1. #1
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    Default looking for info on "D" shift

    Hey, I'm new to this forum stuff; so please bear with me.
    I am looking for some information on a four shift system. I am a Cleveland, Ohio firefighter who is getting laid off in December (one of 150). We are a three shift right now, and I was hoping to see how four works. Could this save the City money, and how? Also I was wondring how it works? How does it balance out? Do you have to work any extra days, etc.?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Scott

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    We work a 24 on 72 off system in D.C. It works out to a 42 hour work week. When we converted from 24/48, it became more more expensive; for every company it added another officer,technician, (driver, two more for ladders) and additional back steppers.

    I hope there is a way you guys can avoid getting laid off. You're in my prayers.

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    4 shifts give you lower saleries but say you have 300 ff now a 4th shift would require 100 new guys. Also the increase in insurance would be a killer.

    Your in our prayers, good luck

  4. #4
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    Default Sounds like there's no $$ saved

    But I can tell you the schedule of the 3 career FD's around me on a 4 shift system. They all work 2 10 hour days, 2 14 hour nights and 4 days off. It works out to a 48 hour work week and I think they all have shift change at 0700 and 1700. One of them recently switched from 4 days, 4 off, 4 nights then 4 off. I don't think anyone argued with the change.
    Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

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    Thumbs up Here Too..........

    Prince Georges County, Md. also works a 24 on, 72 off, shift. Haven't heard from anyone who doesn't like it (yet). There would not appear to be any savings, except that it had a positive effect on leave use.
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  6. #6
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    Default

    When I worked in Houston, I worked a four shift system I have yet to see duplicated anywhere.

    24 on, 24 off, 24 on, 5 days off.

    The kicker is that every 30 or so days there is an extra work day (debit day) thrown in there so you end up working 3 days.

    But hey, it is still the best schedule I have worked yet!
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  7. #7
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    I don't think it would help going to four shifts unless:
    1) You reduced shift staffing levels
    and
    2) Took a pay-cut

    Generally speaking, you need n+1 staffing to fill positions.

    By that I mean, if you have 3 platoons, you need to have 4 firefighters to cover sick time, vacations, training, etc. to keep 1 position staffed on each platoon.

    If you go to 4 platoons, you need to have 5 firefighters.

    One option that's valid though is to plan in overtime, so to fill four platoon shifts, you hire 4 firefighters on a 42 hour work week, knowing they'll also receive an average of 10-1/2 hours/week in overtime over the course of a year. This isn't a bad thing to the municipality -- they don't have to pay an extra set of benefits which is usually 50% of base salary, and depending on the local contract that "overtime" may even be straight-time since they're still under the FLSA hours for firefighters.

    The other option, of course, is to not hire extra people or overtime, and know your 4-man company will normally run 3-man unless the moons all align and no one has time off that day.

    =============================
    4 platoons is predominate in the Northeast, roughly going as far south as D.C., with a few isolated other places (like Houston). New York State goes one further, with a state law that mandates 40 hour work weeks before overtime kicks in. (And that's one of the reasons NYC works their 25 platoon system with crew makeups constantly rotating instead of having "fixed" platoons.)

  8. #8
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    Lightbulb HOLD YOUR HORSES...

    With today's budgets, how can you afford to
    hire a whole other shift. Here is what you
    need to think about.

    Forget the "Kelly shift" aka 3s and 4s, forget
    the one 1 and off 2..That is a pro-management
    schedule so they have have a close grip on you.

    The best schedule out there is the 2 on, 4 off.
    More and more departments on the West coast and
    some back East are moving to it.

    Think about it...

    -20 MORE four day off periods a year.

    -You driving less driving to work means YOU SAVE
    MONEY, (yes, most FFs are cheap) less wear and
    tear on YOUR car, less produced smog in the air.

    -Less FF traffic on the road coming to and from
    work. This might lower your insurance premiums.

    -MORE time with YOUR FAMILY, children issues, hobbys,
    going to school and training resulting in better station
    and personnel moral.

    -Stop checking out of apparatus, SCBA and cleaning
    the station every day. This saves wear and tear on
    department trucks and equip. by 50% (Every other day
    vs. every day) FFs will clean the station the 1st day
    and not the second day so this saves the FD money
    in cleaning supplies and less dumping of chemicals
    down the drain harming the environment. (No I am not
    a tree hugger, just using common sense)

    -FFs report that they are able to get more done in a
    48 hour period (training, reports, inspections,
    projects, maintenance, working out, etc) And follow
    up on inspections by the next day.

    -Less money spent on food! FFs will just eat their
    dinner left overs the next day if they want. One trip
    to the store in 48 hours vs. crews going every day.
    Hello- saving diesel and vehicle wear and tear again.

    -FF recovery time is better so SICK LEAVE IS DOWN. This
    in turn means the FD pays out less in OT, this saving
    money. Hello??? When did your FD last state money was
    tight? (about 5 minutes ago)

    -Does not affect FSLA.

    -Displine issues and response accidents seem to be down
    with this schedule.

    Over all, every agency that has voted to try this new
    schedule has keep it and re-voted to keep it by over 90+%.
    It is a win/win situation for the department and personnel.
    Please feel free to email me for a copy of the calendar and
    reports.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 12-19-2003 at 01:16 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: HOLD YOUR HORSES...

    Originally posted by CALFFBOU
    Forget the "Kelly shift" aka 3s and 4s, forget
    the one 1 and off 2..That is a pro-management
    schedule so they have have a close grip on you.

    The best schedule out there is the 2 on, 4 off.
    More and more departments on the West coast and
    some back East are moving to it.
    does that mean you're on for 48 hours straight? I don't mean to sound rude but are you insane? let me rephrase that. that might work great for the west coast, but I don't think that would work for the east coast (or anywhere else). the reason being is if you run 10 calls in a 24 hour shift, how are you going to stand running 20 calls in 48 hours? That's a surefire way to burning yourself out.

    I personally would prefer working 24 on 48 off, depending on how busy the dept is. you can get your 48 hours in two days (your normal 40 hour work week), and if you get a busy shift where you end up running 18 calls in 24 hours (where all hell is breaking loose), then you get 2 days off to recover from that day. and if it's a slow day, then you still get 2 days off to spend time with the family/signifigant other/etc. I know 99% paid FFs love there jobs, but if you end up running yourself ragged (including getting poor sleep) for 48 hours, then it becomes a tremedous wear on your mind and body. and you'll burn yourself out very quickly.

    here in upstate NY, the career FFs work 4 shifts, 2 days on, 2 nights on, then 4 days off. day shift is 10 hours, night shift is 14 hours.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Re: HOLD YOUR HORSES...

    Originally posted by DrParasite


    does that mean you're on for 48 hours straight? I don't mean to sound rude but are you insane? let me rephrase that. that might work great for the west coast, but I don't think that would work for the east coast (or anywhere else). the reason being is if you run 10 calls in a 24 hour shift, how are you going to stand running 20 calls in 48 hours? That's a surefire way to burning yourself out.
    No, I am not insane nor did I invent the schedule. And yes,
    you are working two 24 hour shifts back to back. I know of
    atleast one big FD back East using it. They are in Minnisota.

    True, one draw back to the 2 on, 4 off schedule is working
    for a busy department. But, the Captain or supervisor has
    the latitude to let the crew sleep in if needed. This has
    been done in the past and acceptible.

    But again, if youre running 15+ calls a 24 hour period like
    they do in LAs Vegas, LA city, etc...This schedule might not
    be for you. But atleast look at the benefits.

    I know you dont like change. (Typical for anyone in a FD)
    But again, 1 on, 2 off- you are drivng to work atleast 2-3
    times a week vs. just once on a 48 hour shift.

    Again- what could you do with 20 more 4 days a year?

  11. #11
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    Default

    This whole work thing is highly overrated! I mean, don't we have a government that will pay for our beer & butts while we watch Price Is Right everyday, bringing more kids into the world?!? Sign me up for that!!!

    Sorry, had to throw a wrench into the discussion!
    ~Kevin
    Firefighter/Paramedic
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    Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
    Dennis Miller

  12. #12
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    Default

    1) Calling Minnesota "east" is pretty relative...they even straddle the Mississippi.

    2)What's the largest jurisdiction using 48/96 and what is their call volume?

    I can see this schedule for low-volume stations located in resort areas & retirement communities where the local cost of living is high. Where they don't pay enough for firefighters to live there, or just don't have the population to hire FFs from, they can give them a 48 hours shift to make up for a long commute.

    But, the Captain or supervisor has
    the latitude to let the crew sleep in if needed.


    What does he do, take the phone off the hook and turn off the pagers?

    The only career station in my county is around 8 calls a day on average (educated guess), granted mostly EMS. Still, you get a couple of 20 call days back-to-back I'm not sure I'd want the ambulance crew going towards the end of a 48 hour shift treating me or for that matter driving the ambulance.

  13. #13
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    Smile Not Really.............

    Originally posted by Dalmatian90


    2)What's the largest jurisdiction using 48/96 and what is their call volume?

    I can see this schedule for low-volume stations.

    But, the Captain or supervisor has
    the latitude to let the crew sleep in if needed.

    What does he do, take the phone off the hook and turn off the pagers?

    Dal, I realize you don't think that they take the phone off the hook, but here where we work a 24/72 wew have holdovers. If someone calls in sick (or something) and the crew was already at minimum staffing (3 Engine, 4 Truck and Squad) they will need to fill that spot. If necessary, a member of the shift going off will be held, at least until someone is detailed or called back. People who are already tired from a busy preceding shift usually go back to bed. this is fairly normal, and there are no problems from it. When a call hits, the crew gives the sleeping member a little slack to catch the rig. Works OK. (Re: Low Volume Stations. What is that?, we have none. Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: HOLD YOUR HORSES...

    Originally posted by CALFFBOU
    With today's budgets, how can you afford to
    hire a whole other shift. Here is what you
    need to think about.

    Forget the "Kelly shift" aka 3s and 4s, forget
    the one 1 and off 2..That is a pro-management
    schedule so they have have a close grip on you.

    The best schedule out there is the 2 on, 4 off.
    More and more departments on the West coast and
    some back East are moving to it.

    Think about it...
    -20 MORE four day off periods a year.
    We work 10's and 14's..2 ten hour days, 2 fourteen hour nights, 4 days off. That averages 180 days a year, less vacation and personal days. That leaves 185 days off for the year, 185 divided by 4 is 46.25 four day off periods!

    -You driving less driving to work means YOU SAVE
    MONEY, (yes, most FFs are cheap) less wear and
    tear on YOUR car, less produced smog in the air.
    I know a few firefighters that are make Ebenezer Scrooge look like a philanthropist! Driving to work isn't a problem for me. I live 4 miles from my firehouse, and all of the members of the MFD live within 15 miles of the city ( this is subject to change, as we just got rid of the residencty requirtement in our contract)

    -Less FF traffic on the road coming to and from
    work. This might lower your insurance premiums.
    Here in Massachusetts, the low mileage discount is 1% of your total insurance bill, provided you drive less than 10K miles a year.

    -MORE time with YOUR FAMILY, children issues, hobbys,
    going to school and training resulting in better station
    and personnel moral.
    I have this with my present 4 group setup and schedule.

    -
    Stop checking out of apparatus, SCBA and cleaning
    the station every day. This saves wear and tear on
    department trucks and equip. by 50% (Every other day
    vs. every day) FFs will clean the station the 1st day
    and not the second day so this saves the FD money
    in cleaning supplies and less dumping of chemicals
    down the drain harming the environment. (No I am not
    a tree hugger, just using common sense)
    Bou, my Brother, this is where I have to take exception. Our lives and the safety of the public depends on our PPE, and SCBA. These have to be checked every day without exception! The trucks should be gone over by each group on their first day tour and fuel and fluid levels checked after every major incident. As far as cleaning the station goes, do a thorough cleaning on the first day tour, hit the "high spots" on day two (unless the weather is really crappy...salt and sand do a number of floors here in the northeast!)

    -FFs report that they are able to get more done in a
    48 hour period (training, reports, inspections,
    projects, maintenance, working out, etc) And follow
    up on inspections by the next day.
    This is true. In Departments working the 56 hour scedule, followup inspections should be done by the next day's group, as they can benefit from the district familiarization...how many times has information about inspections and such not been passed on? If I had a dollar for everytime it happens, I would be in the Forbes top 100!

    -Less money spent on food! FFs will just eat their
    dinner left overs the next day if they want. One trip
    to the store in 48 hours vs. crews going every day.
    Hello- saving diesel and vehicle wear and tear again.
    Leftovers? What are leftovers?

    -FF recovery time is better so SICK LEAVE IS DOWN. This
    in turn means the FD pays out less in OT, this saving
    money. Hello??? When did your FD last state money was
    tight? (about 5 minutes ago)
    If you have two busy tours of duty...you are going to be toast!

    -Does not affect FSLA.

    -Displine issues and response accidents seem to be down
    with this schedule.
    If you have two busy back to back tours of duty, being "toast" will affect reaction time and judgement. Tempers can flare if there has been a "misunderstanding, disagreement, differing opinion, hissy fit, lover's quarrel or down and dirty arguement". This puts the company officer in the position as "referee"...been there, done that, not fun at all!

    Over all, every agency that has voted to try this new
    schedule has keep it and re-voted to keep it by over 90+%.
    It is a win/win situation for the department and personnel.
    Please feel free to email me for a copy of the calendar and
    reports.
    While the prospect of spending more time with your family working a 48 on. 96 off schedule look enticing...one has to remember that if you happen to be working that schedule on December 24th and 25th, you miss Christmas with your family.... and makes for tension at home.
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 12-20-2003 at 12:07 PM.
    ‎"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

  15. #15
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    Default

    I think the combo. department I got my start in (as a paid-per-call FF) has the best schedule ever. 24 on, 24 off, 24 on, 120 off. With that schedule, you can take two tours of vacation and be away from the station for 13 days. That's hard to beat.

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