Rescue Dummy Drag, CPAT Event #7

Of all eight events, the Rescue / Dummy Drag might be the most difficult. While some find the Graded Stepmill, or Forcible Entry just as tough, dragging 165 pounds of dead weight 70 feet is no joke. The question FDNY candidates should be asking themselves is, "How do  I prepare for such an event?"

Sandwiched between the Search and Ceiling Breech and Pull, the Dummy Drag will sap lag and grip strength in a hurry. There is a certain methodology that will making dragging easier. Generally speaking, the more of the dummy that can remain in contact with the floor, the less you're actually carrying (harder) than dragging (easier). But this effect isn't consistent with all body types. The taller you are, the harder it is to keep the dummy's weight on the floor. Either way, pulling 165 pounds is an event that needs to be specifically trained for - developing raw pulling power doesn't just happen.

Our gym dummy is constructed from an ingenious system using fire hose and gear. The dummy is dragged horizontally a long a 35 foot runway, around a stationary drum, and back again. Candidates wear a 50 pound vest and heavy fire work gloves to make things that much tougher, simulating test conditions. Students quickly learn how to dig deep, getting more of their legs into the pulling motion.

This is one of the most difficult events to simulate on your own (unless you have a friend that's willing to be dragged seventy feet --- just kidding). But raw pulling power is should always a big part of any firefighter or CPAT prep workout.  At our gym, in addition to actual dummy dragging, candidates also work specifically with explosive pulling, leg, and grip exercises (like kettlebell swings) that also demand a high level of timing.  This teaches you how to use your fully body when dragging a life-sized dummy, and master event #7, the Rescue Dummy Drag. Watch brief video below.

The best grip, leg, and overall pulling exercise I recommend is the kettlebell swing. When performed properly, the swings teaches the lifter to use more legs, while developing grip and breath. Here's a link to a swing video clip: CLICK HERE

For more information on how you can prepare for the FDNY Physical Exam, visit