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Thread: Working 48's

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    Quote Originally Posted by HBofCJ View Post
    Average back then was LESS than 1000 per year. Lots of fires. Few runs. There were days when I got off shift at 0800 and promptly went home to my dumpy condo and took a 2 hour nap that frequently lasted 4 to 6 hours. Ruined my day-off morning.

    Reason was I was physically shot. I needed that nap.
    I just don't understand, and I apologize if I'm missing something. I'm captain of a station that does 4000 runs a year and most of our guys go straight from work to their second jobs, even on the portion of our schedule where we work every other day for 8 calendar days.

    How are we able to accomplish that at four times the call volume? We're certainly not made any different than the brothers back in the 70's.
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    Respectfully, BoxAlarm187, I do not see how it can be done. I was not exactly a couch potato, (like some of the our guys) and I was in decent shape. 6'1". About 190# way back then. I could run 5 miles within 30 minutes and when we did have pull up contents in the breeze way, the average guy could do well over 20. I could do over 50 pull ups--THEN. Yep.

    But...that was long ago and far away. However, I do not think my memory is that fuzzy. Maybe it is. I got tired at times. Respectfully, we must disagree. It is my personal belief that running as hard as you say you do and combining that with 48s, even back in my prime, I would have a hard time doing that. Just me. Respectfully. HB of CJ (old coot)

    Sorry also we kinda hijacked this fine thread. He wondered if he could work for two separate fire agencies and pull 48 hour shifts. Again, to answer that question, I don't know. Too many specific things would have to be addressed before considering even the long term physical affects of working that hard for that long. I probably could not do it. .

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    I just don't understand, and I apologize if I'm missing something. I'm captain of a station that does 4000 runs a year and most of our guys go straight from work to their second jobs, even on the portion of our schedule where we work every other day for 8 calendar days.

    How are we able to accomplish that at four times the call volume? We're certainly not made any different than the brothers back in the 70's.
    The station does 4000 runs. How many for each unit? Also, medical runs to me are generally way less strenuous than fire and emergency runs. If 2500 runs are medical it would be a lot easier to pull off.

    IMO, side jobs are not nearly as stressful as firefighting. Many guys work side jobs that are physically demanding but the mental aspect is most important for firefighters. It is the mental exhaustion that worries me about 48's more so than the physical, although that is also a big part of it. 24 hours on duty plus 8 hour side job does not equal 48 hours on duty.

    I'm sure guys acclimate themselves to 48's. Obviously, it is quite doable. I just don't think it is optimal, especially for the more active departments.

    I love my firehouse. I've loved every one I've ever passed through but after 24 hours on duty I'm glad to get out of there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captnjak View Post
    The station does 4000 runs. How many for each unit?
    I did some rough numbers just now (I'm off today, and my "numbers guy" happens to be working, so I called him) and the ambulance is doing 3200/year, the engine 2600, and the tower ladder 1600. These are the number of calls we're dispatched to, not necessarily the number we're arriving on.

    Also, medical runs to me are generally way less strenuous than fire and emergency runs. If 2500 runs are medical it would be a lot easier to pull off.
    Agreed on this. We're a busy, very progressive ALS agency so EMS runs for us are a way of life. The average time for a medic unit to respond from my station and return (if it does) is a little over an hour.

    IMO, side jobs are not nearly as stressful as firefighting. Many guys work side jobs that are physically demanding but the mental aspect is most important for firefighters.
    Agreed.

    It is the mental exhaustion that worries me about 48's more so than the physical, although that is also a big part of it. 24 hours on duty plus 8 hour side job does not equal 48 hours on duty.
    Agreed as well. For some departments, working 48's clearly works well. For others, it's not even worth exploring.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HBofCJ View Post
    Respectfully, BoxAlarm187, I do not see how it can be done. I was not exactly a couch potato, (like some of the our guys) and I was in decent shape. 6'1". About 190# way back then. I could run 5 miles within 30 minutes and when we did have pull up contents in the breeze way, the average guy could do well over 20. I could do over 50 pull ups--THEN. Yep.

    But...that was long ago and far away. However, I do not think my memory is that fuzzy. Maybe it is. I got tired at times. Respectfully, we must disagree. It is my personal belief that running as hard as you say you do and combining that with 48s, even back in my prime, I would have a hard time doing that. Just me. Respectfully. HB of CJ (old coot)

    Sorry also we kinda hijacked this fine thread. He wondered if he could work for two separate fire agencies and pull 48 hour shifts. Again, to answer that question, I don't know. Too many specific things would have to be addressed before considering even the long term physical affects of working that hard for that long. I probably could not do it. .
    At the risk of sounding like the old b@stards I used to roll my eyes at --- there is a difference -steel bottles, wool lined coats, rubber boots and rehab was something they did in the hospital. and maybe its my imagination, but I feel there were far more "working" fires in the 70s and 80s. no cell phones , aluminum wiring , knob and tube wiring etc.
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    Way too much work for me, at the end of my 24 I am ready for a break regardless of the number of runs. A career is a marathon not a sprint, don't burn yourself out.
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    The county department where I live (Lumpkin Co.) relies heavily on guys who are career firefighters in the metro Atlanta area. Typically those metro departments have the shift change early in the morning. Their second county department starts at 0900 which allows enough commute time. Granted Lumpkin isn't as busy as their primary job but it still has to take it's toll on them. Some work part time for Lumpkin county while others are full timers.

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    How is job #2 going to handle it if you get injured at job #1?

    Or,

    How is job #1 going to react when they find out your off with an injury, but still working job #2?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    When I researched 48's for a project several years ago, I found the exact opposite. The 48's were very popular on the west coast, and slowly becoming more popular on the East Coast. In fact, I specifically noted in my report that I couldn't find a WC department that had fully adopted the 48's that had gone back to 24's. I'll have to see if I can find that report.
    If you have that report I would be interested in seeing it. A few of us have been discussing the 48/96 here and any research to look at would be helpful.

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