Physical Test Scholarships Available For City Firefighter Applicants

News release from Mayor Joe Ganim:

Mayor Joe Ganim and Bridgeport Fire Chief Richard Thode are announcing today that $175 scholarships are available to cover the cost of the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) for Bridgeport residents who can show financial need. To encourage and assist qualified applicants who live in Bridgeport, the Civil Service Department will issue 150 scholarships to cover the cost of the required CPAT exam. The applicants must first receive their national CPAT certification before applying for the Bridgeport Fire Department.

“Your financial background should not hinder you from applying to be a Bridgeport Firefighter,” said Mayor Ganim. “In Bridgeport we are doing all we can to eliminate any challenges for residents to apply to be a firefighter. This is a chance for our residents, who reflect the diversity of our city, to have the opportunity to serve their very own neighbors.”

Bridgeport Fire Chief Thode said, “We welcome all people who fit the qualification to apply for the scholarship. It is a national standard but we recognize it can be costly for those who are disadvantaged. As a department, we will do everything we can to lend a helping hand for those desiring to make in difference in our community and start a great career.”

Scholarships are available on a first-come, first-served basis to assist Bridgeport residents only. Registration for the CPAT is now open and will be until March 9, 2019. Once the CPAT is passed, an applicant will be allowed to take the BFD written exam. Applications for the BFD will be open on April 22, 2019.

To qualify for this assistance, an applicant must: (1) Be a resident of the City of Bridgeport (2) Meet financial need requirements and provide proof (3) Demonstrate community service/involvement (4) Attend a minimum of four CPAT training sessions at 236 Evergreen Street training facility in Bridgeport (at no cost to the applicant).

For more information on the CPAT scholarship or BFD, go to



  1. Mayor Ganim, are you for real, NOT one women on the Bridgeport Fire Department had to pass Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) to get hired to be a firefighter, NOT one, plus again NO women have been hired in 11 years since the City started using CPAT. NO WOMEN HAVE BEEN HIRED IN 11 YEARS AS FIREFIGHTERS.

    “Your financial background should not hinder you from applying to be a Bridgeport Firefighter,” said Mayor Ganim. “In Bridgeport we are doing all we can to eliminate any challenges for residents to apply to be a firefighter. This is a chance for our residents, who reflect the diversity of our city, to have the opportunity to serve their very own neighbors.” Mayor Gainm you are a lair, you don’t give a damn about DIVERSITY, Joe what is the magic about CPAT? Joe, why doesn’t Hartford and New Haven use CPAT, they have no problem hiring women to become firefighters?

    1. Brother Ron,

      New Haven does use the CPAT, their version and they administer it. Their modification is the sledge hammer. Instead of swinging baseball style their version requires you to swing between your legs.

      My cousin, a woman passed the CPAT and scored in the mid 80’s with BFD. She never made it in.

      1. Eric Alicea, New Haven does not use the CPAT, all fire departments have some type of physical ability test but CPAT is one certain type of physical ability test with no modification.

  2. I find it disengenous on the part of the women, two Black and a Latina to work on a recruitment drive to hire women using CPAT when not one of them were hired using this discriminatory hiring practice. You ladies need to be ashamed of yourselves. Have you forgotten how hard the fight was to bring your sorry asses on the job and now you have no problem in cutting the throat of future women that aspire to be firefighters. You ladies need to be ashamed of yourselves.

    Mayor Ganim, you need to be ashamed of yourself for continuing to use a standard that has nothing to do with one’s ability to be a firefighter. You put those women of color in the forefront to push this bullshit hiring agenda knowing full well that each and every one of them has succeeded as firefighters even though none has passed CPAT. Then you profess that you are doing all we can to eliminate any challenges for residents to apply to be a firefighter, yet CPAT has proven to be the biggest hindrance to hiring since bigotry and discrimination was the tool used by the City of Bridgeport in the 70’s to keep Black’s off the BFD. Mayor Ganim you should be ashamed of yourself!

    Black folks remember this when it comes time to elect your next mayor. Are you going to vote for a Mayor with a slave plantation mentality or anyone else because anyone is better than this plantation owner. You need to be ashamed of yourself Mayor Ganim!

  3. You are absolutely correct Ron when you say that New Haven does not use CPAT. The fact is New Haven has never used CPAT and Hartford did briefly until they realized how detrimental it was in their ability to hire a diverse department with the inclusion of women who are a valuable asset to any department. It’s as you said New Haven and every other city uses some sort of physical agility exam for new recruits just as Bridgeport did prior to David Dunn bringing this discriminatory hiring practice to Bridgeport with the grace and approval of both mayor’s Finch and Ganim.

    Shame on you Mayor Ganim, shame on you Black and Latina women firefighters, shame on you Firebird Society, shame on you David Dunn, shame on all of you for signing off on an exam that you all know is discriminatory to women and their dream of being a Bridgeport firefighter. Shame on of you dream killers.

  4. Erica, let me offer you a little history on CPAT. Ron and I met with Fire Chief Edward Casares retired chief of the Hartford Fire Department before he retired. We asked about CPAT and if Hartford was still using it as a physical agility exam. He told us hell no.

    Chief Casares went on to tell us he became concerned when young athletic Black and Latino males would come to him and say they failed CPAT and he was wondering how is that possible when he saw young fat white males who did pass. He went on to tell us that he was deeply concerned when after over 40 consecutive years women were being hired then all of a sudden no women were being hired because they couldn’t pass CPAT. He said he went to the State Fire Academy which is the only place in the State where one can get CPAT certified and looked around to find clarity. What he noticed was that everyone in Administration and everyone that was administering CPAT didn’t look like us or him, meaning Black and Latino and that passing or failing CPAT was contingent upon some white kid pushing a stop watch fast or slow and that there we no checks and balances or no transparency with respect to the results.

    Chief Casares said that when he returned to Hartford the first thing he did was to remove Hartford from this process and that after removing Hartford they were again able to hire qualified women for the fire Service. While he never ever accused the Fire Academy of misconduct he thought that Hartford would be better served with a process that included women which for over 40 years have been a valuable asset to his department, one that he felt should continue.

    Bridgeport like the State Fire Academy has only had white Administrators or Chief’s and the city would be better served if like Hartford they quit using CPAT. Women have a valued place in the fire Service one that went unabated until David Dunn was placed in a position that he wasn’t qualified to do. As a Lieutenant and a Captain on the Bridgeport Fire Department I’ve had the pleasure of working with women during my tenure and all without exception have been great firefighters that served with distinction. There’s a place in the Fire Service for women, just not under the watch of David Dunn and Mayor Ganim.

    1. Don, as you recall Chief Casares gave us the name of the testing company that does their physical agility testing and all of the information concerning the test. We gave that information to Mayor Ganim and his team and they did nothing. The Bridgeport Fire Department in its history has NEVER had a female who was hired by passing CPAT, NEVER.

      Don, here are the 13 women on the Bridgeport City Council with Aidee Nieves, the City Council President, Christina B. Smith, Denese Taylor-Moye, Jeanette Herron, Michelle A. Lyons
      AmyMarie Vizzo-Paniccia, Mary A. McBride-Lee, Rosalina Roman-Christy, Maria Zambrano Viggiano, Maria I. Valle, Karen Jackson, Nessah J. Smith and Eneida L. Martinez and they all have been silent, they have no problem with the City NOT hiring women to become firefighters. The movement for women seem to skip over Bridgeport. Why is it that women can get hired to the police department, Here we have the highest elected women for the Bridgeport and they are in the majority on the council and aren’t even curious why NO women have been hired in 11 years as firefighters. Now come election time they need those women to put them back into office.


Leave a Reply