of Uxbridge - Uxbridge Fire Department
- City of St. Johns -St. Johns Fire Services
- City of Thorold - Thorold Fire Services
- City of St. Catharines - St. Catharines Fire & Emergency Services
- City of Port Colborne - Port Colborne Fire & Emergency Services
- City of Pembroke - Pembroke Fire Department
- City of Orillia - Orillia Fire Department
- Niagara on the Lake -Niagara on the Lake Fire Department
- City of Niagara Falls - Niagara Falls Fire Department
- City of Milton - Milton Fire Department
- Middlesex County - Middlesex County Fire Department
- Town of Lincoln - Lincoln Fire Department
- Town of Innisfil - Innisfil Fire Services
- Town of Ingersoll - Ingersoll Fire & Emergency Services
- Hamilton International Airport
- Town of Halton Hills - Halton Hills Fire & Rescue
- Haldimand County -Haldimand County Fire Services
- Town of Grimsby -Grimsby Fire and Emergency Services
- Township of Georgina - Georgina Fire Service
- Fort Erie - Fort Erie Fire Rescue
- Town of Deep River - Deep River Fire Services
- Town of Collingwood - Collingwood Fire Department
- Chippewas of Rama First Nation - Chippewas of Rama First Nation Fire and Emergency Services
- Canadian Armed Forces
- City of Burlington - Burlington Fire Department
How Can You Prepare for CPS's Firefighter Test?
With each year the fire recruitment process becomes increasingly more competitive. Firefighting is a secure and meaningful job. Don't let failing the CPS HR Firefighter Test be the reason you don't land the job you have always wanted. The CPS Entry Firefighter Test is quite long at two and a half hours and covers difficult content. We recommend preparing with this Comprehensive Firefighter Test Prep which includes practice test questions which directly mimic those on the real exam, full score reports, and study guides.
What Is the Firefighter Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)?
In addition to the firefighter written exam, most firefighting agencies also require applicants to pass a Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT). The Firefighter Physical Test is a physical test consisting of 8 events designed to assess a candidate's physical ability to perform essential job tasks at fire scenes. It has a maximum time limit of 10 minutes and 20 seconds and requires candidates to wear appropriate firefighting clothing and equipment. The events and distances are usually the same, but the course layout will vary for each fire department's CPAT testing. The 8 events in the Firefighter Physical Test are:
- Stair Climb
- Hose Drag
- Equipment Carry
- Ladder Raise and Extension
- Forcible Entry
- Ceiling Breach and Pull
What Is the Gledhill Shaw OS Firefighter Test?
Another widely used Firefighter test is the Gledhill Shaw OS Firefighter Test or the Occupational Specific Firefighter (OSFF) Test. Gledhill/Shaw Enterprise Ltd. provides firefighter tests for various Fire Departments, including the Written Aptitude Test, the Written Assessment Test, and the Physical Test. The Written Assessment Test, also known as the Occupational Skills Assessment or the Occupational Specific Firefighter Test (OSFF), is a computer-based test that assesses essential functional characteristics needed for firefighter performance. This test includes emergency response scenarios, workplace-related questions, and basic mathematical and logical reasoning. You will have 2 hours and 15 minutes to complete 250 questions. Prepare for the OS Firefighter Aptitude Test with this OS Firefighter Practice Test.