1. #1
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    Default 48/96 Shift schedule

    Hi all. We currently work the 3 shift Berkley with 1 on 1 off 1 on 1 off 1 on 4 days off.

    We are starting discussions about the 2 on 4 day off schedule. I was just looking for feedback from other departments with 3 shifts that do the 48/96 and any good or bad comments regarding it. Thanks in advance for your help.
    FTM-PTB-RFB
    IACOJ

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    Wink

    We work the (what I have told it was called) LA Schedule:

    1 on, 1 off, 1 on, 2 off , 1 on, 1 off, 1 on, 4 off.

    If I had to spend 48 hrs at my dept.....?? Whewwwwwwww

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    Default 48/96

    We have been doing 48/96 for a little over a year. There was a few concerns when we started as to family life and 48 hours at the station. They all seemed to work themselves out and never really be an issue. Go to www.48-96.com We used this site a lot when we first looked into the shift.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fyrmnk
    Hi all. We currently work the 3 shift Berkley with 1 on 1 off 1 on 1 off 1 on 4 days off.

    We are starting discussions about the 2 on 4 day off schedule. I was just looking for feedback from other departments with 3 shifts that do the 48/96 and any good or bad comments regarding it. Thanks in advance for your help.
    My combination department works the schedule you are currently on and the guys really like it. I never worked anything but the 24 / 48 until I went on days. My personal opinion is the 49 / 96 would be a bear. Don't think I want to be away from home that long. I would miss the dog something terrible, and ocassionally the wife.
    Glenn Rainey
    Colington Fire Department
    Dare County, North Carolina
    The Outer Banks

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    there is a department next to mine that just had a squabble about letting guys work 48 straight and the city attorney reviewed the indiana code and said that no firefighter is allowed to be on 48 straight. is this just for indiana or what am i missing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by robertsryan10
    We have been doing 48/96 for a little over a year. There was a few concerns when we started as to family life and 48 hours at the station. They all seemed to work themselves out and never really be an issue. Go to www.48-96.com We used this site a lot when we first looked into the shift.

    Thanks for the replies. We've looked at 48-96.com before, great info.

    So far as we expected, most are for it, some are on the fence, and a few are dead set against it. We'll see.

    Our only policy on length of work is that we can't work over 48 hours straight without 12 hours off. Thanks again all for the input.
    FTM-PTB-RFB
    IACOJ

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    I work for CDF and we work a 72/96 usually, but many of us have been on over 30 days straight so I'm pretty sure that the law in indiana doesn't apply in california.

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    If I could work 30 days straight I could be off for 4.5 months (taking OT as comp time)
    24/72 rules!

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    Quote Originally Posted by newbomb
    there is a department next to mine that just had a squabble about letting guys work 48 straight and the city attorney reviewed the indiana code and said that no firefighter is allowed to be on 48 straight. is this just for indiana or what am i missing?
    It's the State of Indiana in your case. I was recently educated about labor laws. Although there is a federal labor law, it serves as the model. The state's legislation creates labor laws around the state insurance regualtions and what they determine to be safe working hours for, in this case, firefighters, based on risk assessment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fyrmnk
    Thanks for the replies. We've looked at 48-96.com before, great info.

    So far as we expected, most are for it, some are on the fence, and a few are dead set against it. We'll see.

    Our only policy on length of work is that we can't work over 48 hours straight without 12 hours off. Thanks again all for the input.
    One question comes to mind for you.

    Your policy states that one must not work more than 48 hours in a row with out a 12 hour break.

    How will late runs that lets say carry over 1 or even 2 hours into the next tour thus breaking the 48 hour rule be treated? Will it be 12 hours from the change of tours or will it be 12 hours from the time the member was relieved of duty plus wash up time that a member will be allowed to work again?

    Just something to consider.

    FTM-PTB

    ps-One thing I can see you are going to miss out on is late run OT and OT resulting from awaiting relief when surplus staffing is transfering between companies.

    I can see this set up as a bonus for those with long commutes and minimal runs during the tour.

    Best of luck.
    Last edited by FFFRED; 09-30-2006 at 04:57 PM.

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    We've been talking about going to 48/96 for a while now...we currently run a 3/4 schedule (1 on, 1 off, 1 on, 1 off, 1 on, 4 off)

    The older guys with comfy Engine and Truck spots like it...but we're a transporting agency with many of our Medic units running 12-18 calls a day...at an average time away from the House of 45min. per call for the Medics, well, you do the math.

    The older guys argue that we work 48s all the time when we do OT (even 72s and 96s!) and we don't complain about that! Well, yes, but we CHOOSE to, and we don't do it all the time, and we’re getting time-and-a-half.

    Most of the rigs in our Dept. could handle 48/96 without too much grief, but most of the Medic units would take a beating. Plus, what do you do about training hours? What do you do when guys are so tired they can't stay awake while driving? How does your pt. care change when your guys can't keep their eyes open? Our Medics have SCBAs and tools, how safe are you at a fire after 47 hours of running medical aids? How safe are your pts. after a fire AND 47 hours of medical aids?

    Some guys have postulated that the Captains would just need to step up and switch the guys off the Engine or Truck onto the Medic for ‘a few’ hours. Maybe. Define 'tired'...your Captain and your Firemen might have differing opinions on that. Truthfully, I don't see some of the 20 year Truck guys being told by a 2 year Captain that they need to go over to the Medic. Selfish of the Truck guys? Maybe. Maybe not. Depends on which camp you’re in.

    For departments like ours, I think it mostly depends on the department coming together as a whole and agreeing to take care of our own...something that is simple to say, but I think isn't always so easy to implement. We'll see what we end up doing!

    Just my opinion, but 48/96 may not be such a great idea for larger, busy, transporting depts....

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    Default 48/96 schedule

    This schedule is AWESOME..........

    Both of my Departments used to run this schedule.... My Paid-Call Department just recently went back to the 24s with 4 and 6 days off. Many of the people want the 48/96 schedule back.

    This schedule is the best schedule I have ever worked. I have worked 24s with 4 and 6 days off, 48 on 48 off, and various other schedules but none compare with the 48/96.

    If I wanna 10 day all I gotta do is time trade two days....... and I get 10 days off........ can't beat dat. Don't have to try and schedule it around a 6 day or whatever. I hardly feel like I am at work, as opposed to the other schedules I felt like I was always at work.

    I have worked for some very busy Stations; running 15 to 50 calls a day...... and this schedule never made me feel "burned out." However, Management should realize that the busy stations shouldn't be tasked with too much "busy work." At the busier Stations the time table is usually pretty relaxed.

    This schedule is great for Departments that the employees have to drive a long distance...... Only having to drive the distance on average once a week is really nice.

    When you do some simple math, you get more time with your family if you work at a busy Station with the 48/96 schedule. Here is how it works:
    Busy day and night........... go home and sleep (at least that is what most people do) this continues until you get a 4 or 6 day.
    Busy days and nights........... go home and sleep, wake up at home and spend time with the family. This is how it works with the 48/96 schedule.

    Remembering what day to show up to work is easier with the 48/96 schedule, it moves up one day each week.

    Station projects are easier to finish when I am at the Station for more than 1 day.

    Staying dedicated to a stringant P.T. program is easier since you are at work for two days straight.

    Any other questions, just ask and I will do my best to answer 'em.
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

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    Cool Another thought........

    And yes, we are a transporting agency....... with average transport times in the range of 40 minutes to 2 hours transport times (from the scene to the hospital, pt. transfer time, reservice time, etc.)....... This schedule still works for us.
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeyboy
    And yes, we are a transporting agency....... with average transport times in the range of 40 minutes to 2 hours transport times (from the scene to the hospital, pt. transfer time, reservice time, etc.)....... This schedule still works for us.
    Just a question; your profile says you're an Engineer, have you ever worked on an ambulance on the 48/96? I'm not trying to be an *** here, I'm genuinely interested in getting feed back from people who work the transport rigs.

    I work both the Engine and the Box, and just for me personally, working on the Engine is cake compared to work on the Box. I'm almost never tired after a shift on the Engine, regardless of the number of calls, but there aren't too many mornings after a night on the ambulance that I feel that way.

    What do you think makes it work for you guys?

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    Cool Yes

    Rigging65,
    Yes I worked on the box..... for about 2 1/2 yrs on this schedule.
    Honestly, what made it work for us was that our time schedules at most of our houses that run and run and run...... so on, are fairly loose....... Meaning that as long as we get our Daily/Weekly or Monthly Chores and Training done then we are alotted "down time." The chores are usually completed by the Engine Company, but when we think about it....... it's nice to work during the day and be able to sleep at night once the Ambulance leaves the scene. Those Stations that run a lot of calls are not tasked with "busy work." The Company Officers really respected the crews that get hammered. Not saying that the slower Stations are looked down upon, it's different when they don't get the minimum done and the rockin' houses completed the tasks.
    Another thing we are able to do is Station Swaps..... if a FF feels he is getting overwhelmed they have the ability to do swaps with a FF from one of the slower Stations. This works well because it allows the other FF to keep their skills up and gets the FF that was "burned out" some much needed R & R, without missing work or messing with their paycheck. Having options are also good for morale. Not sure where you work, but are any of these options feasible for your Department?
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

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    We've discussed a lot of the options that you've talked about, and I think, in theory, most of them could work for us, but...

    The biggest problem I see for our department is that there isn't a lot of respect given to the crews on the Medic units. Not to say that the guys working on the Box are looked down upon, more that they are pitied for HAVING to work the box. This, you would think, would make guys more willing to "jump across" for a few hours, if needed. I don't know if this would be the case though. I think we've fostered such a negative stigma about working on the ambulance that guys are pretty unwilling to work on them at all.

    We run two 'Flex Medics', 12 hour day cars that are OT staffed and are specifically designed to take pressure off the busy Medic units and let them eat/rest/etc. We staff them with one EMT and one Paramedic...never a problem filling the BLS spot, because how hard is it to drive around for 12 hours and get time-and-a-half for it? We are only occasionally able to run both units during a given day, because there so few Paramedics that want to work on a Medic, even for 12 hours! Most of the core group of EMT-Ps that work the Flex are young guys who like the work (and the money). Again, I don't think this is because of the work, per se, but more because of the stigma that working on the Box sux.

    The Box is where you're sent to suffer when you're a young guy. Eventually, when you've served your time, they let you out of purgatory and onto an Engine. Some of our Houses are set up with an internal Engine/Medic toggle (1/3 time on the Engine, 2/3 on the Box, or vice versa)...and these Engine spots are always the last to go during a bid because, at least some of the time, you HAVE to work on the Box. A lot of the older guys never had to work on a medic unit, so they pity you, but they really don't understand how much more work you do...they just know that they don't want to do it! Our district came around through several mergers, and most of the previous agencies didn't transport, so the older guys haven't had to work the Box...ever...

    Personally, I think it's kind of a sad state that we've allowed ourselves to fall into. I like working on the Box. We get to run good medical and trauma calls mixed in with the ample BS (of course). Our ambulances have SCBAs and are equipped to go to fires...and we do. I've been to more fires on the Box than on the Engine, even at 50/50 time. It's hard work, sure, but why are we there if we don't want to do the job? But would I still be able to do a good job if I had to do it for 48 hours?

    I guess my major fear is that the stigma is going to over-ride the brotherly bond to take care of each other. Right now, it's unusual for a Captain to take his medic out of service to let the guys have a break, mostly because it's 'only' a 24 hour tour, and we're always short on ambulances. Will this change if we go to 48s, or will it just be another job that the young guys are expected to shoulder and the older guys have no idea what it's about because they've never done it?

    I'm not saying 48/96 couldn't be a good thing, maybe just that your individual department has to be a good fit for it?

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    Cool Funny thing to do.......

    Don't get discouraged.

    When the older guys give you grief about workin' on the "Box" a funny lil' thing that I used to do is remind 'em who is makin' the most money for the Department...... I know in my Department, the "Boxes" make a lot more money than the Engines do. Just the "Penalty Box" that we have in our Station probably brings in more money than all the Engines will do this Fire Season...... Just a thought to lighten the situation. You know the people you work with better than I do, maybe it'll fly or maybe it'll fall like a ton of turds..... The personnel working on the "Boxes" make more money hourly than the Engine personnel do as an incentive.

    Would putting the new schedule to a vote and running the schedule for 6 months help? Then in 6 months, everybody votes and which ever schedule was liked best wins..... No whinin' and no complainin'. At least this way you can say that at least you gave the schedule a chance. I hate to read when people in our profession are afraid of change, and that is a majority of why we are sometimes fearful of what may improve our jobs. I believe that we work in a progressive occupation; fires burn different, cars crash different, etc. And yet we refuse to adapt within our working environments.
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

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    Making Money?

    Most urban departments prevent / suppress more fire loss than they take in from ambulance billing.

    DCFD protects $150B in property. 0.1% of that value is $150M, our total budget.
    DCFD EMS transports 65,000 per year. Even if we recaptured 100% of billing thats only $26M. In reality we only collect $9M.

    Things are similar nationwide. Very rarely does 911 EMS collections even pay for the staffing required to make the transports. If it did, more than likely, FDs would be out of the business because some private company would spend a little money lobbying for the service.

    Fire departments 'make money' like the rest of the city does: providing services that citizens want in exchange for their property / income / sales taxes.

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    Cool Not true across the country.....

    Your statement about ambulances not making Departments money is not necessarily true across the country.....
    One of my Departments is constantly and consistantly actually making money from their transports. Enough money is made that the personnel that staff the "Penalty Boxes" are almost 100% self sufficient. Included in the budget is vehicle replacement every two years, medical equipment replacement, the manpower and there is also enough monies left over that a small portion "rolls over" each fiscal year.
    Our districts used to be scrutinized by a Private Ambulance Company and sometimes still are. They're just waiting for an opportunity to come in and provide the service..... the simple fact is that they can't because, we are a Fire Department Ambulance and have the capabilities of providing so many services that a Private Ambulance Company can't.
    Our billing recovery rate is a little over 50%, the last time I checked...... It's been awhile since I ran on the Box. At one time, the Ambulances were also paying for some of the personnel on the Engines.....
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

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    Cool Another thought......

    Some of our Medic Engines (Assessment Engines) are even able to turn a profit. The medical equipment replacement is a lot lower for them, since they may have to replace first/second round meds, I.V. setups and a few "nickel and dime" items...... I'd like to see a Private Ambulance try and replace the service they provide........ Don't think so.
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

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    Cool SBrooks

    I just did some math..... when I took the number of transports you gave 65,000 and divided that by the amount of money you gave 26 Million, I came up with an average of $400 per transport. Our average transport, the last time I did billing is in the range of $1,400 for A.L.S. service and our Medic Assessment is in the range of $700. As far as the numbers that we transport and bill for, I couldn't tell ya...... It's been many years since I've had to crunch those numbers.
    Like I typed earlier, we also bill when we roll our Medic Engines. If one of our ambulances transports then we don't double bill the patient. If we have to have the local Private Ambulance transport (which sometimes they do, because our districts get "hammered") we bill.
    I am not sure how D.C. runs, but I am interested so if you could educate me and let me know I would appreciate it.
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

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    DC runs a Basic Engine or an ALS Engine or a basic Truck on all Bravo, Charlie, or Delta runs, roughly 80% of EMS calls.

    At the same time, a transport unit is dispatched. If it is a BLS run, generally it will be an ambulances staffed with firefighters, though there are still a few 'civilian' BLS employees. If a BLS unit is too far away by the CAD, a closer ALS unit is sent. If it's an ALS run, an ALS unit is sent. If it's too far away, a closer BLS unit will be sent as well. The ALS transport units are staffed by a 'civilian' paramedic/I and a 'civilian' EMT. The EPs are staffed by one FF/I or FF/P.

    There are no 'private' ambulances running 911 calls in DC. There is one Maryland based volunteer rescue squad that runs some calls on the edge of the city, if they are called on their 10 digit phone number - we send a first response company with them, and occasionally a Medic unit if they don't send one.

    If you bill and can collect $1400 from people, then you're correct, you could make money at it. It's my impression that insurers won't pay over the medicaid rate, which is no where near $1400 and is pretty close to the $400 i made up.

    My point with the private providers is that if it were profitable to run EMS somewhere, the private providers would lobby for it, because they can, and gain the privelege of earning that money. In your case, you're barely 'profitable' and you don't count the training, dispatching, or housing of apparatus overhead.

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    Cool Our system.....

    Originally posted by DCFDRescue2
    In your case, you're barely 'profitable' and you don't count the training, dispatching, or housing of apparatus overhead.
    This is all covered in our "General Fund" that we fund from our taxes. Since we are a County Fire Department we have numerous accounts that we can draw from. I know that County Fire Departments and City Fire Departments are financially different, but the same.
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFFRED
    One question comes to mind for you.

    Your policy states that one must not work more than 48 hours in a row with out a 12 hour break.

    How will late runs that lets say carry over 1 or even 2 hours into the next tour thus breaking the 48 hour rule be treated? Will it be 12 hours from the change of tours or will it be 12 hours from the time the member was relieved of duty plus wash up time that a member will be allowed to work again?

    Just something to consider.

    FTM-PTB

    ps-One thing I can see you are going to miss out on is late run OT and OT resulting from awaiting relief when surplus staffing is transfering between companies.

    I can see this set up as a bonus for those with long commutes and minimal runs during the tour.

    Best of luck.
    We've tried for a while to get the 48 hour rule extended to at least 72. As of now when it occurs that someone extends 48 due to late calls it hasn't been scrutinized. Just on scheduled time such as taking overtime.

    In addition to those with long commutes, I could see an advantage to those of us with off duty jobs and businesses as well, having less mornings with potential late runs interfering with them. Stay safe.
    FTM-PTB-RFB
    IACOJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by fyrmnk
    We've tried for a while to get the 48 hour rule extended to at least 72. As of now when it occurs that someone extends 48 due to late calls it hasn't been scrutinized. Just on scheduled time such as taking overtime.

    In addition to those with long commutes, I could see an advantage to those of us with off duty jobs and businesses as well, having less mornings with potential late runs interfering with them. Stay safe.
    Ah never considered the second job aspect.

    Stay safe.

    FTM-PTB

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