Ladder Raise & Extension

Event #4


This event uses two 24-foot (7.32-m) fire department ladders. For your safety, a retractable lanyard is attached to the ladder that you raise.

Purpose of Evaluation

This event is designed to simulate the critical tasks of placing a ground ladder at a fire structure and extending the ladder to the roof or window. This event challenges your aerobic capacity, upper body muscular strength, lower body muscular strength, balance, grip strength, and anaerobic endurance.

This event affects your aerobic and anaerobic energy systems as well as the following muscle groups: biceps, deltoids, upper back, trapezius, muscles of the forearm and hand (grip), glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings.


For this event, you must walk to the top rung of the 24-foot (7.32-m) aluminum extension ladder, lift the unhinged end from the ground, and walk it up until it is stationary against the wall. This must be done in a hand over hand fashion, using each rung until the ladder is stationary against the wall. You must not use the ladder rails to raise the ladder.

Immediately proceed to the pre-positioned and secured 24-foot (7.32-m) aluminum extension ladder, stand with both feet within the marked box of 36 inches x 36 inches (91.44 cm x 91.44 cm), and extend the fly section hand over hand until it hits the stop. Then, lower the fly section hand over hand in a controlled fashion to the starting position. This concludes the event. Walk 85 feet (25.91 m) within the established walkway to the next event.

Warnings and Failures

If you miss any rung during the raise, one warning is given. The second infraction constitutes a failure, the test time is concluded and you fail the test. If you allow the ladder to fall to the ground or the safety lanyard is activated because you released your grip on the ladder, the test time is concluded and you fail the test.

If during the ladder extension, your feet do not remain within marked boundary lines, one warning is given. The second infraction constitutes a failure, the test time is concluded and you fail the test. If you do not maintain control of the ladder in a hand over hand manner, or let the rope halyard slip in an uncontrolled manner, your test time is concluded and you fail the test.

Physical Preparation

Ladder Raise: The ideal training for this task requires an actual 12-foot aluminum extension ladder. If this size ladder is unavailable, you can use a single ladder or smaller extension ladder to practice the skill required raising the ladder. Practice of the ladder raise sequence requires the assistance of two adults to “foot” the ladder at its base to prevent it from sliding forward and/or falling during the raise.

In practicing this component (as described in the test directions) it is important to initially move slowly so as to develop the skill and confidence to safely complete the required movements. Be sure to use each rung when raising the ladder to develop the coordination and timing necessary on the CPAT.

Ladder Extension: Task-specific training of the muscles required in the ladder extension can be provided by attaching a rope to a weighted duffel bag or knapsack. Place the rope over a tree branch (or horizontal bar support above a row of playground swings) eight to ten feet above the ground. With hand-over-hand movements steadily raise the bag to the top of the branch or bar and then slowly lower it to the ground.

Start with a weight that you would rate as feeling “somewhat hard,” and perform eight to ten repetitions of the movement. Rest two minutes and repeat the exercise-rest sequence two more times. As your strength improves progressively add more resistance until you can exercise with 40 to 50 pounds of weight.

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Testing Partners

Firefighter Services of Ontario is pleased to partner with the following municipalities, cities and townships throughout Ontario.

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