Thread: 12 Hour Shifts?

  1. #1
    Brad Barton Guest

    Question 12 Hour Shifts?

    How many dispatch/communications centers operate on a 12 hour per shift schedule? How many work a 10 hour per shift schedule?

    IAFF Local 1889

  2. #2


    I work in a communications center in western Pennsylvania and in our center we work 8 hour, 10 hour and 12 hour shifts. The benifit of working the 12 hour shifts is that these people get seven days off in a row. I work the 10 hour shifts which consist of 07-17, 11-21, 13-23, 17-03 & 21-07. When I work five 17-03 shifts I work two 21-07 shifts if I work three 17-03 shifts then I work three 21-07 shifts. The 10 hour shift people work a 6 week rotation. We have been working this schedule for four years now and everyone seems to like it. Hope this will help.

  3. #3
    jwieners34 Guest


    I work In North Jersey. We work 10 hr 20 minute staedy shifts on a 4day on- 4day off schedule. That's probably the one issue I haven't heard anyone complain about.

  4. #4
    deanf Guest


    At we work 12 hour shifts. 0630-1830 and 1830-0630. Four days on, four off. Your either on 4 days or 4 nights. None of this nonsense of 2 days then 2 nights in one rotation.

    I like the shift a lot. I usually work nights.

    Member, IAFF Local 2024

  5. #5
    Ken Hanks Guest


    My FD dispatchers are assigned a 12 hour shift- 3 days 0800-2000 three days off, then 3 nights of 2000-0800.

    We have 1 dispatcher per shift. They worked swaps so the day shift is 0800 to 1700, and the nights 1700 to 0800-same as the firefighters.

    The Police/911 distatchers work three 8 hour shifts, 5 days on, 2 off, 5 days on 3 off. They also use part-time dispatchers.

    [This message has been edited by Ken Hanks (edited December 15, 1999).]

  6. #6
    csgos Guest


    In response to the person inquiring about a dispatcher's hours / shifts, please allow me to respond:

    My wife works for a metropolitan area communications center in Georgia. At first, the shifts were eight hours. Within the last couple of months, one shift (morning) was collapsed, and now there are two shifts : Day and Night. The shift change time is 0700 and 1900. One week, she must work five straight days with two days off, the next week she works four straight days with three days off. In any event, due to the payroll period, she earns 28 hours overtime per payroll period, then multiply that by 1.5, and see the answer. My wife goes in at 0615 every morning, as they are required to report early for conference. Furthermore, if she is working an incident on radio, she is required to hold over on shift change until the incident is concluded. As the old saying goes, there is no rest for the weary.

    The turnover rate is high, due to stress and insufficient pay (don't we love politics). Further, the supervision is not impressive, as some have "pets", for lack of a better term.

    My wife used to work for an airline as a reservationist before it went belly up. She stated that the United States Department of Labor indicated that a person's effectiveness on a telephone was maxed out at 6 hours. My wife, in addition with handling radio, must also answer 911 calls-when it is not busy???

    My wife and I have little time for ourselves. She gets home and we go out for dinner. She gets home at 7:30 P.M., and is in bed at 10:00 P.M., so she can get up at 4:30 A.M. to clean up and be at work at 6:15 A.M. Oh' she has to find parking to in an area that is riddled with crime.

  7. #7
    DaveC Guest


    I work for a dispatch center in MO we dispatch for 10 helocopters and about 13 ambulances and we used to work 6 on and 2 off with 2 weekends in a row off. But we have switched to 12 hour shifts 3 days a week and I must say I like it alot better. My wife works 8 hours a day 5 days a week and we have our days off together which we couldn't on my other schedule. We work most of the time with 3 dispatchers from 10 - 10 due to our volume during those times and with 2 dispatchers on for the rest of the time.

  8. #8
    chazmedic Guest


    Our service currently operates with 2 dispatchers working 12 hour shifts. It originally started 20 years ago with 1 dispathcer working 24 hours. Then 4 years ago dispatch was changed to 12 hour shifts. It was 1 dispatcher working a 12 hour shift. 2 years ago, 2 dispatchers during the daytime, 1 at night (12 hour shifts), and within the last 6 months it finally went to 2 dispatchers for every 12 hour shift. There are at least 2 "backup" dispatchers (all street paramedics) per EMS shift that can be moved into dispatch if a dispatcher gets sick (it easier to fill a medic slot with off duty personnel than a 'spatcher).

    We receive all 911 calls related to fire and EMS for our coverage area (1200 sq miles)with the exception of the city of Fayetteville AR (they dispatch their own FD) & the city of Springdale. We use the Priority Dispatch system and the PowerPhone system for fire calls.

    We also recieve cell phone 911 calls and transfer then to the correct PSAP. This has increased our call intake by at least 50%. We dispatch our 5 ambulance stations and 17 rural and small town fire departments. We are also the county-wide 911 and radio backup for the sheriff, small town police, University of Arkansas police,and the cities of Fayetteville & Springdale.

  9. #9
    aussie george Guest


    i work for the fire service in sydney australia in my department there are 4 dispatch centres covering the state of new south wales.the centre in sydney a city of 4 million people has a min of 9 dispatchers 2 supervisors and 1 senior supervisor working 2 x 10 hours day tours,2 x 14 hour night tours followed by 4 days off.all staff are active firefighters assigned to the communications centre.the sydney communication centre responded the 93 stations in sydney to over 160000 alarms in 1999.the firefighters in the centres are paid a allowance of 100 dollars a week on top of their firefighters wage and this with the overtime they earn you dont hear any complaining or wanting to transfer back to a firehouse in a hurry.

  10. #10
    Dewey Johnson Guest


    I work in a 911 center and we dispatch for law enf, ems and fire. we work a 10 hour schedual. we work 5 days one week and 3 the next. we work with 5 disp per shift. one crew is off mon and tues and everyother weekend (so every other weekend is a 4 day weekend!) and the other crew has thurs and fridays off. we rotate days off every year. Our schedual is disigned so everyone works on wednesday's. this allows for people to have time off, special projects, or just time to actually have a break which we don't normally get. If this sounds like something your interested in let me know and I can send you a copy of a schedual.

    Dewey St. Louis county 911
    Duluth minnesota

  11. #11
    Edneyville1562 Guest


    We work 12 hour shifts beginning on Friday night working Saturday, Sunday, and Monday nights off Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, returning to work on Friday for day shift and working Saturday and Sunday, then off Monday, returning to work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights off Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, return to work on Monday during days also Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Then off for 7 days. It's not hard to keep up with once you get used to it and you have a lot of time off. (That week off at a time saves vacation hours!) Patrol, Jail, EMS, and Communications are all on a set schedule and work with the same personnel all the time which is nice to get used to everyone's moves. We only lost 3 personnel due to the shift work when we went from straight days or nights.

  12. #12
    Slug fd4 Guest


    Our Dispatchers work 12 Hr shifts. Shift change is seven o'clock both am and pm. They work a 2on/ 2off/ 3 on/ 2off/ 2on/ 3off schedule. They are permanant day or night shift based on seniority. Only one dispatcher is on duty at a time. We also have one who works when people take off, and fills the rest of her time during the weekdays.

  13. #13
    Jeffrey Casson Guest


    I work in a Police/Fire/EMS dispatch center in North Jersey and work 12 hour shifts. I have never found a better schedule anywhere. We work a set schedule(days or nights) and we work 5 days on one week and 2 on the next week. That works out to every other weekend being a 3 day weekend. It is the easiest on the body due to no shift changes and works out great with time off.

  14. #14
    mwg911man Guest


    I work for an agency near Fredericksburg, VA and we work 12hour shifts. 2on,2off,3on,2off,2on,3off. This gives us a three day weekend every other week which is rather nice. Our weekends are Saturday,Sunday and Monday. We also work permanent shifts. Either days (7am-7pm) or nights (7pm-7am). Everyone seems to like this shift, but, if you are short on staff the overtime and lack of days off takes it toll.

    Mike Gray
    SVFD Co.4

  15. #15
    wisedon Guest


    Verdugo Fire Communications Center in Glendale, California [] works 12-hour shifts. 0630-1830 for two day shifts, followed by 24-hours off, and then 1830-0630 for two night shifts, followed by 4 days off. The shift additionally rotates forward by 1 day each week. This has proven to be not only equitable for everyone, but easy on our personnel, and our ability to fill shifts should there be a vacancy. Personnel also have the ability to make two trades with other personnel per month, or two change of hours per month - allowing for the event that they have personal needs to take care of. It's also amazing how quickly the shift goes by, when working this type of schedule. Hope this helps....

  16. #16
    Burl Guest


    I am a firefighter in the Air Force. We do our own dispatch with 6 month rotations in the FACC for the operators. We work 12 hour shifts on a two week schedule. In a nut shell starting on Monday, 2 on, 2off, 3 on, 2 off, 2on, 3 off. It works out to a three day weekend every two weeks. I like it but that's just me.

  17. #17
    RyanEMVFD Guest


    I work for a private 911 ambulance service in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and we work 12 hour shifts. One week we work 3 days and the next we work 4 days. Our shift change is at 0600 and 1800.

  18. #18
    SantFire Guest



    We work 24 on 48 off just like out on company. The shifts are broken down into either 4 3 hr. or 3 4hr. and we rotate positions. Fire fighters are dispatch trained and assigned by choice to the FAO.
    It's very efficent we handle over 120'000 runs a year plus 1.7 million none emergancy calls a year. Dispatch times average from under a minute to about 90 seconds depending on how bussy things get. We are all EMD certified. We run the place just like a firehouse, we have beds and a kitchen and have to do house duties. I'm not assigned there but I usally work one to three days a month there. It gets a little hard to catch naps inbetween shifts but they rotate the the shifts so no one gets burned out. We have a few shifts were you can get about 6 to 7 hours of sleep at night.

    Stay Cool

    I do not represent the Columbus Division of Fire nothing stated here represnt the Divisions opinions.

  19. #19
    fireresc32 Guest

    Thumbs up

    We work 8 hr shifts six days on 3 off. Its really good but long. The saixth day gets kinda long and drawn out, by the end week you are so burnt out that the quality on that day lacks

    The views expressed here are my views and may not be the same views expressed by the orginization I am a member of.

  20. #20
    Brian Dunlap Guest


    In our County {Camden County, NJ} Fire/Ambulance/Police are dispatched through a Central Communications Center. The dispatchers and the 9-1-1 Call takers work on a 12 hour schedule 7am-7pm and 7pm to 7am A couple of our own members work at the communications center as fire dispatchers for the county and seem to like the 12 hour schedule {They seem to be off more then they work} But I give them Credit for sitting in a room for 12 hours not an easy thing....I personally do Tractor Trailer Dispatching during the "Third Shift" and go stir-Crazy after eight hours let alone 12

  21. #21
    Patch Guest

    Thumbs up

    To the beloved friends southeast of us in Saint Charles County... Hello and yes, we love our 12 hour shifts. We are staffed with 18 full time dispatch personnel, usually 4 on at a time, and this year we added 5 part time slots to assist with vacations etc. I work the 2 on, 2 off, 3 on, 2 off, 2 on, 3 off cycle. I get every other weekend off. We also have half of the staff on eight hour cycles. This works out well for those with little ones. Our shifts start at 0600 hrs to 1800 hrs for 12's, and 8 hour variations of the above schedule for the rest. My only complaint is we are on 3 month rotation cycle with about a weeks notice before the new schedule is in place. I am trying to get us to bid on a 6 month cycle with rotation every 3. The perk here is the ability to plan long range. Shift assignment is the sole discretion of management, though we turn in bids, no promise of senority.

  22. #22
    penguin Guest


    i work in northern va and we currently work 2 12 hour days,then do a 24 hour turnaround and work 2 12 hour nites..with 4 days off..our days off are rotating...we've been surveyed till we're blue in the face about what shift we want to b on--its leaning towards the same one as mike from svfd is on...or,inadvertently staying where we are at..hopefully..we'll switch..the turnaround from day to nite is havoc on both ur physical and mental system..its not so much the 12 hours as it is switching from days to nites...

  23. #23
    Firefighter194 Guest


    I work at Allegheny County 911, Eastern Regional Center in PA. All our employees work 8 hour shifts, 5 days consecutive with 2 days off. All shifts are bid upon based on seniority. We have given the option to the employees if they wanted to work 10 of 12 hour shifts, but the majority wanted to work a standard work week. They feel that working in the 911 center for 8 hours is long enough.

    Never pet a burning dog!

  24. #24
    RyanT Guest


    8 is long enough
    10 is streching it
    12 and i'm ready to murder!

  25. #25
    ILFireman Guest


    Try doing 14 hour shifts!!! We work the most crappy shifts in the world. Work 2 10 hour days 08:00-18:00 and do 2 14 hour nights 18:00-08:00 with 1 day off rotation...

    This opinion is of myself and does not reflect any of the department or the city I am employed by.

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