I am looking for feedback regarding different work schedules for fire investigators. My department has 5 full time investigators all of whom are also peace officers. We work M-F during normal office hours with 1 on-call investigator covering after hours and weekends. We investigated 261 fires in 2003 and I believe we need to explore other scheduling options such as 24/48 or create an evening shift. Also, please include how your department handles FLSA issues as they relate to fire investigators who are also peace officers. We are saleried employees and are not compensated for on-call or overtime. Any feedback would be appreciated.
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Thread: Work schedules
02-21-2004, 08:18 AM #1
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- Feb 2004
03-03-2004, 09:44 PM #2
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- Mar 2004
The first question I would ask is how many of the fires after normal working hours? If there is a significant amount then it would be a good move for a shift based investigation program. Remember that someone must still work days to complete follow-ups and other administrative duties. I know of one department with city population over 1 million that is working a shift based investigation and the problem that they are encountering is when the assigned investigator leaves the scene there is no follow-up. The case will sit until his/her next duty day. This seems to me to be taking away from the case and required follow-ups.
I know of other departments that are working with this and are having good success. I would recommend this on a trial basis for any department that is willing to give it a try. Also you would need to set guidelines for how to handle multiple incidents at one time. You stated that your department does no pay overtime for investigators. This could be a problem if no one wants to give their time on their time off.
03-05-2004, 07:14 PM #3
- Join Date
- Oct 2003
The arson squad that I am apart of is made up of three firefighters and three police detectives.
The fire side works 2 guys on 0800-1600 and one 1600-2400. The person on the PM shift is on call from 2400-0800. The pass days are Sat / Sun. The person who is on the PM shift is also on call the weekend. They work two weeks AM and one week PM and on call.
The police work 0800-1600, 1600-2400, and 2400-0800. We work that shift for a month at a time. Each of us have set Pass days based on senority. One set is Sat/Sun, Sun/Mon and Fri/Sat. We are only on call to cover the pass days or vacation, etc. When we are on call the fire side responds and if the fire is in an occupied structure and is incendiary then we get called out. We get called out automatically on deaths or injuries. The police did it this way to cut down on overtime and it cut down on the hours of being on call.
With us the fires have been hit and miss on the different shift. In Feb. I was 0800-1600 and only had two fires. The PM and night turn shift had about ten fires each. This month I am on night turn and had two fires with in four hours and two more the day after that. We also have had it where the daylight had all the fires and PM and NT did nothing. We like how we work and by the end of the month we are ready for the change.
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