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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Benefits / Disadvantages of 24/48

    I need to know everyone's thoughts on the ADVANTAGES and DISADVANTAGES of working a 24 on, 48 off schedule. A list would be great, from health/wellness to family, anything that comes to your mind. We are trying to convince the upper management to switch us to this style. We are a small department, running approx 1100 calls a year. During the day, we run approx 3-6 calls, nights, usually 1, maybe 2. We run 3 bodies per shift.

    Currently we are working a rotating 12 schedule with an A, B, C, D shift, where A & B Shift are days and C & D are nights.

    For example, I work D Shift so on the days in bold, I work 6p-6a

    Week 1:
    Sun M T W Th Fr Sat

    Week 2:
    Sun M T W Th Fr Sat

    Week 3:
    Sun M T W Th Fr Sat

    Week 4:
    Sun M T W Th Fr Sat

    Basically, I am guaranteed 8 hours of OT every paycheck (bi-weekly pay). One week is my short week, the next is my long week.

    Thanks for all the input in advance. If you need any further info, please let me know.


  2. #2
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    Sorry, can't help with the 24/48 thing. But reading your post, I have a question about how you're getting 8 hrs OT every week. FLSA OT thresholds for a govt. FD don't kick in until about 53 hrs./week. You're working avg. of 42 hrs. (48 and 36 hr weeks), nowhere near the threshold. Is it just a contractual thing?

    Our department switched our medics (non-FF) last year to your existing schedule specifically as a result of a FLSA inspired OT suit, in order to cut medics' OT.

    We are (and the medics were) on 2-10s days and 2-14s nights with 4 off.
    Opinions expressed are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Philadelphia Fire Department and/or IAFF Local 22.

  3. #3
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    Nope, we are not a government based FD, we are a private industrial dept

  4. #4
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    Most everyone in our area works a 24/48. Just like with anything, there's pros and cons to it.

    A lot of it's obvious. You work your shift then you're off two days. Most guys work a PT job on those two days off. You're there for 24 hours, away from family or whatever, but you're also home for the two days. When you work a holiday, you work the whole holiday.

    Your checks are going to fluctuate. Assuming your company moves you to an FLSA-approved 212 in 28 days pay cycle, you're going to be looking at a four-week pay cycle with paychecks coming bi-weekly. This means you won't see OT until every other check, and only for those hours you worked beyond 212 in that cycle. This means there's several different options for your checks depending on what you had in that two-week period (96 or 120 hrs), then depending on which two checks combine for the four-week cycle.

    If you do move to a 24/48 from what you have now, don't be surprised if you have to look at adjusting pay rates (we had to do this at an EMS agency I worked at when we went to 24/48 from a two-24 per week schedule), vacation and holiday time, and how payroll is structured (going to a 212 hrs in 28 days).

    A lot of the pay issue is due to the fact you're now going to be averaging 56 hours per week. From the way it looks from what you posted, you work 48 hours one week, 36 the next, averaging 40 hours. You may also have to look at conversions for anyone that has to move to an 8-hour shift for light duty or anything, as they could lose money working their 56-hour pay rate on a 40 hr week.

  5. #5
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    A 24/48 without kelly's sucks IMO. I did that while working for a third service EMS agency. We were frequently mandated to stay an additional 12 or 24 so it was like a 36/36 or 48/24. It also sucks as you spend your first day recovering (if high call volume) or working a side job, and the next day you're preparing to go back to work. It's also difficult to schedule holidays.

    A better option would be a 48/24.

    http://www.uflac.org/files/UFLAC%204...imo%20v1.3.pdf

    My dept does a variation of the 24/48: WOWOWOOOO. We can only be held for 12 hours max, as you're working the next day. We also have three four day breaks each month. Better for vacation scheduling, family time and side work, although I would much prefer the 48/96.

    Speaking of 48/96.......

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyHtuE_uSrA
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Qz05...eature=related

    The 24/48, 48/96, and the WOWOWOOOO are all 56 hour workweeks, albeit structured differently.
    Last edited by edpmedic; 02-12-2010 at 03:18 AM.

  6. #6
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    we do 24/48 without kelly's and i think it's just fine. it get's us the flsa ot and keeps me used to the schedule instead of having to know when my kelly day is. i've never been forced to work extra time and i work an overtime shift about once a month (voluntary sign up for the ot shift) and it's damn nice to get that ot shift, well other than the shortened time at home, the money is nice.

    24/48 is awesome, everyday i go to work is a monday and a friday combined. but there are downsides, such as you are home for 2 days while your wife, or significant other if you like that, are at their 40 hour job in the week then on weekends you will work atleast one day of the weekend 2 out of 3 weeks. this is sometimes hard on relationships as the other half will want to do stuff and you might want to be in bed at a decent hour so you aren't a lazy slug at work.

    oh it's also nice for if you have to run errands or do other stuff during the week because compared to a 40 hour job, you don't have to try and skate out of work a little early to make it somewhere before it closes.

    the only other schedule i'd like is the one like some departments in OK use where you work 24 on and 24 off for 3 shifts then get 4 days off. actually i would love that schedule.

  7. #7
    Forum Member FF4606's Avatar
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    If you work the 24/48 with a Kelly, you don't need to remember when your Kelly is, it's always the same day of the week. It's just on a 3 week rotating schedule for a 48 hr work week. If your Kelly is on Friday then it's always on Friday. That is one of the advantages, you know that you will never work on any Friday, as long as your shift and Kelly doesn't change.

  8. #8
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    In my old department, we worked 24/48's. I didn't mind it.

    In that department, we had comp time and the city was flexible on vacation bids, so it wasn't too hard to get several days off in a row if you needed to do a vacation or whatever. Downside was that if you were up all night, you spent your first day off recovering and felt like you had only one day off.

    In my current department we work 24 on/24 off for several days, then have several days off in a row. Works better for this department, as the city is very rigid on vacation bids which are done by seniority. We get enough days off between worksets that you can still work in a family vacation; otherwise it would be impossible for lower seniority guys to ever get any time off in the summer. Downside is the workset can get quite long, especially if you are up all night several shifts in a row. This department does not do comp time.

    Both the departments do not require a kelly day, choosing just to pay the OT instead.

  9. #9
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    If you work 4 shifts and go to 24/48 you'll loose 25% of your workforce (unless the just add them to the other 3 shifts)
    I'm on 24/48 and it is a 56 hour week. It is a bit hard on the family, but I like it. I swap or take vacation on the days I really need to be home, and 1 day off equals 5 days where I can go on a short trip with the family.
    I'd never go back to working every day

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by KurtisJC View Post
    I need to know everyone's thoughts on the ADVANTAGES and DISADVANTAGES of working a 24 on, 48 off schedule. A list would be great, from health/wellness to family, anything that comes to your mind. We are trying to convince the upper management to switch us to this style. We are a small department, running approx 1100 calls a year. During the day, we run approx 3-6 calls, nights, usually 1, maybe 2. We run 3 bodies per shift.

    Currently we are working a rotating 12 schedule with an A, B, C, D shift, where A & B Shift are days and C & D are nights.

    For example, I work D Shift so on the days in bold, I work 6p-6a

    Week 1:
    Sun M T W Th Fr Sat

    Week 2:
    Sun M T W Th Fr Sat

    Week 3:
    Sun M T W Th Fr Sat

    Week 4:
    Sun M T W Th Fr Sat

    Basically, I am guaranteed 8 hours of OT every paycheck (bi-weekly pay). One week is my short week, the next is my long week.

    Thanks for all the input in advance. If you need any further info, please let me know.
    Since you have 4 shifts why don't you goto a 24/72. Then you don't lose any jobs.

  11. #11
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    Kelly days are not ALWAYS on the same day. It depends on what is in you contract and how many you get a year. Also Kelly days will reduce the amount of vacation days you accrue. Also I can use my vacation when I want and have to wait for my Kelly day to come around.

  12. #12
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    Would hate to have to track kelly days, working a 24-on, 24-off, 24-on, 5 days off schedule for the last 15 years, were running 2 10's, 2 14's, with 4 days off before.

  13. #13
    Forum Member GTRider245's Avatar
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    We work 24/48 with no Kelly day. No one here has complaints as far as I know. Only thing better in my opinion is the 24/72.
    Career Firefighter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    We work 24/48 with no Kelly day. No one here has complaints as far as I know. Only thing better in my opinion is the 24/72.
    We work 24/72 and I love it. I'm much busier than my old job with my engine company at this department running about 20 calls/day on average. So I sleep the whole next day anyway most times. Definitely helps having that extra day off.

  15. #15
    Forum Member Jonnee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PFD66 View Post
    Would hate to have to track kelly days, working a 24-on, 24-off, 24-on, 5 days off schedule for the last 15 years, were running 2 10's, 2 14's, with 4 days off before.


    That is why the make calendars! I have my work days listed on each month of the Work Calendar I have on the inside of the door to the pantry at my home. Nothing else goes on there but fire department.


    With that schedule you mention which we work there aren't kelly days but comp time as we work it. That is picked along with vacations days in the field, fire houses.
    Last edited by Jonnee; 04-27-2010 at 01:24 PM.

  16. #16
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    Default Schedules

    We work the modified Detroit schedule, which is the WOWOWOOOO. We have ~15 Kelly days negotiated in our CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement), which reduces out weekly average.

    As far as the 24/48 goes, it's another variation of the three shift system (as is the 48/96), and I actually think I'd like that better. My station is fairly busy, with the PM portion often yielding 3-5 calls after midnight. So, the single day off in between doesn't do much for recovery. Not very many departments around my area (greater Seattle/Puget Sound area) work the 24/48.

    However, the 48/96 is THE en vogue shift schedule right now. I can think of over a half-dozen or more departments near me that have switched to the 48/96. At first glance, it seems totally appalling, but there are SOME pros to this schedule.

    One big advantage is that you get more complete weekends. Another is you eliminate the single days off, as is the case with the modified detroit schedule. But, the 24/48 could accomplish the same thing.

    The Washington State Council of Firefighters did a presentation at a educational seminar a couple years ago, that discussed the 48/96, and the pros and cons. There was some very good discussion during the seminar, with most firefighters who work at busier stations/departments really against this schedule. At the end of the presentation, Ricky Walsh--who is the IAFF 7th District VP--spoke about how the 48/96 doesn't do much in working towards the real goal of the IAFF: Which is working towards a 40-hour average.

    For me, I would much prefer to work towards a 4-shift schedule, with negotiated debit days, as a means to reduce our hourse.

  17. #17
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    We do a 4 platoon two 10hr days followed by two 14hr nights followed by 4 off for a 48hr work week at 42 hrs pay. I dont understand how some guys can work 50+hrs a week for 40 something hours pay with no kellys. I guess the North East is more fair to its firefighters.

  18. #18
    Forum Member Theaxemancometh's Avatar
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    Well... that might be a bit presumptuous!! First of all FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act, at least in the West) requires ANY employee working over 40 hour a week,to receive time and a half for hours over a forty hour week. So in my department's case, we work an "average" of 56 hours per week. This is averaged out over the year. With an additional 16 hours built into our pay, this allows us to have a three platoon system. We still only work 10 24 hour shifts per month. The other 20 days are "off days" or "if" overtime is available, there are 20 shifts in the month to work overtime.

    "The Axeman"

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  20. #20
    Forum Member GTRider245's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acklan View Post
    This is directly dependant on the agency you work for. If you work for a municipality, OT kicks in at 53. If you work for a private contractor, it kicks in at 40.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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