The 48-96 schedule originated in southern California in the early 1990's due to the need to find affordable housing and the associated long commutes.  Since then many other benefits of the schedule have been realized by both labor and management, and the schedule has been growing rapidly across the United States. Over 200 fire departments have switched to this schedule with extremely high satisfaction ratings.  Most of the departments that have switched to this schedule conducted a 6-month or 1-year trial period with an escape clause that allowed management or labor personnel to cancel the trial at any time.  The escape clause has never been implemented. Votes to initiate a trial period ranged

ABOUT THE 48/96 

It consists of two individual 24 hour shifts worked consecutively, followed by four days off. Each 24 shift is referred to as a "shift," and the combination of the two shifts together is known as a "tour." Vacation and sick time can still be used one shift at a time or in single hour increments based on department policy, and overtime is still worked as a single 24 hour shift.  The 48-96 schedule is on a 6-week rotation versus the 3-week rotation of the 24-48 schedule.  A particular day of the week is worked 2 weeks in a row, and then is not worked again for the next 4 weeks.



You do not have to work a 72 hour shift when working overtime, but you do have that option according to SOP.  Some firefighters prefer to work 3 days in a row so that they still have 3 days off.  However, other firefighters prefer to work overtime on their 2nd or 3rd day off so that they don't have to work a 72.  There's 122 possible overtime days without ever working a 72 hour shift. 



FLSA is not affected.  In order for each paycheck to be the same, the FLSA cycle is required to be in 6-day increments (6, 12, 18, 24, 30).  The 18-day and 24-day cycles are the most common.  However, 14-day and 28-day cycles have also been used.  Personnel will have varying paychecks on those cycles similar to our current 4, 12, and 20 hour FLSA cycles.

anywhere from 52% to 84%, but were most commonly between 51% and 60%.  Following the trial period, votes to adopt the 48-96 as the permanentschedule ranged from 84%-100% in favor.  Support for the schedule change was much higher on the second vote following the trial period in every case except one.  The only fire department that conducted a trial and voted to switch back to their original schedule was the San Bernardino County Fire Department.  It’s interesting to note that the San Bernardino County firefighters did not have a problem working 48 hour shifts,  rather the problem was that the 48-96 schedule did not offer as much time off as their original modified Kelley schedule did.  This department is discussed further in the “Departments on the 48/96” section.