How Heavy is the Dummy for the CPAT? 

  The CPAT is a test to determine your physical eligibility for becoming a firefighter. One of the 8 required tests is “Rescue,” the dummy used in this exercise weighs 165 pounds. You will be required to lift and drag this Manikin 35 feet, making a 180-degree turn, and drag it an additional 35 feet to the end of the course. The dummy must cross the finish line entirely and in one piece 

A 165-pound dummy, or Manikin, will be used during the Search activity of a CPAT training course. The weight of the dummy or Manikin is designed for firefighters to successfully prove they can rescue the weight of an average person. 

How Heavy is the Dummy for the CPAT? 

Search and Rescue Manikins have been around since the 1950s. The first one was created by a toymaker named Asmund Laerdalher name was “Rescue Annie.” She was the first Manikin used to teach resuscitation techniques. Later in the 1950s, a doctor named Peter Safer created a life-size doll to teach methods of CPR, Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation.  

Today, there are both female and male Manikin’s as well as a baby, toddler, and even a dog Manikin. Each of these provides training to Healthcare providers, Firefighters, EMS, and Police as well as community members in the proper techniques of CPR. Using life-size, life-like Manikins provides individuals the feeling of learning the appropriate methods of this procedure on real people.


Do all Dummies, or Manikins weigh the same? 

The short answer is No. 

Not all Manikins weigh the same. Today there are Manikins of different shapes, sizes, colors, and species. Yes, there is even a dog rescue, Manikin. 

Manikins come in various heights and weights. The adult version ranges from 110 pounds to 198 pounds, and the height varies from 5’9” to 6’2”. These Manikins also come in obese and short sizes for adults.  

The baby Manikin is generally 11 pounds and 2.2 ft long. The toddler Manikin can weigh 22 pounds and be 3 ft long. The youth Manikin is around 44 pounds and about 4.2ft.  

These are not all of the Manikins on the market today. With so many different makers and distributors, height and weight can vary dramatically. Some Manikins come equipped with clothing, and others do not.  

Some are made without clothing and equipped with harnesses, still maintaining an average weight scenario.  

Check out these tips for CLEP:

How Much Does the Dummy Weigh-in CPAT  

The dummy or Manikin used in the CPAT testing is 165 lbs. Although there are several heights and weights of Manikins on the market, the CPAT determined that the unclothed 165 pounds, 6’1″ Manikin would best display a potential firefighter’s ability to rescue an average adult 

The height is above average, which adds a more complicated issue of maneuverability, ensuring that candidates have the proper, strength, dexterity, and coordination to satisfy this challenge.  

How Heavy is the Dummy for the CPAT? 

The weight of the manikins used for CPAT training is that of an average adult, ensuring that candidates can understand the difficulties of dragging an average unconscious adult to safety. 

You must successfully pass this part of the testing to qualify for certification.  

Do Women in CPAT Training use Smaller Dummies? 


Women going through CPAT Training are required to pass the course using the same equipment as their male counterparts. As a female firefighter, if you are involved in a real-life scenario of rescuing victims from a fire, you will not have the ability to pick and choose which fire victims you can save. 

Female candidates will be required to prove their abilities in all aspects of training, in the same way as their male counterparts. Being able to rescue an average weight person, with a slightly above average height ensures you are qualified to be a firefighter. 

Summary of CPAT Training and their Use of Manikins 

CPAT training is not a requirement for all departments. Most Volunteer departments do not require you to pass the certification that CPAT Training provides. Full paid and Combination departments in some regions of the country may require this certification. 

To determine if attending this training is necessary for you to apply to your local fire department, contact the firehouse Chief, he or she will be able to give you the requirements needed for applying. 

CPAT Training uses Manikins as well as other equipment to simulate the possible scenarios that may arise during a call. Manikins have been implemented even in Volunteer firehouses for training on search and rescue as well as EMS CPR training. 

The weight of Manikins is not the only thing you should be thinking about as a potential candidate for becoming a firefighter. There are many pieces of equipment that weigh a significant amount, and others that although may not be as heavy, require the proper strength and endurance to use appropriately and successfully. 

Why is Physical Strength Important in Firefighter qualifications? 

As seen above with the Manikin, it requires physical strength, endurance, coordination, and dexterity to rescue a fire victim and bring them to safety.  

How Heavy is the Dummy for the CPAT? 

Other aspects of physical fitness are just as important. As a firefighter, you will not only be rescuing a possible 165-pound fire victim; you will also be responsible for maneuvering equipment, using different tools for breach’s, to extinguish fires, and a multitude of other things especially during a fully engulfed situation. 

Due to all these different factors, physical fitness is essential to understand as a candidate for becoming a firefighter. Some important things to remember are: 

  • Excess body fat can hinder your ability to perform tasks successfully. 
  • Muscular Strength is vital to your success. It requires strength to complete most tasks involved in being a firefighter. These tasks can include but aren’t limited to: 
  • Pulling Hose 
  • Fastening to Hydrants 
  • Rescuing fire victims 
  • Breaching buildings 
  • Extending Ladders 
  • Muscular Endurance is another vital component to being successful as a firefighter. Tasks that include this can be, but not limited to: 
  • Holding and aiming a hose with 150 to 300 pounds per square inch of water pressure for extended periods. 
  • Running in and out of buildings. 
  • Carrying and using large equipment weighing up to 150 pounds for extended periods. 
  • Ladder climbing while carrying equipment or hoses that are spraying up 300 pounds per square inch of water pressure 
  • Core Strength is used in every aspect of this job. Your core strength determines your ability to perform tasks thoroughly. Proper core strength is necessary for becoming a firefighter. Every assignment and test you will be asked to complete will depend on this, including washing the truck. 
  • Grip Strength is essential in this position. You have to have the ability not only to grab and grip a hose but the ability to hold it without it slipping or getting away from you while there is water spraying from it at up to 300 pounds of pressure per square inch. 
  • Remember, most hoses are 50 feet in length that is up to 180,000 pounds of water pressure at your fingertips. 

Choosing to be a firefighter is one of the most admirable volunteers and career positions for the right candidates. Being a firefighter requires dedication, compassion, determination, flexibility, strength, and so much more. 

Related Questions

Can I be hired full-time for a fire department that requires CPAT Certification if I unable to rescue the Manikin? 

No. If CPAT Certification is required to be a firefighter in the department in question, you MUST PASS ALL physical, psychological, and written parts of the test to qualify. 

Has the use of Manikins always been a part of firefighter training? 

No. Fire Departments have always implemented training, and this included search and rescue. However, there was a time when people were used in the place of Manikins.

How is the CPAT Manikin different than a Mannequin used in a store window? 

There are many differences between a Manikin and a Mannequin. Most of these differences are vital for training purposes. Some of the differences are: 

  • The material they are made of 
  • There are different makers of Manikins, and different materials are used; however, the same idea is involved in each. That is to make the Manikin as human-like as possible. Creating joints that don’t break, using material that can withstand falls, dragging, dropping, and other accidents that may happen. 
  • A mannequin for store usage is made out of fiberglass or plastic. They are meant to be eye-appealing, which gives them the inability to stay intact if dropped, dragged, or during falling incidents. 
  • Manikins, in today’s usage, typically have voices. 
  • There is a modulator within the Manikin that says “Help Me” this allows the firefighter candidates to learn how to listen for someone calling out for help over the roar of the fire. 
  • Manikins are life-sized, anatomically correct figures explicitly used for training purposes. 
  • Mannequins are not necessarily life-sized, or anatomically correct, and are used for show purposes. Mannequins are not designed to stand up to the rigorous training of firefighters, EMS, and Police. 

Related Articles

So You Passed the FSOT – Now What?

To learn how to best prepare and study for your firefighter exam click here.

Free civil service guide. Click here to learn more: 

 Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.