Atlanta Fire Department seeks female recruits

Atlanta Fire Department seeks female recruits

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ATLANTA -

Atlanta Fire and Rescue is trying to recruit more female firefighters, but some are having a hard time passing the physical test.

Women are expected to meet the same physical requirements as men.

The step mill is just the first part of an eight-point test that all applicants have to pass.

"If we get a call at a high-rise, we don't take the elevators," said Capt. Alfred Moreland of Atlanta Fire and Rescue. "We take steps. You're going to have about approximately 75 pounds worth of equipment on."

Moreland says the department is actively recruiting female firefighters, but many are having trouble meeting the physical requirements.

"This time around we had three females that came in early. They were able to do it the first time they came. They tested out within third or fourth week," Moreland said.

It takes physical strength and endurance to pass the CPAT. But women aren't the only ones who have difficulty with this test. It's challenging for men as well.

Robert Branham gave it his best shot, but finished 10 seconds shy of the required 10 minutes and 20 seconds to pass.

"You forget how lazy you can be. I could have definitely done some things to make my time a little better today, but you just kind of role with the punches," Branham said.

James Walden, 23,  passed the test with  nearly two minutes to spare.

"I wanted to prove myself from the jump. So, today was a big day for me because at least I can show what I'm made and capable of," Walden said.
    
The CPAT is just the first step in becoming an Atlanta firefighter. Candidates also have to pass an oral interview, a written competency test and a background check.

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