48/96 Fire Dept. Schedule [Archive] - Glock Talk


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06-13-2005, 17:03
Is anybody on this forum currently using the 48/96 schedule? If so, what pros and cons can you pass on? Also, what arguements were presented against the schedule by your administration and/or municipality?

My department is considering the 48/96 scedule, and we are picking up any information we can. I thought I would post here, as you never know where you can get info. Our current scedule is 24 on, 24 off, and a four day after the third shift. We are a 3 platoon department that runs about 3200-3300 calls per year out of three stations.

Thanks in advance,


Pa Glock guy
06-23-2005, 19:53
I have a question, if you go to the 24/96 schedule, how many shifts will you guys have? Will you actually work 24 hours and and 96 off all the time? We work two, nine hour days followed by two, 15 hour nights, then off for four days. I was just curious. I dont of any depts around eastern PA that work that 24/96.

06-23-2005, 21:01
we got bumped to 12 daily for 2 then rotate with bi-weekly duty teams.

06-23-2005, 21:43
Hi guys.

The schedule that we are looking at is the 48/96, not 24/96. The 48/96 works out to a 56 hour per week average, and is 10 24 hour shifts per month. Instead of working our current schedule (XOXOXOOOO, all 24's), we would go to the 48/96 (XXOOOO, again all 24's). It is still a 3 platoon system. The days are simply lumped so that you work 48 hours, then go home for 96.

Most of the departments that are working the 48/96 schedule that I know of are in the western half of the USA. Basically all of the departments out here work some schedule that revovles around 24 hour shifts. A number of departments have gone to the 48/96, and a bunch more are looking at it. From what I have been able to find, no department that has tried the 48/96 schedule on a trial basis has returned to their previous schedule. What it gives you is more time in a row to be at home, and get rested for the next series.

Pa Glock Guy, where in PA are you located? One of the guys that I work with married a lady that grew up in PA. I don't remember where off the top of my head.

Thanks for the replies,


06-24-2005, 05:46
With a busy agency that schedule could be a huge liability issue.

Pa Glock guy
06-24-2005, 05:59
Het Bill, I apologize, I misread your post and went with the 24 instead of the 48. The only dept with a schedule kind of like that was some fire dept on an island in NYC. It wasnt FDNY, this was a small goverment agency. They worked I think it was 7 days straight and then 14 days off. I couldnt imagine working that amount of time in a row. 48 hours is alot to be at work. When I work my night shift for 15 hours, then work a day shift overtime for 9 hours, then work my second night for another 15 hours, thats 39 hours straight. That dosent happen alot but when you are done you feel like you just got released from prision! The big disadvantage with the 48 on is being away from the family for al least 48 hours straight. If you are busy thats also a long time to be at work. But the four days off in a row is something you could get to very easily. I guess the commute would be easier as you dont have to travel as much. By the way I work for the City of Bethlehem, which is 90 minutes or so north of Philadelphia but Im origionally from the Scranton area, which is about 3 hours north of Philly. Good luck with what ever you guys choose and stay safe. Scott

06-24-2005, 16:12
Thanks for the reply Scott and Dale.

The longest I have worked at my current department is 72 hours straight; two 24 hour shifts, plus the shift in between. The longest I was ever on duty occured at the department that I used to work at( CAlif. Dept. of Forestry); I was on shift for 27 days. That was a number of years ago, thankfully.

I do not know of any fire department along the west coast (CA, OR, WA) that works less than a 24 hour shift. That includes places like Seattle, San Francisco, and LA. I heard recently that Los Angeles County Fire is researching possibly going to the 48/96.

I go on shift tomorrow for my last in my series, but will work the following shift on OT for coverage. That will make 48 hours straight; I have worked quite a few shifts like this, as have my co-workers.

Anybody that is interested in looking at a site that carries info on the 48/96 can go to:


Thanks for the replies,


06-24-2005, 17:20
My department will be starting the 48/96 Jan 1, 2006. The research we used was info from San Jose CA. They did alot of research including stuff like sick leave abuse and other topics. I do not have access to the info right now, but the committee contacted SJFD for the info.

06-24-2005, 20:01
Thanks Fyrmedic for the reply.

We have the San Jose report also, as well as the Boise report, and other info, primarily from departments here in CA.

We are in the vote stage to determine if our Local wants to pursue a trial period. If the vote is yes, we move into meet and confer with the City/administration. Our neighboring auto aid department is ready to start 48/96; they just hope that we get it also.

I saw the SLC for the location; is that Salt Lake City? Was your administration for or against the change? If they were against it, what arguements did they present? Did you get much/any opposition from your union membership? What shift do you currently work?



06-24-2005, 21:37
Wow -- days off? We volly guys are on 27/7/365 ;e


06-24-2005, 22:03
I remember those volunteer days very well, for about 10 years. I was paid for one department, and volunteer for another when off shift, wearing two pagers.

Now I am paid only, with 18 years in the game, and enjoy my days off very much.


06-25-2005, 11:59
The dept I work for uses a slightly modified version of the 24/48. Basically it's a day on and 2 off except when it's your Sat you work Sun also. The advantage is every 3rd week you work Thursday and are then off until the following Wed. Kinda sucks working an entire weekend, however, that 5 day stretch is nice. Throw a Kelly Day in that 5 day stretch and you get 8 days off without using any vacation time.

06-25-2005, 21:00
Originally posted by bgfire
Is anybody on this forum currently using the 48/96 schedule? If so, what pros and cons can you pass on? Also, what arguements were presented against the schedule by your administration and/or municipality?

My department is considering the 48/96 scedule, and we are picking up any information we can. I thought I would post here, as you never know where you can get info. Our current scedule is 24 on, 24 off, and a four day after the third shift. We are a 3 platoon department that runs about 3200-3300 calls per year out of three stations.

Thanks in advance,


I think this is best schedule that I have ever worked. I do not understand why you would even consider 48/96. Is it some kind of punishment that the City is trying to impose on you?

06-27-2005, 10:33
No, it is not a City imposed punishment!?!

A number of departments in the west are going to or have already gone to this schedule. It is said to be great if you commute, as you only drive in once and home once in a series, compared to three round trips. I don't have a commute, so that is not a factor. The idea af a four day after every on duty period is nice, though. Go to work for a 48, then home for four days. The departments that are using the scedule say that it allows employees to return rested after four days off, and the employee's home life is more enjoyable, as they get to spend more time in a row with their family.

I am undecided; the new schedule sounds ok, but I also like our current schedule. I am simply fishing for info from those that have worked it.


06-27-2005, 10:51
I commute an hour each way to work. I can see some advantage if you have a long drive or have traffic to deal with. I drive 42 miles each way in two lane rural hiways. The largest town that I drive thru has four stop lights and a population of 8 thousand.

I have forewarded this link to the Chief for possible consideration. I expect that the wives will not like it. We met a lot of resistance from them when we changed from 12 hour days to twenty four hour shifts.

07-10-2005, 08:53
Sorry it took me so long to reply. Yes SLC does stand for Salt Lake City, but I work for Salt Lake County (now called Greater Salt Lake Unified Fire Authority) and our administration was ok with the change as long as everyone on the department voted and if it passed we would try it out for 1 year and then vote to change back (3 shift schedule with 4 off between sets) or keep the 48/96. From all the research I have heard of, all the departments that narrowly voted for the trial period all overwelmingly voted to keep the 48/96.I am unsure about it because I have little kids at home and don't how it will affect home life.

Our Union was actually on the front line backing this. A lot of issues were brought up as pros like the commute, rest periods, more weekends off (Fri/Sat and Sat/Sun). The vote to change was about 60/40 in favor.

07-11-2005, 14:11
The following link has a ton of information regarding the benefits and drawbacks of a 48/96 schedule. The benefits FAR exceec any drawbacks. The most difficult portion of making your presentation, is to atriculate, through reasearch others have done, the benefits of the schedule, so that the naysayers are properly informed. As you probably know, change comes slowly in the fire service, particularly for those who say an emphatic NO even before looking at past research. This goes for line personnel as well as management. In my state, only one department has gone back to their traditional schedule after a one-year trial period of 48/96's. And it was simply because of the Chief; the line personnel voted to keep it, by an overwhelming majority.
Now, here's that website: [URL=http://www.48-96.com] Sorry if the link isn't enabled. Hope it helps.


07-12-2005, 09:46
Thanks for the info. I have looked at that site, and it is very good. What department are you with, or what state are you in?


08-04-2005, 17:26
Originally posted by DaleGribble
With a busy agency that schedule could be a huge liability issue. +alot

The time off would be great (my agency works a 24 / 48) but the 48 hours of work would be pure murder. We not only do 911 calls, but do interfacility transports AND our system does a sort of modified system status where we fill empty stations with trucks out of other stations, and when we get REAL short handed we go to street corners.

08-20-2005, 21:01
We are lucky in that we do not run ambulance service, so no transports. The ambulance service is private here. We run all life-threatening ems calls, plus the routine lift assists and that sort of thing. And of course, we get the fires and extrications/rescues.


08-21-2005, 09:01
Does Gibbs still work for Eureka?:)

08-21-2005, 21:50
Dave Gibbs worked for Humboldt Fire District #1, which you already know is on the south edge of the City of Eureka. Eureka Fire Dept. and Humboldt Fire Dist. #1 run auto aid together.

Gibbs retired this past year, after having made it up through the ranks to the position of Chief of HFD, which he held for a few years. He still lives in the area, and I still see him once in a while. My youngest brother works for HFD, and worked for Gibbs while he was Chief, and while he was a Captain on an engine.

Dave is a really nice guy, and was a great guy to work with.

gloxter, I forgot to ask where you were from. You must have met Gibbs through training, or some other function.


08-22-2005, 08:13
Bill: I went through Butte College Fire Academy (#25) with Chief Gibbs's son almost 10 years ago. The elder Gibbs, I think he was a BC or something back then, taught a module in the academy. Both were very nice. I'd like to contact you regarding your progress on the 48/96. We are also looking at making a presentaton on it to our line personnel some time in the near future. 9rfan@sbcglobal.net -gloxter:)

08-25-2005, 20:16
We start a trial period on October 2nd(my shift)on the 48/96. My wife is not sure if she will like it.

Charlie Fox
08-29-2005, 10:21
Before we went to our current 24/48 we looked at all options. Because of our situation (industrial FD that works 24 hr) the first one that got thrown out was 48/96. I agree the time off would be cool, but a couple of busy shifts, especially back-to-back, would change minds in a BIG hurry. ;g

John Brannen
09-08-2005, 21:14
I'm still a rookie at the fd where I work so as far as the administrative questions u were asking about I couldn't help u but I love our 4 days off. I own a landscaping business on the side so the extra $$$ . I know that all publtc safety can use the extra money. the bad thing is that u'll find ur self workin' 21 days straight if u work part time & never take a day off. But good luck with u & ur dept. Hope everything goes well.

10-07-2005, 09:10
I know what you mean about the four days; the time is great. With our current schedule we get a four day after every third shift.

I am liking the idea of 2 on 4 off more and more with the increased price of fuel. Drive to work, work 2 days, drive home, off 4 days.

We'll see if it happens.


black rob
10-24-2005, 11:33
We work the XOXOXOOOO SHIFT. I love it but the 48/96 sounds even better to me.

I drive right around 25 miles to work, work on the side and am in the Nasty Guard on weekend a month. The 48/96 shift would be a benefit in my mind to family time, hunting time, free time, food expenses for work, fuel expenses, yadayaydayada! Good luck!

10-30-2005, 15:02
Well, I thought I would pass on to all that have replied and have been watching this topic that my department will not be going to this schedule anytime soon.

The topic was in negotiations between our employee group and the city. The city decided to hold off on a trial period for our department at this point; we were told to come back next year, after our neighboring department goes through their trial. The city's negotiation group said that they felt it was too good an oportunity to observe a similiar department go through the process to see what the problems are.

Good luck to all those out there that are trying to get this schedule. For those on it, please keep the rest of us posted on how it works out for you.