1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default Department Vacation Calling Procedure

    Kind of long sorry.. I am interested in finding out how other large city fire dept's handle their vacation days. I work for the Indianapolis Fire Dept (IFD) we currently have close to 1000 guys on the job. The way we do it now is in Nov. they call for vacations for Jan-Dec of the upcoming year. Everybody depending on their time on the job gets so many days. From 5 days for younger guys to 13 days for guys with 20+. Then they take each individual shift and start calling from the top of the seniority list down for that shift, A,B,C. There can be 10 guys off per day. That does not count the guys off on Kelly Day. If you have 13 days coming you can take all 13 days or you can bank them in your rollover bank with a max of 13 days in your bank. Your bank rolls over year to year. For the calling they have a group of people who call everybody and they show the days on the calendar on our FD TV Station, so that you can see what days are open and closed. Once the spots are filled the day is closed. Now this sort of works now, but like this past calling there was not enought slots available because everyone took their days (unlike in the past when alot of guys banked alot of them) So they have had to add days. And they have been sending out emails with the days that are available for the next two months. There are 3 slots per day. Then based on seniority you get those days. So obviously it doesn't work. We are also on the verge of merging with the 7 remaining Township Fire Departments in the County. When that is done our numbers will be close to 1700 in suppression. I don't think the current process will work. Plus the big complaint from the young guys, alot of them who have young kids is they can't get summer month vacations. The guys with the most seniority get most of them, leaving Jan, Feb, Nov and Dec for the young guys. I know the old saying that we tell them "get some time on the job kid". But if there is a better way to make it work for everybody that would be a bonus.

    So what I was looking for was how other large city departments handled vacations. This way maybe I/ we could make a suggestion to the union/admin for a change.

    Sorry it was so long. Thanks for any suggestions.

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007


    Is this current procedure a SOP/SOG, or is it negotiated in your labor contract? It would seem to me that if it is part of your contract and you are getting ready to merge with other departments that it needs to be renegotiated. Ten off per shift is a small amount for a department that size.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2005


    We have 600+- fire fighters. We pick vacations and holidays as a crew. We have 5 per (engine or ladder) per shift. Starting with the Captain, then FEO, the fire fighter with the most time. Pick one shift (3 days) and move to the next. If all the days on the calender are exhausted then we start lapping days, but captains and FEOs cannot over lap and on the overlap you cannot pick after Nov 15 or before Jan 31.
    You can split your vacation twice. 15 for a rookie (equals 3 shifts) and 34 days for a fire fighter with 20+ years (equals two-2 shift and one-1 shift vacation).
    We receive a total of 12 holidays. We get an extra holiday for not calling in sick in the previous year.
    We are allowed to bank vacation and cash it in at retirement. Accumulate as a Private and cash out as Captain or District Chief (or higher).

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