1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    DUH!!! No kidding. It was realized a long time ago that there is a whole bunch of down time. So let the guys sleep and don't pay them as much. That is how a whole bunch of guys can work two full time jobs. Cities accepted the risk of allowing fire fighters to sleep on duty so they could save the 10 minutes or so it would take them to get there. Back then they didn't know about he risk of being brought out of a dead sleep and then responding. Studies show it takes roughly 15 minutes to get to full performance when coming out of a sleep.

    The bigger issues wasn't that he was sleeping but that he failed to do his job.
    Using your logic, they should have suspended him longer for that.
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    Using your logic, they should have suspended him longer for that.
    You lost me. I stated it takes about 15 minutes for anyone to come out of a state of sleep. That is just the way the human body works. We sleep in 90 minute cycles, shortly into the sleep cycle you go into a deep sleep and then come back to a shallow sleep before repeating the cycle.

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    Based on what I read in the newspaper article...

    He failed to meet his job requirements and was punished.

    Seems like there has to be some consequences, if it was appropriate or not, I don't know.

    A lot goes into that answer. Past disciplinary practices and job performance could affect the punishment.

    It certainly doesn't look good for the department, and as a well respected emailer more or less pointed out, the way the department handled it in the press leaves a lot to be desired.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    You lost me. I stated it takes about 15 minutes for anyone to come out of a state of sleep. That is just the way the human body works. We sleep in 90 minute cycles, shortly into the sleep cycle you go into a deep sleep and then come back to a shallow sleep before repeating the cycle.
    Exactly. You can't will yourself into doing or not doing something while you are sleeping yet you advocate that he failed to do his job. Perhaps everyone at the fire should be disciplined as well for not operating to full capacity for 15 minutes.
    RK
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Not knowing all the facts, I'll reserve any personal judgement on the guy...however, pretty embrassing to say the least! Can you image the flaming he is in for by his guys?

    I witnessed this happening early on in my career. We got tapped out on a first due box and we left quarters as a station pretty much at the same time. The BC's quarters were in a separate building out back and we usually did not see them pull out. We did, however, usually hear them on the radio checking in. Turned out to be a false alarm. Enroute back to quarters, the BC passed us going code 3 enroute to the call! Knowing this guy pretty well, and the fact that he typically beats us out of quarters, we all knew that he was caught napping pretty hard. We got back to quarters and "relocated" his bunk to the front apron. Bed, nightstand, lamp and alarm clock. It was set up just as he had left it ensuring that the next call he would be fully alerted to when we were leaving quarters. That's all it took. At shift change, nothing was said and the issue was never brought up again. The BC made sure we had a good meal the next swing and he never got caught napping through a call afterwards. Turns out, he developed a severe case of sleep apnea a couple years later and passed away in his sleep while on vacation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    Exactly. You can't will yourself into doing or not doing something while you are sleeping yet you advocate that he failed to do his job. Perhaps everyone at the fire should be disciplined as well for not operating to full capacity for 15 minutes.

    If you can't do that then don't sleep. DUH!!!!!! Sleeping on the job is a privilege, not a right.

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    Turns out, he developed a severe case of sleep apnea a couple years later and passed away in his sleep while on vacation.
    That is my point. What you guys did was pretty funny, but you knew the Chief was OK. In the other case, the Chief could have been lying at the bottom of the stairs after he fell. No one knew, apparently, if he was OK.

    The Chief doesn't stop being a brother once he is promoted. It's true, that the relationship is different, but he is still a fire fighter. We should watch out for our own, no matter what.

    I am not excusing his actions. If this was a chronic type of thing, than the punishment may very well be appropriate. Also, maybe the guy is a complete jerk who nobody likes. But the punishment should have been secondary to ensuring his well being.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    If you can't do that then don't sleep. DUH!!!!!! Sleeping on the job is a privilege, not a right.
    Unless you're working a 24-hour shift, in which case you want your firefighters to be well-rested. Imagine the negative consequences of having guys run calls, train, check the rigs, etc. all day and then requiring that they stay awake until shift change.

    It's begging for trouble.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    If you can't do that then don't sleep. DUH!!!!!! Sleeping on the job is a privilege, not a right.
    In some cases, sleeping on the job may be a privilege. I'm not sure whether or not is a right, however I do know that there are provisions in the labor laws that require a rest period (i.e. sleeping) under specific circumstances.

    You really should move on to something else to complain about. It's pretty clear that you simply don't get that firefighting as an occupation just isn't like many other jobs and therefore work conditions won't be just like many other jobs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by battlecomedown View Post
    Unless you're working a 24-hour shift, in which case you want your firefighters to be well-rested. Imagine the negative consequences of having guys run calls, train, check the rigs, etc. all day and then requiring that they stay awake until shift change.

    It's begging for trouble.
    Careful saying that. Do you want John Q Public to know you need to rest on the job. They will then think you should be working 8 hour shifts so you can rest on your own time

    FYI, I work in a 24 x 7 Security operation. In order to maintain alertness and competency we are not allowed to work more than 12 hours at a time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    In some cases, sleeping on the job may be a privilege. I'm not sure whether or not is a right, however I do know that there are provisions in the labor laws that require a rest period (i.e. sleeping) under specific circumstances.

    You really should move on to something else to complain about. It's pretty clear that you simply don't get that firefighting as an occupation just isn't like many other jobs and therefore work conditions won't be just like many other jobs.
    I'm not complaining at all, just pointing out that if the Chief can’t sleep on duty and still do his job then he either needs to find a new job or not sleep on the job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Careful saying that. Do you want John Q Public to know you need to rest on the job. They will then think you should be working 8 hour shifts so you can rest on your own time
    I think most of the public is already aware that firefighters do sleep for a portion of their shift. Most reasonable people have no problem with us having a set period of the day during which we are allowed to sleep (for us it's 2100-0700 the next morning), realizing that we are usually running calls during said period. Those that think we have it too easy and should reman awake for 24 hours probably won't be convinced otherwise by any argument.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Careful saying that. Do you want John Q Public to know you need to rest on the job. They will then think you should be working 8 hour shifts so you can rest on your own time

    FYI, I work in a 24 x 7 Security operation. In order to maintain alertness and competency we are not allowed to work more than 12 hours at a time.
    There is a reason most places dont work 8 hour shifts....and it has little to do with rest. A clown like you wouldnt understand any of that though.
    Proud East Coast Traditionalist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by battlecomedown View Post
    I think most of the public is already aware that firefighters do sleep for a portion of their shift. Most reasonable people have no problem with us having a set period of the day during which we are allowed to sleep (for us it's 2100-0700 the next morning), realizing that we are usually running calls during said period. Those that think we have it too easy and should reman awake for 24 hours probably won't be convinced otherwise by any argument.
    Did that often while in the military. I ended up in a situation where there were just 5 of us eligible to pull CQ duty. Got the duty once a week and just about every other weekend. The function was to answer the phone, watch the door to make sure unauthorized personnel did not gain entry, wake up the troops in the morning, or get them up when we went on alert. It was relegated to e-5’s and e-6’s. Falling asleep meant you no longer got the duty because you would no longer be an e-5.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    There is a reason most places dont work 8 hour shifts....and it has little to do with rest. A clown like you wouldnt understand any of that though.
    Why not 12 hour shifts?

    But really, what are the reasons? Makes it easier to hold a second job?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Did that often while in the military. I ended up in a situation where there were just 5 of us eligible to pull CQ duty. Got the duty once a week and just about every other weekend. The function was to answer the phone, watch the door to make sure unauthorized personnel did not gain entry, wake up the troops in the morning, or get them up when we went on alert. It was relegated to e-5’s and e-6’s. Falling asleep meant you no longer got the duty because you would no longer be an e-5.
    Good job. But, all of these duties sound relatively undemanding. Imagine coming into work at 0700, checking the rig(s), performing general station duties, running 8-10 calls, some of which are protracted med., HAZMAT or MVC situations, cooking dinner, catching an apartment fire and then having to make it to 0745 (relief) with no sleep.

    If your house is struck by lighting at 0300, and your attic catches fire, do you want the crews responding to have caught a nap (at least), or would you rather deal with some jokers that are loopy and stressed out from having to drink coffee all day because they aren't allowed to rest while on shift?

    And how would a department that doesn't allow its firefighters to sleep explain the MVCs that result from these worn out dudes drifting off while driving home?

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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    There is a reason most places dont work 8 hour shifts....and it has little to do with rest. A clown like you wouldnt understand any of that though.
    Actually NYCK, anything over 8 hours normal shift is the exception, not the rule. FF, Military will work 24s, Oilpatch & const may work 10 or 12s. Simple fact is that no one working 24 will be at optimal alertnessor cognitive awareness 24 straight. Thus there are a lot of different allowances made in respect to the fire service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BryanLoader View Post
    Actually NYCK, anything over 8 hours normal shift is the exception, not the rule. FF, Military will work 24s, Oilpatch & const may work 10 or 12s. Simple fact is that no one working 24 will be at optimal alertnessor cognitive awareness 24 straight. Thus there are a lot of different allowances made in respect to the fire service.
    I think he was speaking of the fire service when he said most places don't work 8 hour shifts.

    Being that this a discussion about a Firefighter, on a message board populated mostly by Firefighters.

    But I could be wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sfd1992 View Post
    I think he was speaking of the fire service when he said most places don't work 8 hour shifts.

    Being that this a discussion about a Firefighter, on a message board populated mostly by Firefighters.

    But I could be wrong.
    You probably are correct. I don't know of any FD working straight 8s. My apologies for misunderstanding.

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    does that mean we get meal breaks where we get to shut down the company? You know since breaks are required by law in many states for "normal" jobs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by battlecomedown View Post
    Good job. But, all of these duties sound relatively undemanding. Imagine coming into work at 0700, checking the rig(s), performing general station duties, running 8-10 calls, some of which are protracted med., HAZMAT or MVC situations, cooking dinner, catching an apartment fire and then having to make it to 0745 (relief) with no sleep.
    OK, Imagine getting up at 5:30. Working all day until 17:00. Then you don't get off duty until 7:00. Oh yea, on those days during the month when you happened to be on CQ and you went on alert, You didn't get to sleep all that day either. More than once I was up all night and then drove truck the next day. And I only bring this up to show that I did it. I don’t want to hear the walk a mile thing.....

    If your house is struck by lighting at 0300, and your attic catches fire, do you want the crews responding to have caught a nap (at least), or would you rather deal with some jokers that are loopy and stressed out from having to drink coffee all day because they aren't allowed to rest while on shift?

    And how would a department that doesn't allow its firefighters to sleep explain the MVCs that result from these worn out dudes drifting off while driving home?

    Simple solution. Work 12 or 14 hour shifts.

    From Fire Chief Shift change An article writtne 10 years ago.

    An article written 10 years ago.

    Although it requires no additional staff, the 10/14 schedule offers a variety of advantages and opportunities.

    Improved safety. Fatigue is a major factor in personnel safety. A physically and mentally challenging incident in the early hours of a 24-hour shift could subject fire personnel to injury or even death due to fatigue and decreased alertness at an incident that occurs later during the same shift. In addition, when personnel must handle multiple incidents during a single shift, the competence of the crews and the quality of service may be compromised. For example, is it in the best interest of someone needing sophisticated care to be the crew's 20th patient during a shift?

    The 10/14 shift can provide relief for fatigued and extremely busy individuals and crews through proper rest periods at the end of the 10- or 14-hour duty shift.

    Reduced sick leave time and overtime pay. Assuming that most employees are absent for a one-day period, implementing the 10/14 schedule can reduce sick leave time and overtime pay. On the first day of the absence, non-job-related illness and injury will result in a 10- or 14-hour absence from the scheduled work shift rather than 24 hours. If a department chooses to pay an employee overtime rather than run short, it will only have to pay for a split shift rather than a 24-hour one.

    Improved quality of life for personnel. Employees who work the 24-hour shift often complain that the schedule limits family contact. The 10/14 duty shift allows more frequent family contact opportunities, including eating dinner together if travel time to and from work is minimal.

    Increased productivity. Certain gains that aren't possible on the 24-hour shift can be achieved on the 10/14 duty schedule. With the exception of emergency response activities, the work day on the 24-hour shift terminates at 1700 and personnel go on a readiness/stand-by mode. Job-related activities from 1800 to 2200 hours, such as training, vehicle/building maintenance, code enforcement, public education, record-keeping and administrative tasks are an example of legitimate activities. There's no need for "make work" projects, as there's enough work to be done that will improve the organization.

    Improved project management. A split shift offers more continuity than a day-on, day-off arrangement. Personnel can be scheduled for four consecutive days, allowing them to complete projects more quickly.
    24-Hour Shifts May Endanger Patients and Employees From 2007

    In July 2006, Austin/Travis County (Texas) EMS changed its work schedules after seeing the results of a study in which EMS employees wore sleep/wake monitors on their wrists to determine their alertness levels and “micro sleep” periods (when people sleep briefly while appearing to be awake).

    ATCEMS presented some results of that study, which was conducted by Circadian Technologies Inc., a company that works with Harvard Medical School, on a poster at the Pinnacle Forum in St. Petersburg Beach, Fla., Aug. 8. The poster reported that 64% of ATCEMS paramedics found it “difficult” or “very difficult” to stay awake during 24-hour shifts, and 61.8% felt their health would improve with shorter shifts.

    According to ATCEMS Assistant Director Chris Callsen, the study revealed some other troubling findings, including that 44% of the medics reported nodding off several times a month during their shifts, 29% said they provide less than optimal patient care near the end of a 24-hour shift, 50% had accidents or near misses due to fatigue and 5% had fallen asleep while driving an ambulance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BryanLoader View Post
    Actually NYCK, anything over 8 hours normal shift is the exception, not the rule. FF, Military will work 24s, Oilpatch & const may work 10 or 12s. Simple fact is that no one working 24 will be at optimal alertnessor cognitive awareness 24 straight. Thus there are a lot of different allowances made in respect to the fire service.
    There has actually been a lot of research on this showing that schedules other than the 24 hour schedule or better for the employees and the public they serve. One of my biggest fears is that I need an ambulance at 5 or 6 am. Given the option I would wait until 7 to get the fresh alert guys. Problem is you don’t usually get the option.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    does that mean we get meal breaks where we get to shut down the company? You know since breaks are required by law in many states for "normal" jobs.
    Yes, it’s called rehab. Or you do like we do; we stagger our meals, that way someone is always on. And when it gets busy, we take late meals.

    Or you could model it after the retail industry. The stores never close and they all get their lunch breaks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    I'm not complaining at all, just pointing out that if the Chief can’t sleep on duty and still do his job then he either needs to find a new job or not sleep on the job.
    Call it whatever you want, but you've made more than one comment on these forums questioning our work conditions (like sleeping on duty) because a person can't do the same things at other jobs.

    I understand the point you are trying to make, but it seems to assume that this is a chronic situation for this person. I haven't seen any information presented to show a pattern of behavior other than that he routinely responds to his calls, thus making your comments inappropriate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    I understand the point you are trying to make
    YOU DO???

    Welcome to the forums, Dr. Doolittle!


    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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