FORT BRANCH, Ind. – A new testing course at the Vincennes University
Gibson County Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics in Fort
Branch is helping aspiring firefighters test their physical capabilities.
The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) is the nationally
recognized standard for measuring an individual’s ability to handle
the physical demands of the firefighting profession. The Gibson County
Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics, 8100 South U.S. Hwy
41 in Fort Branch, is home to a new CPAT course.
Individuals applying for full-time firefighting positions must earn a
“This is a nationally standardized, industry-recognized test,” VU
Business and Industry South Manager Clay Whitaker said. “The Gibson
Center CPAT course is a unique testing option that is needed in the
state and the region.”
Few licensed options are available to the general public in the
Midwest, and the Gibson County Center location is easily accessible
because of its location on U.S. 41 and proximity to interstates 64 and 69.
“To have a CPAT course in southwestern Indiana as opposed to
candidates having to go to Indianapolis to take it is amazing. From
what I’ve seen and heard the course in Gibson County is top notch,”
Vincennes Fire Chief Sonny Pinkstaff said.
The CPAT is a timed obstacle course consisting of eight events
designed to simulate work-related tasks that firefighters might engage
during an emergency such as a hose drag, forcible entry, and ladder
raise and extension. To complete the test successfully, candidates
must finish the course in 10 minutes and 20 seconds.
The course at the Gibson County Center is a great asset to both the
public and VU Fire Science students. VU students can potentially earn
their CPAT card before graduating.
“The CPAT course lets the students understand how challenging both
mentally and physically firefighting can be,” VU Fire Science and
Safety Program Chair Adam Vaal said. “What we as firefighters do in
the field is extremely demanding. Our students train to be capable of
passing this course by doing physical fitness exercises which includes
borrowing weighted vests, up to 75 pounds, so they are ready for the
challenges. Upon completion, the students get a sense of pride and
accomplishment for their hard work. This is an opportunity that no
other university or college can provide to their students when it
comes to a Fire Science Major.”
VU is state-supported with campuses in Vincennes and Jasper, the
Aviation Technology Center and American Sign Language program in
Indianapolis, Early College Career and Technical Education Centers,
and additional sites such as the Gene Haas Training and Education
Center in Lebanon, the Logistics Training and Education Center in
Plainfield, and the Gibson County Center for Advanced Manufacturing
and Logistics in Fort Branch. A leader in developing Early Colleges
statewide, VU also offers instruction at military sites throughout the nation.
In addition to offering a wide range of associate degree and
certificate programs, VU also offers bachelor’s degree programs in
technology, homeland security, nursing, secondary education programs
in mathematics and science, and special education/elementary education.
VU enrolls students from throughout Indiana, 36 other states, and 21
other countries. Tuition and fees are the lowest among Indiana
campuses with residence halls. VU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Founded in 1801, VU is Indiana’s first college and is the only
college in the nation founded by an individual who would later become
President of the United States. William Henry Harrison, the ninth U.S.
President, founded VU while serving as governor of the Indiana
Territory. More information is available at www.vinu.edu.
MARCIA MARTINEZ, University Life Reporter & Sports
Information Director 812-888-4164 office, 314-599-1519 cell,
VUNews@vinu.edu, firstname.lastname@example.org VINCENNES UNIVERSITY,
Department of University Relations, www.vinu.edu/newsroom