NEWS RELEASE – Northcentral Technical College (NTC) celebrated its new Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) facility with a ribbon cutting on Tuesday, October 22 at the College’s Public Safety Center of Excellence in Merrill. The center is the only indoor CPAT in Wisconsin and one of few available in the Midwest.

“We are excited to bring this nationally recognized certification to central Wisconsin,” said Lori Weyers ,NTC President. “Aspiring local firefighters who previously traveled to other areas of the state will now be able to train locally. We will also be able to draw candidates from across the country to our state of the art indoor training facility.”

NTC is a licensed administrator of the CPAT in accordance with strict guidelines prescribed by the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC).The CPAT tests the strength and agility of candidates through a series of eight stations.

Starting with a 50 pound weighted vest that simulates a firefighter’s personal protective equipment, CPAT candidates must simulate on the job experiences including climbing 18 flights of stairs with a 25 pound weight that mimics the weight of a hose pack, dragging 100 feet of hose, carrying heavy equipment, extending a ladder, breaking down a heavy door, crawling through a confined space for search and rescue, rescuing a 165 pound mannequin victim and breaching a ceiling in less than 10 minutes and 20 seconds. Firefighter candidates who complete the course earn their CPAT certification, which is required to be considered for full-time firefighter positions.

The NTC Foundation completed a successful $350,000 capital campaign to fund the facility and specialty equipment. Campaign donors Church Mutual Insurance Company and the Bierman Family Foundation were recognized at the ribbon cutting event.

“We are grateful to Church Mutual Insurance Company and the Bierman Family Foundation for their unwavering support and community mindedness,” said Weyers. “Through their generosity, we are able to train the next generation of firefighters who work tirelessly to keep our communities safe.”

Aspiring firefighters can register online to take the CPAT test at the Public Safety Center of Excellence by visiting The registration fee includes two orientation sessions, two time trials and the test date.