Vincennes University Gibson County Center offering testing for firefighter candidates

Vincennes University Gibson County Center offering testing for firefighter candidates

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November 18, 2019

November 18, 2019 / Vincennes University Gibson County Center offering testing for firefighter candidates

Vincennes University Candidate Physical Ability Test Course Photos

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 CPAT card.

“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.”

For more information or to register, go to

For more information about VU’s Fire Science and Safety degree programs, go to


Clay Whitaker

Manager, Business & Industry South

Vincennes University – Gibson Center for Advanced Manufacturing & Logistics

Office: 812-888-2871


VINCENNES UNIVERSITY - Indiana’s First College

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


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