MORE WEEKENDS OFF

With the 48/96 schedule, the firefighter is completely off 3 out of every 6 weekends (Sat & Sun) as opposed to being off only 1 out of every 3 weekends under the current 24-8 schedule. Therefore, the firefighter is completely off 50% of their weekends instead of only 33%.  Furthermore, with the 48/96 schedule, the firefighter gets eighteen 4-day weekends (Thurs-Sun or Fri-Mon) per year. Under our current schedule, firefighters never get a 4-day weekend without taking a shift off.

 

Dr. Susan Koen has done extensive research and has provided a comparative analysis, "24/48 VS. 48/96 WORK SCHEDULES."  Consider her findings,

"With so many North Americans living in dual earner households, weekends have become prime time for families. There is no doubt that the 48/96 schedule provides better quality weekends for firefighters and their families."

ADVANTAGES

SUMMARY

  • MORE WEEKENDS OFF

  • MAXIMIZES VACATION/SICK LEAVE

  • FOUR CONSECUTIVE DAYS OFF

  • MORE MORNINGS AT HOME

  • CUTS COMMUTE IN HALF

  • POSITIVE ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECT

MAXIMIZES VACATION/SICK LEAVE 

The 48/96 schedule maximizes the amount of days off each firefighter receives with the usage of their vacation/sick leave.  When taking 1 shift off, the firefighter has a total of 5 days off on either schedule.  However, if the firefighter takes 2 shifts off, the current 24/48 gives the firefighter 8 days off, but the 48/96 provides 10 days off.  Please see the following chart which illustrates this.

FOUR CONSECUTIVE DAYS OFF

Every time the firefighter gets off work, they are going home to a 4-day break. The 48/96 schedule provides five 4-day off periods each month versus ten 2-day off periods.  That's sixty 4-day off periods per year. 

 

This allows more time for the following and more:

  • Home projects

  • Traveling

  • Hunting/Fishing

  • Longer recovery time from work fatigue

  • More quality time with the family

 

Furthermore, the 24/48 schedule only allows the firefighter 1 night out of every 3 to spend time with family members or attend social events, free of worries about preparing for work the next day.  By comparison, the 48/96 schedule provides 3 evenings out of every 6 days for the firefighter to enjoy spending time with family or friends without having to worry about getting ready for work the next day.  Firefighters working the 24/48 schedule often complain that they waste their first day off recovering from a busy shift the night before.  Then they only have 1 day left to spend with their families or finish a project.  Firefighters on the 48/96 schedule report that they are able to use their first day off as a recovery day if they need to and are still able to enjoy 3 full days with their families.  

 

In Dr. Koen's analysis, she states that "the amount of consecutive hours available to be a fully-present, active family member" is a key aspect to family well being."

MORE MORNINGS AT HOME

The number of mornings that a firefighter wakes up at home and is not traveling to or from work increases from 10 per month to 15 per month with the 48/96 schedule.  On the current 24/48 schedule, a firefighter only has 1 free morning (not traveling to or from work) out of every 3 days (33%).  On the other hand, the 48/96 schedule provides 3 free mornings out of every 6 days (50%).  That provides more opportunities to take your kids to school, sleep in, or get an early start on a project.  This can also be very beneficial to a firefighter who watches their kids on their days off while their spouse goes to work.

CUTS COMMUTE IN HALF

One of the most obvious benefits to the 48/96 work schedule is the fact that it cuts the firefighter's commute in half.  With our current schedule, firefighters drive to work 122 times a year.  On the 48/96 schedule, the firefighter only drives to work 61 times a year (5 times per month).  Reducing your commute by 50% cuts your fuel cost in half, saves wear and tear on your vehicle, and eliminates time that is wasted driving your car.

 

Based on a 20 mile commute you would save over $400 and gain an extra 61 hours per year (2 1/2 days)!

POSITIVE ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECT

The 48/96 schedule clearly provides a positive impact on the environment.  Over 500 vehicles are removed from the road every other day, which would obviously reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.  Based on a 20-mile commute, 1.8 million miles of driving would be eliminated.  This would have a tremendous impact on the amount of air pollution that is produced each year.

5 Days Off

8 Days Off

11 Days Off

14 Days Off

17 Days Off

20 Days Off

5 Days Off

10 Days Off

11 Days Off

16 Days Off

17 Days Off

22 Days Off

48/96

24/48

# of Shifts Taken Off Work

1

2

3

4

5

6

You get 2 EXTRA DAYS OFF when taking an even number of shifts off.