1. #1
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    Default A good report on the 2x4 work schedule.

    This subjuect has come up offen in here and gotten just
    "bits and pieces" in terms of feedback. I have come across
    a published report from the San Jose FD. I will post the link
    and a sample of it.

    As stated before, this might not be the best schedule if your
    FD is running all day and all night. I know most out there
    work the 24/48 schedule, but then youre commuting 3-4 times
    a week more once a week.

    Again, for the paid people, this is 2 days on, and 4 days off.
    More and more departments in the US are switching to this and
    choosing to stay with it because the benefits are by far
    extreamly positive.

    Here is the link- http://www.sjff.org./index.cfm?categ...n=1&pagenum=98

    Here is a sample-

    Improved Moral
    This is supported, on part, by the high percentage of vote
    approval at the end of the trial periods. Improved moral was
    a comment we heard over and over. “Employees are well rested
    after “4 days off” and are eager to come to work”. Employees
    felt more productive and better organized on and off duty.
    Fewer transitions between shifts made for less duplication,
    better communication and more operational continuity.


    Increased productivity and project follow through on duty
    Employees found the schedule allowed for more flexibility
    in scheduling daily work schedules over two days. Members
    with program responsibilities can leave paperwork on their
    desk to work on for two days. Follow-up meetings and phone
    calls easier to follow up on the second day.

    Better communication between shifts
    Fewer transitions between shifts mean more day to day continuity. Less lost information at shift exchanges.

    Less duplication of work
    The same personnel are on duty the first and second shift. Example: Shopping for food can be done once on the first shift for both days. This leaves more time for training, cleaning and maintenance.

    Greater employee retention, more qualified applicants
    For some of the departments contacted this was one of the primary reasons for switching to the 48/96. In tight labor markets, such as for Firefighter Paramedic, departments working the 48/96 schedule can draw a larger pool of applicants, due to employees increased ability afford homes while cutting commutes in half.

    Employees have more time at home/ with family and friends/ more personal time
    Employees with an average commute will gain an average of 20
    hours per month. Employees living locally will gain an
    average of 10 hours a month . This is dead time that would
    be spent getting ready for work and commuting on the Kelly
    schedule. In addition, members will have more opportunities
    to connect with family and friends on a Monday-Friday schedule without having to get up the following morning. Members will
    have 60% more mornings free to help get the kids to school,
    etc.

    10 additional full weekends off a year
    Members with children in school or a spouse that works
    Monday- Friday find this feature especially appealing.
    Half of the weekends are free for sports activities,
    travel etc.

    20 additional “4 days” a year
    Every time you go home, you go home to a 4-day.
    More opportunities for home projects, travel, camping, etc.
    More mornings for personal endeavors!

    Increased productivity at home
    A member building a house can get a lot more done in four
    consecutive days off vs. every other day. Projects can be
    left out to continue into the next day. More mornings for
    an early start on projects.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 04-08-2005 at 02:12 PM.

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    Default One FFs opinion...

    One guy sent this to me. I didnt write it, but its a good
    opinion on it.

    Ok, about the 2-4, 48/96 schedule...

    Benefits: Quality of Life enhancement for employees.
    Less wear and tear on your automobile, recruitment and retention of Employees, station projects are handled more efficiently and get completed sooner, more four days and increased morale.

    Drawbacks: Less likely to work OT or shift trades.

    Burlingame went to it about a year and a half ago. It has been hugely successful. I have to admit, after working the 3-4 schedule for the last ten years, I, like many people, were a bit apprehensive. Especially
    the guys with little ones at home. We've all worked 48's and 72's with shift trades and overtime, but this was going to obviously be a more permanent arrangement. But, never did I imagine that I would enjoy the schedule like I do now.

    For the "time-management challenged" such as myself, the schedule makes it much easier to plan my life. It's simple: 2 on, 4 off. For the rest of my life.

    I could NEVER imagine going back to the old 3-4 schedule. From a quality of life standpoint, it has been wonderful. So much more of my time is now
    spent with my family, instead of me being on the road to and from work.

    Just not being on the road so much is awesome. I don't know about your commute, but it's an hour from Novato to Burlingame, and it's not exactly rural traffic. I pass wrecks or stalled vehicles almost every day. That could be me. As far as I'm concerned, the least amount of time I'm on the road the better. It's a friggin' jungle out there! Let's take this
    month for example: I only have to commute 5 times this month vs. 11 or so if we were still with the old schedule.

    If we want to recruit and retain quality people, I really feel this schedule will help us do this. Especially when you take into consideration the
    cost of living in the Bay Area. People can actually live in Sacramento or Roseville or El Dorado hills and commute into the Bay area. They most likely wouldn't be doing that if they were on the old schedule.

    As far as getting beat up with a 48 hour shift, that was a concern with our Chief. If we have a busy first shift, we may move a little slower in the first few hours of day 2. But, the work gets done. Everyone has to by into this. Sometimes, you just have to suck it up.

    I have never been beat up from calls where I wished we would go back to the old schedule. I'll have plenty of opportunity to get caught up on rest with all the four days we now have.

    The biggest drawback I see, is the increased reluctance to work a trade for someone, especially if it puts him/her on a 72. Also, you may not get as many people taking overtime, which may increase mandatory hire back or "holdover" situations. With the new schedule, people are moving farther away. Because they live farther away, they may be less inclined to come in
    and work the OT or the trade.

    To sum it up, short of having us work less hours per week, the schedule is outstanding.

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    Default

    Working 72 hours straight is absolutely insane, dangerous and should not be allowed to occur. Does the department give meaningful rest time on the second day? We run a lot at night and when I work a 48 due to O.T. or a trade, I really feel it at about hour 36.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    Default Umm...

    I am not sure where the 72 comes into place, only on an OT
    or shift trade. The overall attitude I am hearing is that
    the employee is so used to having the 4 days off a week, that
    an occasinal 72 "doesnt hurt". Remember, if youre "feeling it
    around hour 36", youve got a nice 4 day waiting for you the
    next day.

    Additionally, the company rest a little extra the morning of
    the second day if they got hammered the night before. Doesnt
    seem to be a major issue.

    Hope I answered your question.

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    Default

    Originally posted by MIKEYLIKESIT
    Working 72 hours straight is absolutely insane, dangerous and should not be allowed to occur. Does the department give meaningful rest time on the second day? We run a lot at night and when I work a 48 due to O.T. or a trade, I really feel it at about hour 36.
    We work 24/48 and I love it. When I was a young man, working 48 wasnt an issue. But now, its REAL tough. I sleep most of the next day off. And we are slow by some standards (about 6 a shift on average). Thats why I pretty much never trade shifts. The only time I will do it is OT. I cant even imagine working 72. And I for one wouldnt want to be away from the family that long.
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    Default 24/72

    72,s refers to the schedule most of us work in the north east. That is the 24/72. 24 on and 72 off. wouldnt trade it for the world

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    Default 72

    Wrench, I was referring to the members who work the 48/96 shift who work O.T. or trades. Not the 24/72-42 work week.

    I also like the line.."More time for cleaning and maintenence".
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    Default

    Originally posted by Dave1983


    We work 24/48 and I love it. When I was a young man, working 48 wasnt an issue. But now, its REAL tough. I sleep most of the next day off. And we are slow by some standards (about 6 a shift on average). Thats why I pretty much never trade shifts. The only time I will do it is OT. I cant even imagine working 72. And I for one wouldnt want to be away from the family that long.
    Dave, Dave, Dave. Even after you sleep your first day off you still have 3 more days to get something done. We used to pull a 24/48 and a lot of the "old timers" (I'm kinda one now )were adamant about not changing. We decided to go with a trial run, about two months. When the trial run was over the anti's threatened to strike if they put us back to a 24/48
    C'mon Dave, I know you're not that much older than me, give it a try,PULLEEASE!
    IAFF

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    Default

    Do you 48'ers get Kelly Days? That 56 hour work week is for the birds.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    Default

    Originally posted by snowball


    Dave, Dave, Dave. Even after you sleep your first day off you still have 3 more days to get something done. We used to pull a 24/48 and a lot of the "old timers" (I'm kinda one now )were adamant about not changing. We decided to go with a trial run, about two months. When the trial run was over the anti's threatened to strike if they put us back to a 24/48
    C'mon Dave, I know you're not that much older than me, give it a try,PULLEEASE!
    Its not up too me

    Your set up sounds fine. I was responding to something about working 72 straight.
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

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    Default

    Originally posted by MIKEYLIKESIT
    Do you 48'ers get Kelly Days? That 56 hour work week is for the birds.
    Kelly days or built in OT. In my department, it was our choice (per contract) to take the OT and not the Kelly days. Its a better way too do it. The other area department who get the Kelly days dont get as much vacation time as we do, since the Kellys are counted as time off. Problem with that is, the departments assign the Kelly days. We get to pick our vacation time. So we get more vacation and with the 56 hour work week, built in OT every paycheck
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    Default

    In tight labor markets, such as for Firefighter Paramedic, departments working the 48/96 schedule can draw a larger pool of applicants, due to employees increased ability afford homes while cutting commutes in half.

    Translation:

    Other employers in this area pay people enough to live here.

    However, the city does not.

    And yes, I do understand how fugged up the housing market is in the SF Bay area and how people will commute to the central valley. Yet still, there are millions of people being paid enough to live in the Bay area. And millions who can afford the mortgage or rent on $600,000 to $1 million dollar homes...guess they can't budget for taxes after that, huh?

    From my perspective, and this partly from a concern of "What if I was a Mayor/Fire Chief" and partly from someone who may not pull these long shifts but knows both long office hours some months (I had three days off in February -- one of which was my Uncle's funeral -- and still averaged 70 hours/week), has worked being awake 24 hours between office and 2nd jobs when I was younger, and gone on nearly no sleep on nights the volunteer company was busy and gone into the office that morning...

    The only time I could see 48's being a good idea is for isolated resort communities -- very expensive, difficult to get there, and combined with low call volumes.

    If I'm a city, why aren't I paying more employees enough to live in the community or at least within the immediate area (i.e. adjacent middle-class suburb next to the gold-coast suburb). And it makes you wonder how Cops and Teachers who can't work 48s are affording to live in the area...
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    Default Nope...

    Originally posted by Dalmatian90
    The only time I could see 48's being a good idea is for isolated resort communities -- very expensive, difficult to get there, and combined with low call volumes.
    I would have to disagree with this since it has been working
    for several large and medium departments that are not
    "isolated resort communities".

    A couple of rather large FDs in New Mexico love this work
    schedule and have been using it for several years now.

    -Bou

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    Default

    I would have to disagree with this since it has been working
    for several large and medium departments that are not
    "isolated resort communities".


    I understand that Bou.

    But screwing on the hat of a concerned manager, I really have to question 48s. I don't care if the troops love it or not because it allows them better lifestyle choices.

    Your original post had some "efficiencies" that are at best marginal to just plain weak arguements.

    Being able to work on a project two days in a row is nice. Then again, it then gets dropped for at least four days, so that probably counter balances.

    Maybe having fewer shift changes mean there is less oppurtonity to forget to tell someone something important...but if it's important, we should already have an effective system in place to share that information.

    Less duplication of work, well maybe. I certainly wouldn't run up a flagpole that you consider food shopping "work" -- I don't have a problem with crews getting food on duty, but that's certainly not a line you want in a report John Q. Public is going to read! Putting emphasis on stuff like that is just asking for unwanted, negative comments.

    The rest is "lifestyle" improvements for the Firefighters...with the exception of the line "due to employees increased ability afford homes while cutting commutes in half." Call me silly, might I think there's some sadastic City Manager out there who'll have a blast with the next round of contract negotiations after that. "We need a pay increase because home prices continue to rise in this community." "Um, at your request we put you on 48/96 so you could afford to live outside of this area, so we certainly aren't going to base your raises on living nearby."

    Some critical questions not answered that I'd be asking as a good City Manager:

    -- Fatigue and it's relation to injuries and liability. One example from the non-fire service relm is medical Residents -- those programs are increasingly taking flak over Residents pulling 24 hour shifts. The public is recognizing that fatique in residents leads to medical mistakes. Will the Public accept paramedics in hour 40 of a busy 48 hour shift working on them? Or is that a lawsuit waiting to happen? We ask for four-man companies partially based on reducing injuries...can we document there isn't an increase in injuries when we routinely work 48 hour weeks?

    -- Fatigue is further going to be excerbated by the inability to recall relief in a timely manner -- you know, since they all moved away to cheaper housing markets. Have a major night time fire, the crew that fought all night doesn't even have the prospect of going home and getting a good rest half the time, since they'll still be on duty.

    -- What is the effect on special operations such as Technical Rescue or Haz-Mat that may have in the past depended on recall personnel to assist. If they're living further away, can they still respond on a timely basis? Are they taking more "mini-vacations" that they won't even be available from home?

    There's probably not one set of answers for those questions, but I'd want to know a lot more on 48/96s regarding the operational, safety, and liability issues involved in using this as a standard practice. That's the kind of research you'll need to convince people this is a good idea!
    IACOJ Canine Officer
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    Default ok...

    I am not going to talk the time to answer every point you
    made since it would repeating what was already printed.

    But some of the points I do want to address are-

    -Wear and tear on vehicle apparatus. Every morning, the
    SCBA bottles get turned on and the vehicles get run up.
    I personally have seen more chemicals dumped down the
    tiolets and sinks by people simply cleaning them. (To me,
    its more chemicals being dumpped down the drain into our
    sewer systems.) And I do notice the SCBA bottle reading
    slowly slipping away from the "full" mark.

    Second- Housing and special team members responding from
    far away. This issue never seemed to surface so I am
    guessing it hasnt been a problem. Some people live close,
    others far away. It just never seemed to be a
    factor that came up, I dont knowwhat to tell you.

    Lastly- This is not a "California thing". Other FDs in the
    nation are using it.

    Hope that clears up some things.

    -Bou
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 04-10-2005 at 01:15 PM.

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    Default JURY STILL OUT

    I will have to say the jury (me) is still out on this debate. We currently work 24/48 schedule and no one can work longer than 72 hours without leaving for a period of time. Most of our members that work overtime are at wits end by the end of the second shift. I would like to see some studies conducted on this schedule and see if it is better for the health and safety of the employee. By no means am I against this if we could get a change done for the betterment of the personnel.

    How does this work with surronding departmenets? We (surrounding departments) all work the same schedule and are used to working with each other on a regular basis. Our department used to work a rotating schedule and which equated to 56 different combinations of personnel in a 19 day cycle. Talk about chaos!!!

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    Wear and tear on vehicle apparatus. Every morning, the
    SCBA bottles get turned on and the vehicles get run up.


    Oh goodness gracious, do you have career stations so slow that daily checks add measurably to wear? Is my "point-of-view" from New England that far off? We're not talking about a full-blown pump test each day, are we? I'd have to think running code to one or two calls easily equals a weekful of routine checks!

    I can see benefits to some firefighter's lifestyles with 48s.

    But a lot of these arguements sound particularly lame to me.

    And that's not a problem just with 48s -- a lot of time you hear the fire service going public with lame excuses, and that doesn't help any of us and our public image!

    I come from an area where 10/14 (2 day shifts, 2 evening shifts, 4 days off) still predominates, and I can see it being reasonable for most of the departments to move to 24on/72off schedules...extrapolate the call volume of most of the paid-around-the-clock stations in my part of the country to 48, I just wouldn't feel right doing it to someone!
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    Default More...

    I just found this website dedicated to this work
    schedule. Seems more and more non-California FDs are
    going to it. Too many benefits.

    Here is your link- www.48-96.com

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    We work 24/24 for three days and then get four days off. I have worked 24/48 and like my current schedule much better. The four days off are great, yet we are still not in the station for more than 24 hours at a time. We are not allowed to work more than 24 hours at a time wothout at least 12 hours off, unless in rare emergencies at which time 36 hours of time is approved. Therefore, the maximum number of hours we can work overtime on our four days is 36.

    If I failed to explain that very good, my July work schedule has been as follows.

    July 1, 3, 8, 10, 12, 14 o/t, 0700-1900 16 o/t, 17, 19, 21, 1900-0700 22 o/t.

    If I don not work any more overtime this month it will go as follows:

    July 26, 28, & 30.

    Still only 3 rotating shifts. Requires no more personnel than the 24/48 hour shifts. If you try it, you'll love it!!
    RK
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Default

    Originally posted by MemphisE34a
    We work 24/24 for three days and then get four days off. I have worked 24/48 and like my current schedule much better. The four days off are great, yet we are still not in the station for more than 24 hours at a time. We are not allowed to work more than 24 hours at a time wothout at least 12 hours off, unless in rare emergencies at which time 36 hours of time is approved. Therefore, the maximum number of hours we can work overtime on our four days is 36.

    If I failed to explain that very good, my July work schedule has been as follows.

    July 1, 3, 8, 10, 12, 14 o/t, 0700-1900 16 o/t, 17, 19, 21, 1900-0700 22 o/t.

    If I don not work any more overtime this month it will go as follows:

    July 26, 28, & 30.

    Still only 3 rotating shifts. Requires no more personnel than the 24/48 hour shifts. If you try it, you'll love it!!
    I gotta back Bou's play here bro. If you look at your schedule you, for three days in a row, have to travel to the station. Then you get 4 days off. I work a 2-4 at a station that is farther away than the station I worked at when we were 1-2. I have saved tons of gas and wear and tear on my POV only having to travel to work once maybe twice per week. If I draw an OT the dept. usually scedules it so I can have one day off after my shift then work the OT. That leaves me with 2 more days off.
    Some of the senior guys really fought this new 2-4 schedule untill they worked it for about 3 weeks. Now admin would have an all out war on their hands if they tried to go back to the 1-2.
    IAFF

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    Default

    Here is another site about the subject with a nice Power Point presentation.

    https://home.comcast.net/~ocfa48-96/

    Here is another-

    http://www.topangafire.com/lacofd4896/
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 12-10-2005 at 03:32 PM.

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    We work 1,-1/1,-1/1,-4 also called the Berkley schedule. The most hours we are allowed pull in a row is 36hrs. We don't get pain for our Kelly day so on a ten day we have an extra day off along with four extra hours. Which means on a certain day that the chief appoints I may not come to the house for duty till 1200 hrs. This part of it sucks. I would and most of the guys on the department would rather get paid OT for our Kelly day instead of having it off. I don't have to commute more than a mile to work so gas isn't a big deal. But for you brothers that have to commute from a ways away I can see were the 48-96 would be nice. I personally would not work a 24-48. At the end of our 3 day tour we have pretty much of a vacation for 4 day which is nice. 1. reason it saves having to use vacation as much. 2. more days at home with the family in a row, which to me is now is more important after our baby was born. We are not a big department 20 paid guys and most of the time there is alot of OT to be offered. All-in-all the 48-96 sounds like a pretty decent schedule.
    Ryan
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    Here in Washington DC we work 24/72. It's still a 4 shift schedule and you get three days off. Having worked 2-2-4 shift, also a 4 shift schedule, I can say without hesitation that 24/72 is the way to go.

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