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  • Work Hours

    I'm not a firefighter....yet! So, I have a ton of questions about the profession. But one my wife is curious abou is what are the hours that firefighters work? I know it's different from dept to dept but I'm trying to get a general idea. I've heard of some doing 24on/24off. But what others are out there?

    Also, what affect does this have on your family/social life? Do you miss a lot of things w/ your family/kids due to your work hours?

    Thanks for the info!

  • #2


    [ 01-15-2002: Message edited by: FIREFLY2420 ]

    Andrew J. LaPrise

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    • #3
      BIGAT,

      I work for a department that is paid on call and has part time firefighters (which are also paid on call) that cover the stations Monday-Sunday 7am-5pm. If we get a structure fire or a major incident they call out the paid on call firefighters. With that being said, being a paid on call firefighter we get called out at all hours of the day.

      Now my brother works full time for a neighboring department and they work M-F 6am-6pm. The full timers only work 4 days a week. They also work on holidays. So you may get stuck working Christmas eve and Christmas day depending on when your day off falls. The good part about it is that you are off by 6pm unless you get a call right before your shift ends.

      We also have area departments that work 24on/24off and everyother day off you get 3 days off. This way you only work 9 days a month. This is the best way because you may be at the station for 24 hours but you are home with your family all day 21 days of the month. Not bad for a $40,000 - $60,000 job. You can even have a second job if you like and the department allows it.

      Now for family/social life. It will take a toll on the wife and kids. They have to get used to the differant schedule and you not being there at night when you are working. Most wives get used to the schedule and some choose not too. The kids will grow into it also. The kids also like telling thier friends that thier daddy is a firefighter. They kids tend to like that.

      I hope I have answered all your questions. I am not a full time firefighter (just a paid on call/part time)but I have a lot of knowledge to how the fire service works as my Father in law just retired as a full time captain and my brother is a full time firefighter.

      Good luck and dont ever give up on a dream.
      Andrew J. LaPrise

      Comment


      • #4
        Big,

        We work 10's and 14's where I am at. Dayshifts are 7a-5p and nights 5p-7a. You work a 2 on/2 off rotation. 2 dayshifts, off 2 days, 2 night shifts, off 2 days and so on. I have to say I like it this way. I also worked 24 hour shifts at a avg. 56hrs a week. And with that we'd get 4 days off every 3 weeks, but you had to work 3 days a week with that. But the 10's and 14's I like just as much and you work 42 hours a week period. Yeah you will miss some things. Especially when you first start, you'll work some holidays. But you have to add up the other days off. Plus a lot of us call our night shifts mental health nights. Gets ya out of the house for a break here and there. But either way many of us do other "things" on our off time. Some have their own contracting business, landscaping, police officers, private EMS work etc. So it all has its perks. The retirement is great for us, 20 years, the pay is great. I can retire when I am 46. Can't say that about a lot places.

        ------------------------------------------------
        THe above is my thoughts/opinions only and doesn't reflect that of any dept/agency I work for, deal with, or am a member of.

        Comment


        • #5
          Big,

          We work 10's and 14's where I am at. Dayshifts are 7a-5p and nights 5p-7a. You work a 2 on/2 off rotation. 2 dayshifts, off 2 days, 2 night shifts, off 2 days and so on. I have to say I like it this way. I also worked 24 hour shifts at a avg. 56hrs a week. And with that we'd get 4 days off every 3 weeks, but you had to work 3 days a week with that. But the 10's and 14's I like just as much and you work 42 hours a week period. Yeah you will miss some things. Especially when you first start, you'll work some holidays. But you have to add up the other days off. Plus a lot of us call our night shifts mental health nights. Gets ya out of the house for a break here and there. But either way many of us do other "things" on our off time. Some have their own contracting business, landscaping, police officers, private EMS work etc. So it all has its perks. The retirement is great for us, 20 years, the pay is great. I can retire when I am 46. Can't say that about a lot places.

          ------------------------------------------------
          THe above is my thoughts/opinions only and doesn't reflect that of any dept/agency I work for, deal with, or am a member of.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you so much for the info! You guys are great! Keep it coming!

            Additional Question: I am going to be applying this week for a part-time position at a local dept. Two questions:
            1) I work a full time job (8 - 4:30). What are the typical part-time hours & will my full time job be a problem? (Obviously, this may depend on the dept., but in general?)
            2) What is the typical pay for a partimer??

            Again, you guys are great! Thanks for the info!!

            BigAT

            Comment


            • #7
              Most depts. around here work 24 on 48 off. We have what are called "Kelly Days" which lower the number of hours worked from an average of 56 hours a week to whatever the collective bargaining agreement states. Some states, like New York have 40 hour work weeks. The Chicago Fire Department works 42. The firefighters work four 24 hour shifts and have every fifth day off. some suburbs have every seventh day off, creating a 48 hour work week. It is interesting to note that firefighters do not receive overtime for regular hours in excess of 40 hours. It only kicks in after 53, or when called in for extra duty. The 24/48 shift is a win-win situation for the employer and employee. The 2 days off are nice.The employer dosent have to add a fourth shift. It takes some getting used to, but it is a good schedule. One big plus is being able to work a "side job" and another is being able to do family,school etc. things during the weekdays. When things are hoppin it makes for a long day on a 24, but not many would change it. (except to go to 40 hours). It can be a plus or a minus in the family /social aspect. Dad not being home for 24 hours etc. But it also makes one appreciate home more when youre gone for a third of your life. Thanks for expressing interest in this subject.
              IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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              • #8
                my county work ft is 7am to 3pm and shift work
                24hour on and 48 hour off.

                if you in my county you school will done at f/t
                hour after that you go to station on 7 to 3 until
                all other trainimg done.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Local department works 3 on 4 off.
                  Works out: X-O-X-O-X-O-O-O-O then back on again. Where I work (about 50 miles south of here) work 4 on 4 off 4 on 6 off.
                  Works out:
                  X-O-X-O-X-O-X-O-O-O-O-X-O-X-O-X-O-X-O-O-O-O-O-O. Works out really nice. Only about a 45 minute commute. Relief comes in at 08:00. Get home about 09:00 with plenty of time to goof in the summer and push snow in the winter.

                  Stay safe,

                  *Mark
                  FTM-PTB-RFB-EGH

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Around here I work a 24 / 48 schedule. But the firefighters at the neighborhood nuke plant work 24 / 72 and start out at almost $60,000 p/year. All that just to sleep in a station nicer than most of their homes. Must be nice to be federal.
                    When the defecation hits the oscillation I'll be there.

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