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  • 24 hr shift questions

    I'm writing because our union body is debating whether to switch to a 24 hr schedule. I welcome everyone's opinion on it either pro or con vs. the day 2 night shift, so I can bring the correct info to the table.
    Overtime amounts and how they are handled are especially welcome.

    Why is nobody writing? Is there no opinions out there about when and how you work?

    [This message has been edited by als799 (edited 03-21-2001).]

  • #2
    I'm vollie fire, but work for an EMS agency. We work 24 hr shifts. I am for them. We have a rotating sched. You work on day off two then work and off three. The medics move forwards one day a month (ex. Tues/Sat to Wed/Sun)and the EMTs move back, that way you have different partners each month. The shifts are not that bad (avg 8-12 calls per shift, but don't have anything planned for the day after a busy overnite, zzzzzzzzz. As far as pay, we are paid for our full shift cause we are usually busy overnite. 40 hrs straight, 8 hrs overtime (time&1/2)per wk. All co. around have different pay policies, some pay ot others don't, some only pay for 16 or 20 hrs a shift if your not busy overnite. It is nice to have 5 days a wk off if you have family, second job etc, but like I said, you do have to sleep.


    • #3
      We work 24 on and 48 off here in Richmond. I like it pretty well. Most of the other guys do too.

      Personally, everyday I work is like friday. I'm off for the next two days. Some of the other guys have their own busines, or they work for the local EMS.

      I know of other FD's that work 10's and 14's. And some like that better because of family reasons, and one does not have to burn 24 hours of vacation time if he wants a day off. But then again, take off one day with the 24/48, and it turns into a mini vacation!

      Don't know if this will help, but I hope some of it will.

      Good luck.

      Eng. Co. 9

      "In all of us there are heroes... speak to them and they will come forth."

      "In order for us to achieve all that is demanded of us, we must regard ourselves as greater than we are."


      • #4
        I've worked for a couple of departments that paid for entire 24 with OT accumulated over 40. My current department has the screwiest system I've heard of, we get paid for 17 hours unless we get a call at night, then we get our 17 plus whatever time we are up. If we have a call between 1 am and 3 am, we get the whole 24, even if we're only up for 15 minutes, because we can't get four hours of uninterrupted sleep. The department that I am applying with has another unusual interpretation of FLSA. They assume that you will get two hours for meals each shift and eight hours of sleep / down time. They pay for the whole 24, but only 14 goes toward OT. So, if you work three shifts in one week, you get 72 hours straight time, but only two hours OT.

        I can't imagine working any other schedule after working 24s for so long. I currently work a Kelly schedule. The department I'm applying with works 24 on, 48 off. One thing you definitely want to consider is shift trades. Do you allow them? Who tracks them? How soon do you have to pay them off? You can't imagine how important this issue becomes.


        • #5
          I am assuming you work a 42 hour work week being from the Northeast. There are benefits both for the members and for the city. I think everyone wins.

          First is the 24 on 72 off. With 72 hours off, you get to spend quality time with your family and/or your second job. You don't have to worry about cutting your day short to go back for the night shift. You also get to recuperate after a hard nights work. This is beneficial to the city because you won't be banging off sick as much--less overtime.

          There is also a benefit for the Training Division. If they want to present something to all four tours, it will take 7 day shifts to reach all four tours on the shift you work now. With 24's, it takes only 4 day shifts to come in contact with all four tours.

          There are more benefits but it is time for me to go to bed. If you need further info, email me and I will see if I can get you more of what you want.

          In my opinion 24/72 is the way to go. You will say to yourself,"Why didn't we try for this earlier?"

          Kevin M. Fitzhenry, [email protected]
          Firefighter, Truck Co. 2
          City of Bayonne (NJ) FD


          • #6
            Overtime is handled by splitting the shifts. you will get either a 10 hour day shift over time or a 14 hour night shift overtime. That is another + for the members. If someone does call out sick and OT is required, 2 members will get paid as opposed to one.

            But like I said, OT will probably get reduced. That is why so many departments work the 24's.


            • #7
              First off paid I am EMS only at this time. We work 24 on and 48 off. I personally like this set up. It is easy for the guys that have other jobs to work them too. The only draw back is if you you have a busy day and night you are real tired at the end of the shift. Our pay scale is regular pay for the first 40 hours of the week and everything after that is time and a half, we et paid for the whole shift regardless of call volume, I have worked 36 hour shifts before on one of our units and not run a single call the whole shift, then again I have run on our busier units and run 10 emergency calls plus some transfers and been dead tired. I have never heard of not paying you at night if you are not on a call, that system sounds really bad to me, you are away from your friends and family, but that is just an opinion.


              • #8
                the schedule we work now is 2 10 hour days then 2 14 hour nights with 96 hours off.
                The shift we are thinking about is 24 on, 24 off, 24 on 5!! days off. I've seen a lot off posts about 24 on 48 off but not 5 days is there anyone out there that works this schedule?


                • #9
                  I work the 10 and 14 shift but I do know of a Canadian Department that does work the on off, on, off 5 shift. I don't know of any advantages to the municipality but I know that the guys love it! The only draw back with their arrangement they do not get time in lieu of holidays worked they only get paid in dollars. I believe that they can break up a shift too for a duty exchange. One of the largest departments in Canada just voted for the 24 hour shift but it was declined by administration at this time.


                  • #10
                    One on/One off/One on/5 off!!

                    Sign me up.

                    In the midwest very few depts work a 42 hour week. Most all of us are assigned to the 3 platoon/56 hour avg week schedule.
                    We happen to work one on/one off/one on/one off/one on/4 off = 56 hrs avg week

                    One on/two off = 56 hrs avg a week. The union will want to come to an explicit FLSA agreement on how the hours will be counted. For example there is none of the "meals don't count towards OT" stuff here, although they do average our hours over a 27 day FLSA cycle and subtract vacation/sick hours from the avg when figuring our OT. Many depts near us get a "kelly" day or "garcia" day instead of OT to bring avg down to 53.

                    I also worked a number of years for an EMS service where we worked a rotating schedule of 8's/12's/16's and 24's to get 40 hour weeks. As a younger man I liked the 24 hours shifts and the time off. Now with a family and little "go juice" left, I prefer shorter shifts and being home in my own bed more often.

                    Good luck


                    • #11

                      I work the 24 on, 24 off, 24 on and 5 off. I love the schedule. I used to work 24 / 72 but it's just not as good. It still averages 42 hours per week. One week's vacation equals 13 days off straight. Two weeks equals 21 days off....... It is nice. We split the OT like stated before with 10 hr. days and 14 hr. nights.

                      I have this question to ask that no one has ever answered even though I have asked it many times here. Why should I be asked to work 50+ hours per week as a normal schedule when the national average for our citizens is 40 hours. Why should I give up more time with my family and friends than anyone else. Being allowed to sleep at teh job is not an excuse. Everyone else knows that it is not a guarantee to be able to sleep.

                      I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it. You can't prove anything.


                      • #12
                        We work a 2 unit system here which everyone really loves. It's an excellent working schedule. This is the way it works.

                        1 day on, 1 day off, 1 day on, 3 days off. Once a month you get 5 days in a row off and once every 6 months you get 9 days in a row off. Comes out to a 48 hour workweek. I'm not sure what your total work week is, if it's 42 add an extra 5 days straight off a month.

                        This requires 288 on duty firefighters to cover 72 apparatus. With furloughs, extra furloughs and such each unit is about 326 total. Unfortunately here they have not hired enough personnel yet to staff every apparatus with 4. Hopefully they will reach that number by next summer.

                        The city considered a 3 platoon system a few years back, 1 on, 1 off, 1 on,1 off,1 on 5 off and found they would have to hire 28% more personnel. Which was good, because we like the system we have. It fits well with furloughs and other off time benefits.

                        You would have to estimate the average number of personnel off duty sick and injured to come to a complete number if you want a staffing of 4 per apparatus. I don't know your departments situation.

                        Like I said everyone here loves it and does not want to see it changed. With the furloughs and other off time benefits we average working around 98 days a year, if you don't use any sick time.

                        If you need exact information, I think our union, L-344 would be more than happy to give you the numbers you would need. Give it some thought. It is an excellent system. You can contact them at 313-962-7546.

                        [This message has been edited by FireLt1951 (edited 03-23-2001).]

                        [This message has been edited by FireLt1951 (edited 03-23-2001).]


                        • #13
                          We just switched last July to a 24/48 24/96 schedule. These are the reasons we used to convince the town and our members.

                          No 2 night shifts in a row, prevents being a pile of s**t on your first day off.

                          No nightshift after banging nails all day, or pulling wire, or whatever. Crew comes in at 08:00 fresh, and doesn't leave until the next am.

                          Better oportunity for training/projects to be completed. You don't have the 6:00pm deadline.

                          We worked the 2/2 and 4 schedule, so we kept the same amount of time off in the big block.

                          The two days in the middle allow you to regroup if you get pounded.

                          Overall there have been very few complaints. In fact some of the departments around us that work the 24/24 24/120 are looking at this schedule as the way to go.

                          The other problem it avoids is the temporary amesia caused by 5 days off in a row, or the day shift sickcall that is common to only having 1 day off in between.

                          We still split or overtime into 10 and 14's, and you can take sick and vacation time the same way.

                          Hope this helps...


                          In Memory of those who have passed before us, may their loss not be in vain........


                          • #14
                            You might want to look at Houston Fire Department, they have a shift calander on their Union page. They work 24 on, 24 off, 24 on, and 5 days off. This averages out to a 36 hour work week, looks like a good system to me.


                            • #15
                              We work 24 on 48 off. thats 24 at the fire house and 48 to work a goos paying job. Not to knock the fire service because we have come a long ways, but we can go a lot further. Pretty much standard around the southeast. Damn good thing too. Not too many people could live comfortably on a fireman salary. Anything overtime starts after 53 hours per week, unless you run at least 80 % EMS calls.For some reason we didnt make that. Hmmm something screwy here(papershuffle). We get paid on 14 day cycle, so they just average our checks every week giving us 106 hours straight time and 6 hours overtime every two weeks. Its alright but i think were getting screwed on that one two.


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