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  1. #1
    blackb16
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default 4 shifts 3 on a rig or 3 shifts 4 on a rig????

    If you had a choice, would you stay with a four shift 24 hour system that maintained 3 firefighters per rig or go to four shifts to maintain four on a unit?

    Where does convience for the membership and safety come to play? All the data says 3 or a rig is risking your health.

    Give some reasons why and why not.

    Would you be willing to close say 25% of your stations to maintain 4 on a rig with a 4 shift system?

    What are your thoughts on eliminating seperate Trucks and Engines and going from three on a rig to 6 each on a well designed quint in evey station?

    What are your thoughts of buying older guys (near retirement age) out so there salary can become 2 new younger firefighters?

    The most cost effective method of staffing a fire department is 8 hour shifts, any thoughts on that?

    What are you thoughts on working a gauranteed number of straight time hours and dollars each and every month versus time and a half on the current hit or miss system of being available when the last minute call comes?

    What are your thoughts of a fire department working without a contract for close to two years with no end in site of members going to the city manager and becoming private contractors to the city and working numerous overtime days for straight time so the city can buy 1.5 more firefighters for the same dollars?

    At what point does the union stop speaking for the membership? ie several years without a contract, raises going everywhere but fires way, staffing reduced 15% in a couple years, service levels falling, union walking out time and again from negociations, always backing the loser, reductions in overtime, etc.

    At what point should government bypass the union and say guys and gals if you want a 15% raise give up this and will do it today?

    With only so much money to go around, how would you disperse it. Defend your position.


  2. #2
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    How about just putting the proper number of members on the rig, working a normal 42 hour workweek(24 hour shifts), and keeping all the fire stations open rather than giving something up for it. Why do I have to give something up?

    I have never worked on or near a quint company. But properly staffed engine and ladder companies are proven to work...Why do I have to give something up?

    The thought process on buying out an older member to get "2 new younger members" or salaries is a farce. Because eventually your 2 new members will turn into 2 older members and two salaries. You need the experience of the older members to guide you aas you learn the profession.

    I really have never heard of 8 hour shifts being the most cost effective, but I can tell you from experience, when my department went from 10's and 14's to 24 hour shifts, the OT and sicktime went down dramatically. Also quality time with the family improved.

    Regarding your union woes...it sounds like you have a strong union board who will not give into the city wanting and wanting and wanting and will stay the course and gets the contract it feels its members deserve. It also sounds like your union membership is weak and will sell their souls for the almighty dollar. A case of divide and conquer. Stick together and maybe there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.

    If one member gets a 15% raise...everyone gets a 15% raise. Remember...you go , we go.
    Kevin M. Fitzhenry
    Captain, Rescue Company 1
    City of Bayonne (NJ) Fire Department

  3. #3
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Originally posted by blackb16:
    If you had a choice, would you stay with a four shift 24 hour system that maintained 3 firefighters per rig or go to four shifts to maintain four on a unit?
    Where does convience for the membership and safety come to play? All the data says 3 or a rig is risking your health.

    Give some reasons why and why not.

    I believe you meant to say a 3 shift system with 4 on a rig.

    I would stay on the 4 shift system...we work a 42 hour average week, 3 shifts would be 56 hour week. Our contract states that the workweek is 10's and 14's...if the City wants me to work 56 hours a week, then 14 of those additional hours would be at overtime rate!


    Would you be willing to close say 25% of your stations to maintain 4 on a rig with a 4 shift system?

    And which stations do you close? Would you use socio-economic studies in making this determination? Should taxpayer A have his local firehouse closed more than taxpayers B and C just because he/she lives in an economically depressed section of town (where they are more likely to have fires?)


    What are your thoughts on eliminating seperate Trucks and Engines and going from three on a rig to 6 each on a well designed quint in evey station?

    Quints are not the be all and end all solution. Here in the Northeast, there are some very narrow streets, older construction with buildings separated by as little as a foot of space (can you say exposure nightmares?), lots of hills, the potential for severe weather year round, including blizzards, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc.

    What are your thoughts of buying older guys (near retirement age) out so there salary can become 2 new younger firefighters?

    My community has offered early retirement packages in the past. The salary that was paid to the older members does not necessarily create two new firefighter positions. It gets more younger people paying a higher percentage into the retirement system.

    The most cost effective method of staffing a fire department is 8 hour shifts, any thoughts on that?

    We are a unique business. How many 8 hour shifts would it require to keep coverage 24/7? Who works weekends? Do you rotate the shifts ( a week of midnight to 8:00, 8:00 to 4:00 and 4:00 to midnight)? Incidents can last 10 minutes, 10 hours or 10 days...they don't always fit into the neat little 8 hour timeframe. Talk about screwing up one's sleep cycles (which can lead to injuries and deaths due to sleep deprivation!

    What are you thoughts on working a guaranteed number of straight time hours and dollars each and every month versus time and a half on the current hit or miss system of being available when the last minute call comes?

    I do work a guaranteed 42 hours a week at straight time. It's called base salary! Any time beyond the standard 10 hour day tour and 14 hour night tour is compensated at time and a half.

    What are your thoughts of a fire department working without a contract for close to two years with no end in site of members going to the city manager and becoming private contractors to the city and working numerous overtime days for straight time so the city can buy 1.5 more firefighters for the same dollars?

    They are screwing themselves royally...and probably the first to complain that they do not have a contract!

    At what point does the union stop speaking for the membership? ie several years without a contract, raises going everywhere but fires way, staffing reduced 15% in a couple years, service levels falling, union walking out time and again from negociations, always backing the loser, reductions in overtime, etc.

    The membership is the union, and vice versa. If they are not happy with their leadership, it's time to vote in new blood who are willing to fight for and make the difference!

    If the city is giving double digit raises to all the other city departments, there is funding for an fair and equitable contract for the firefighters. You have to get you public relations machine operating and make your case public...not hide behind the firehouse doors!


    At what point should government bypass the union and say guys and gals if you want a 15% raise give up this and will do it today?

    It's called union busting and what guarantee do you have that it will actually happen...the City Manager or Mayor's word?...HA!

    You have to get it in writing...and I beleive that's called a contract!


    With only so much money to go around, how would you disperse it. Defend your position.
    I already did!

    [ 08-16-2001: Message edited by: Captain Gonzo ]
    ‎"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."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber TruckSkipper's Avatar
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    nullIf you had a choice, would you stay with a four shift 24 hour system that maintained 3 firefighters per rig or go to four shifts to maintain four on a unit?

    I work a 2, 10 hour days and 2, 14 hour nights in 8 days for a 42 hour workweek. If I could I would rather work 24 hours on and 72 hours off for the same 42 hour week.

    Where does convience for the membership and safety come to play? All the data says 3 or a rig is risking your health.

    The city should staff its fire Co's. Properly.

    Would you be willing to close say 25% of your stations to maintain 4 on a rig with a 4 shift system?

    Yes, as you stated 4 is safer that 3.

    What are your thoughts on eliminating seperate Trucks and Engines and going from three on a rig to 6 each on a well designed quint in evey station?

    I'm not 100% sold on the "Total Quint Concept". The brothers form the city's that have it don't seem to like it either. Also I think that the 6 man quints would become 3 man quints sooner or later anyway.

    What are your thoughts of buying older guys (near retirement age) out so there salary can become 2 new younger firefighters?

    I think it's a good idea as it was done in New Jersey a few years ago.

    The most cost effective method of staffing a fire department is 8 hour shifts, any thoughts on that?

    I disagree that 8 hour shifts are more cost effective, and yes I have seen the study of that fire Dept. that has 8 hour shifts and says their more cost effective. First off I now work a 42 hour workweek on a 10/14 schedule as per our contract. If the city wanted to go to an 8 hour shift it would have to be negotiated, or more likely arbitrated. If it came down to 8 hour shifts it would most likely be on a 40 as opposed to a 42 hour week thus, the city loosing 2 hours per week per man. Not to mention the probable increase in overtime due to a probable increase in sick time usage. (the fire Dept. has the best attendance of all city Depts. by far)

    What are you thoughts on working a gauranteed number of straight time hours and dollars each and every month versus time and a half on the current hit or miss system of being available when the last minute call comes?

    In some cities in New Jersey firefighters do just that. It has even been looked into to increase the workweek so those extra hours would be pensionable, however most firefighters in NJ are opposed to this.

    What are your thoughts of a fire department working without a contract for close to two years with no end in site of members going to the city manager and becoming private contractors to the city and working numerous overtime days for straight time so the city can buy 1.5 more firefighters for the same dollars?

    I have been without a contract for going on 4 years now, (this is because the arbitration system in NJ is extremely slow.) Firefighters here cannot work extra hours for anything less than time and a half as per our bargaining agreement, which is what we use until a new one is in place.


    At what point does the union stop speaking for the membership? ie several years without a contract, raises going everywhere but fires way, staffing reduced 15% in a couple years, service levels falling, union walking out time and again from negociations, always backing the loser, reductions in overtime, etc.

    The union never stops speaking for the majority of the membership. If your Locals leadership is not doing what is in the best interest of the majority of the membership, it's time to replace them through due process.

    At what point should government bypass the union and say guys and gals if you want a 15% raise give up this and will do it today?

    Never, the guys and gals are the union and the union is the guys and gals.

    With only so much money to go around, how would you disperse it. Defend your position.

    However the majority of the union saw fit. It's their money.
    DKK
    Truck Man
    APFD
    IAFF Local 384:


    "Above all, an assignment to a truck company should be considered a promotion."

    Chief John W. Mittendorf-1998

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