1. #1
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    Default Sleeping Accomodations at Paid Firehouses

    Guys,

    We're going through some major growing pains at my department (28 Engines, 8 Ladders, 3 Rescues) in regards to sleeping arrangements. Past administrations didn't account for proper growth, so the dorms are becoming overcrowded.

    Currently, every member has an individual bed, with the dorms divided into cubicles. Our Chief now wants to staff the ladders with five, but the dorms aren't big enough if we did that across 3 platoons.

    Now, some are complaining about having to "hot bunk" or use bunk beds. My stance, shut up and deal with it. To add a 5th man to the trucks would be great, doing so, tell the 3 newest members you'll be hot bunking until you get time on the job. Unfortunately, form is driving function, and the costly resolution is to expand firehouses or rebuild.

    Has anyone else had this problem? If so, what did you do to resolve it? If you don't have this problem, do you "hot bunk" or use bunk beds in your dorms (where you share a bed and just have to take your sheets off it after your shift)?

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    The personal beds went out of our stations years ago. Seemed to open up more room in the bunk rooms, and let us get rid of upper bunks too. Many stations have used lockers to between the beds, giving a feeling of separation between the bunks. The majority of our members simply have a sleeping bag they roll out. We have wooden cabinets under the bunks that are big enough to hold the three sleeping bags or bedrolls that the people sleeping in that bed use.

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    Looks like someone gets the utility room.

    While going for more staffing while everyone else is cutting back, laying
    off, not filling positions, it seems like a silly arguement - where will they sleep.

    I gladly took the utility room once - older station, the old boilers had been pulled out, all that remained was about a fifth of the equipment that used to be there. Did a few visits to local businesses, me and a couple others did the work cleaning it up, painting, etc.

    The only bad thing about the deal? Within 2 weeks there were two more beds set up in the room. Then people started griping why we got the room and not them.

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    Change the sheets in the morning with committee work.

    Guys are upset they don't have their own personal bunk?

    How many men are on duty at any one time?
    +
    A few extra racks for whatever may arrise
    -
    The number of bunks you currently have.
    =
    If this number is negative...you have all the bunks you need and your delima is solved.

    You are welcome.

    FTM-PTB

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    RFDGloWorm,
    Are you currently on the job with Raleigh?
    Were you in the Navy? Was wondering with the "hot bunk" reference.
    Is the GloWorm a "nuke" reference by chance?
    Just curious.

    How do you "hot bunk" if you are all on shift together? Not sure of the reference in your context.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDGloWorm View Post
    (where you share a bed and just have to take your sheets off it after your shift)?
    This is what we have always done.

    Are you expecting to have a personal bed that no one else uses even when you are off duty? I don't know of any fire station that has enough room for a personal bed for every member assigned.

    Are personnel on your department really advocating that 15 beds would be necessary for your 5 man truck companies - assuming you have 3 shifts, so that they are not ever required to sleep in a bed that someone else has slept in? If you guys can complain about this, you must have it aweful good across the board.
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    "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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    I wish my department had over staffing problems! My department you are issued sheets and blanket. You make a bed when the shift starts. When your shift is over your sheets go in a locker. The beds are shared by all shifts. You do not get a personal bed. While we share the beds between shifts it is not really hot racking. With hot racks you typically would be getting in the bed right after it was vacated, while it is still warm from the other guy, thus the term hot rack. So unless members are sleeping in it all day you really aren't hot racking. Most departments I am familiar with do not provide personal beds for each member.

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    Push all the beds together. Problem solved.
    Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

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    Talking

    Oh no Johnny!! Then eastcoast might have to change his definition of "Hot Racking". The stories that would be told!

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    We don't have any dividers between the beds. One big room, beds spaced out against the walls. You bring your own sheets/sleeping bag/whatever. By taking out the 'cubicles' you would open up enough room to fit some more beds in there.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    We have four guys on and have four beds. Everyone provides their own sheets. We are told that with a new addition that everyone on duty will have their own room.

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    Sleep in the pack seats on the rig.

    Strap yourself in and chill.
    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.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    Quote Originally Posted by rm1524 View Post
    We have four guys on and have two beds. Everyone provides their own sheets.
    Australia is...progressive.
    Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny46 View Post
    Push all the beds together. Problem solved.
    Don't ask, don't tell, don't care

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    Seven people assigned to a shift = Seven beds here.

    One bunkroom has four beds (one of them is actually in a closet that we call "The Hole"). Another bunkroom has two beds. The third has just one rack and is therefor deemed the Taj Mahal. No one gets their own personal bed.

    For those of you using bunk beds, how many injuries do those cause? Our station doesn't run all night long (did about 1,200 last year)... so falling off the top bunk when the tones drop is would be a distinct possibility here.

    We actually had a couple of bunk beds back in the day, but I never used them... And, besides, run volume was half of what it is now. Sleeping through the night was almost an expectation then.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDGloWorm View Post
    (where you share a bed and just have to take your sheets off it after your shift)?
    Exactly what we do. Why have a specific bed for a guy who's not there 2/3 of the time?

    I can't believe how much some brothers get worked up over the most trivial crap.
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    We work 10's and 14's, so your bunk is yours for your two night tours.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    I'll tell you when I get back on duty!
    I'm out for the birth of our baby and the station is being remodeled and I haven't seen it in a week.

    Previously we had Murphy beds with twin mattress and hospital curtains for privacy. Everyone brought their own bedding, but kept it in a locker that was part of the bed.

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    Smile

    Y'all could spoon.

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    There are "X" number of twin beds assigned to each fire house. If it's a single house them usually no more than 6 beds assigned. A double house 12 beds assigned.

    All beds are shared by the three platoons. Usually they are assigned as to the relief members. A - B - C

    There is always a bed at the watch room area, be it in a room next to the watch room or a Murphy bed in the watch room. The officers have their own bed which is shared in their own bedroom.

    In my old house, a double Engine and Truck, the Lieutenants had their room with was shared and the Captains had their own room which they shared.

    If a house has a Battalion Chief so assigned then that Chief has his office, bedroom and bath facilities.

    The department issues the linen, to each member. The member is responsible for the laundering of their linen. Each bed can be made after 1800 hours, that is 6:00 PM for those that don't hablar! Beds can be occupied after 7:00 PM and must be vacated by 7:00 AM.

    That never pertained to me or my officers as we would go to bed anytime after 10 PM and would arise usually by 5:30AM as our reliefs were in the house around 6 AM!!
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

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    I'm in the same area as Gloworm, though not the same dept and I have found that what he is talking about is the norm around here. Before relocating here a few years ago, I was used to a bunkroom with X amount beds and you made your bed each day you worked and cleared it off when you got up to go home the next morning.
    In this area though, people have gotten some sense of entitlement about beds and how everyone must have their own bed. Hell I have even seen and heard guys blow their stack because a detail sleep in their bed. I mean the detail took the sheets off and all but the guys (cuz there really has been more than one do this) still threw a fit because someone slept in "their" bed. Also most depts/people in this area believe that everyone should have their own room, so they can have some privacy when they go to bed. Hell, I even know of a fire dept in the area that BOUGHT TVs to put in each bedroom in the firestation a few years ago. It's still amazes me that with all of the other problems out there, people still fight about everyone having their own bed.

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    It's nice that in these tough economic times, you are expanding rather than shrinking. Can we borrow your chief?
    IAFF

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    Ok, first off, EVERYONE TAKE A BREATH AND RELAX!!! Holy crap, I'm not complaining here. This wasn't the purpose of the thread, I'm doing research to see what the rest of the country does, that's all. The feedback will be great for justification purposes.

    It seems my department, whether right or wrong, set the precedent years ago that everyone gets their own bed. The push is being made to assign five to the trucks. I'm all for it. Doing so will incorporate sharing beds, which is fine by me, but it's always nice to say "xx% of the country shares beds, get over it".

    It's a snowball effect, form (our firehouses) has been driving function (assigning people at houses so they get their own bed). It's unfortunate that that was the mindset. We've ended up with a lot of 5-man engine companies "on paper", and only 4-man trucks, and the only reason is bed space. From a truckie's perspective, yes, it frustrates me that we're letting beds dictate our staffing numbers on trucks. I'm not complaining about staffing, sharing a bed, or anything else. I shared a bed in another city and it's not a big deal. I realize it surprises some of you that I'm using a forum to actually open some eyes at my department and use the data collected, versus using it to b#tch and moan.

    To those that actually gave a reply that was valuable; MANY, MANY THANKS! Do you mind going back and posting your department size?

    Stay safe...

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    Philadelphia...nobody gets their "own" bunk. Each bunk is shared thru the 4 platoons. So its yours for 2 nights out of the week. If you work on a different platoon or different station, you get a bunk given to you for the night. Bunks get stripped and lundry done by on coming platoon first daywork. Bunks get made by platoon on first night work. Very simple. Some use their own blankets some use the department issued prison blankets.
    Just another one of the 99%ers looking up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snowball View Post
    It's nice that in these tough economic times, you are expanding rather than shrinking. Can we borrow your chief?
    Absolutely not!! Hahahaha, we love him here and he's done A LOT in the three years he's been here. While everyone is doing the best they can with the state of the economy, our area is still building and growing. Yes, we are very fortunate. My heart goes out to the brothers and sisters that will lose or have lost their job.

    Engine3Capt hit the nail on the head, thanks for the back-up. PFD, you know him, and we love him. He was your Dep. Commish...

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