Nationwide Discussion

48 hour shifts (Trades)

The info provided on your web page has been a great help, so was the San Jose study. Thanks for putting all this info together.  I have a similar, but slightly different issue I am working on.

I am on the contract negotiations team for our local and we are currently discussing with our dept. the possibility of being able to work 48 hour shifts only on trades. We are a 4 platoon dept. and currently are not allowed to work more than 24 hours (unless held over on responses, etc.)

I would like to hear from those of you that are able to work 48's, 72's, 96's etc. on trades and what stipulations your dept puts on these types of trades (if any). Have there been any accidents or injuries that the dept has attributed to working multiple shifts? The fact that other dept's do this kind of thing does not seem to be a compelling argument for the powers that be.

The main concern that I think they are having issues with is fatigue on the second day, especially for our medics who are going on 12-20 runs a shift with little sleep at night.

Any feedback that can be given is greatly appreciated. Please feel free to e-mail me at the address below.


Chris Gilbert
Seattle Fire Fighters Union, IAFF Local 27


Sorry to get to your question late, Chris. I work in Oregon and we often work 48 hour shifts. In fact, Our schedule is 48 hrs on 96 hrs off. Started it this year and I think everyone loves it, instead of the 24x48 tours. Even when we were 24x48 like City of Salem (our neighbor) we were able to work trades back to back with a regular 24 hr shifts. I don't have any safety issues that have been caused by 48hrs of work and we respond to about 10 calls a day. Never had it suggested by management or union members to change it for safety. Not sure what the norm is up there in washington, but seems alot of my neighbors allow longer shift tours here. You might ask the city to allow a trial period and montioring, gives them a way out. Kris

Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 2:07 pm
Post subject: 48-96 in COlorado

We were the first department to implement this schedule in Colorado. Our call volume is relatively low so the 48 is not a huge problem. Almost all of our argument hinged on the research pointing to Albequerque, NM. According to the research, they have been on the schedule for about 10 years. As a transporting ALS department, they have successfully implemented it even with several units at 20 calls per day. The explanation for this is that it becomes a mindset. Its routine. They were able to reduce fatigue simply based on the fact that that is their schedule.


Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 7:53 pm

If your call volumn keeps you awake for at least 36 hours, of your 48 hour tour, how to you prevent sleep deprivation?

Location: Boise, Idaho
Post subject: Fatigue and the 48-96

The 48-96 work schedule may cause some increased short term fatigue, but is very effective at preventing long term fatigue. I would say that a 48 hour shift is not as easy as a 24, but a 24 is not as easy as an 8 hour shift either. We have worked 48 hour tours since our department was founded and they have never been a problem. A 48 hour shift would be much easier if you had 4 days off between each shift rather than the 24 off that we currently experience with our XOOXOOX schedule.


Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2005 10:49 pm

What happens when a shift is scheduled December 24 and 25? Has anything been worked out to prevent this?


Webmaster/Site Admin

Please look at our proposal to see how this problem is overcome.

Sick Leave usage


Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 7:52 pm    Post subject: Sick Leave usage

Does anyone have stats on S/L usage directly related to going 48/96?

Webmaster/Site Admin

We (Boise) do not have any of our own facts due to our lack of implementation at this point. If any other departments (other than the ones we have on our site) have more info please submit it so we can continue to build our data base.


Two statements I have found...

"The sick leave dropped."
"The sick leave dropped but then crep back up."



Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 5:55 pm    Post subject: help

i'm working hard on this for my department, can any one provide me with information. that easily explains the pros and cons. as well as testimony from recently switched me thanx brothers doug ashby garden grove f.d.


Doug- I think we know each other from back in the day. I know an Ashby from the OCFA.

Please email me at and I will send you some of the major documents.


Kelly Cycle


Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2005

We are currently 24/48 with a 12 hour Kelly day every 27 days. If we switch to 48/96 we would have to change to a 26 day cycle. How many hours will our Kelly days have to be to keep our current 53 hour work week the same?


Hi. Its been my understanding and observation that the FDs on the 48/96 work schedule do not have any kelly days.

Its simply 2 on, 4 off.

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2005

Hey, Bou!

I'd really like to find a department that uses Kelly or Platoon days. We've tried unsuccessfully several times to do away with our Kelly days for many reasons. Unfortunately, the city isn't willing to budget for the 3 hours overtime (or straight time) per week that would be created.

Our 12 hour Kelly days work on the 24/48 because we are on a 9 shift cycle works out to 53 hours per week. If we change the 27 day cycle to 24 the 12 hour Kelly day will give us less that the current 53 hours per week.


Hi Guest!

The two departments that I think operate like that are Oakland and San Francisco, CA.

I cant give you an honest answer because I dont know about the mixing of kelly days on the 56 hour week.

Hope that helps a little.


I work for the City of Kent, Wa., local 1747, and we work 50.2 hrs a week, with one 24 hr K-day per month. We are researching the 48/96, and have passed a vote of 64% to implement it. I would suggest talking to the IAFF about FLSA, and how to work it into this schedule. I would think a 24 day cycle should work, but we're still looking at it.

48-96 trial complete.. update

Posted: Sun Oct 09, 2005


Kris Boyer here from Marion County Fire District, Salem, Oregon. Last November I posted we were starting a trial period of the 48-96 after a trial vote passage of 66%. At that time we worked the old 24-48 schedule.

Well here is the update. We have completed our continuation vote and we will remain on the new 48-96 schedule. The vote was 95% "yes" to continue. You can add our department to the growing statistical data on trial and outcome.

I have to finish by saying the information you have here on this site is all anyone should need to explain the benefits of switching. I receive many emails from my postings here from many departments, of all sizes. The want to know what the cons are. I will stress this one point... Don't waste your time trying to find more cons to the schedule. They don't exist. You can see that in the percentage of "YES" votes to continue the schedule vs the trial percentage. I can assure you this... It is a sore disappointment for any department that would not or could not, Atleast, Trial the schedule. You have to determine for Yourself how much the benefits outway those few few cons listed. I can't convince someone else my life here is like yours, but statistics from all these departments don't LIE. Again its a real shame if your too big or too old or too busy to change your life for a postive.

Good luck in your movement we are happy here. Kris


Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 2:08 pm    Post subject:

Kris- Thanks for the update and congratulations! Sounds like a winner and I hope to some day get on that schedule.

Please keep coming back here and sharing your thoughts.

Take care, Brett



Posted: Sat Sep 24, 2005

Our department currently works a modified kelly schedule that works out like this:


The schedule gives us a 2day in the middle of our 4 shift rotation, but fewer 4 days per month/year. Is there information out there for this type of schedule (statistics, etc.). I wanted to make sure before I started on it myself. Thanks.


Yo- Just curious....Do you work for LA County or OCFA.


I work for Sacramento FD.


Hey Goose! I dont have any info. on your current work schedule.

PS- I live in Elk Grove.

ambulances on 48/96


Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2005

Hey everybody. Nice to see the positives on the schedule change. Congrats!

I'm back again with a new question. I'm currently doing research for my department and needed some comparibles. We have transport medic ambulances on our department...the slowest at about 3600 calls/yr for our slowest to over 6000/yr for our busiest medics. Does anyone work for (or know of) a department who has medics on this schedule? They don't necessarily need to be as busy, but the comparison would help convince the people on these medics. I wanted to see how the schedule is working for them. Thanks in advance for any info you've got.


Goose- I think there is an ambulance company on the current FD list.

If you check out the current list, you will see lots of FDs there with medic units. Some transport, some dont.

Hope this helps.

Webmaster/Site Admin

If you look at the list of departments on the schedule, I think you will find several examples. Alberquerque sould be one of those.


Piner Ambulance in Napa, California works the 48/96 schedule. This is a private ambulance company. Napa City Fire Dept. also works 48/96 and has Paramedics on their engine companies.

Kris Boyer

At Marion County Fire in Salem, Oregon we have transporting ambulance service in the Fire house. We run about 2,000/calls a year per unit. I have not heard any complaints with the new schedule and working on the Ambulances. If anything it has been beneficial reducing long term fatigue to have 4 days off. Our normal emergency transport will take 1.5 hours turn around time. Good luck finding the answers you need.

Trial period vote (66%)

Continuance Vote after trial (95%)



Posted: Sun Jul 24, 2005


Kris Boyer


48/96 Chief officers


Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2005

Our Dept is currently looking at the 48/96 How does this affect commuincations with Chiefs that only work 8-5 Mon-Friday. The fear is that we work Sat & Sun they will not see us...One scenario showed on the traditional kelly our chiefs see us 4 times in a 16 day time frame, with the new 48/96 the same time frame they only see us once. The fear is the lack of commuincation!!! Did any depts have there Chiefs go to 48/96? from the 8-5 Mon-Fri Shift?

Kris Boyer


I can't answer on the 8-5 chief's changing their schedule to match. Our battalion chiefs have always worked the same schedule as the crews. As for communications between day chiefs and shift BCs, we have not noticed any lack of information transfer since changing schedules. The BCs have email and mail boxes to recieve needed information that is then passed down to the shift. Technology today has helped us all. As for "Seeing" each other face to face usually only small departments would notice that small difference.

Kris Boyer

48/96 since Jan '05


Thanks Kris we dont have on Duty Shift B/C only m-f 8-5 Chiefs. They go home at night and cover call from home.

A different trail vote %? (60,70,75)

I have departments call me that have members grumble that the vote should be a higher "To Pass" percentage than normal. I think Managament discuraged of a low passage is one reason some seek a higher requirement. And still others would use it to interfer with progress.

We here, like the data seen elsewhere, only required the normal 50.1% to pass for a trial. My arguement for 50% is... One, no one who wants change should have a vote that counts less than someone who is against change. My family is no less important than anothers so why should another vote be worth 1.3% and mine .7% . Second, when else do you demand a higher percentage in regular business of the union. You ratify a contract that affects all at 50%. Third, its just a trial and not permanent by any stretch, What is permanent in life anyway.

If you want to increase the Continuance Vote to over 90% after the trial you would not have a problem Continuing the schedule (as the data has shown that only the NOs change). But if you require any change to the trial vote you risk impeding change and future benefits due to those who have little vision. I actually recommend a 35% to pass so the Future may be attempted.

Anyone with other arguments on this issue?

Kris Boyer

FLSA periods and 48-96


Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2006

I understand the need for an evenly divisible FLSA period i.e. 24 days on the 48-96, but how do you figure the difference in hours? Currently my dept. requires everyone to take 12 hours off every 27 day FLSA period, by changing to a shorter period would the hours required off change as well? Any help would be great. Ken.


1. The FLSA work period shall be changed from a 27-day period to a 24 -day period beginning January 1, 2005 on a twelve month trial basis. Should the 48/96 schedule be discontinued, the 24-day period shall return to a 27-day period. Maximum hours of work for a 24-day period is 182.

2. The hours of work for shift duty members shall be fifty-four and twenty-nine one hundredths (54.29) hours per week. Hours of work for shift duty members shall remain the same as the 24/48 schedule.

Basically, more FLSA periods, less overtime per period. I think it is a wash. I don't have time right now, but look through the "other resources" pages and see if you can see the way other departments handled it.

Does that help or do you need more info?

How do I get the medics to agree to 48-96?


Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2006

Can anyone help me with a situation we have here at Myrtle Beach, we are currently trying to get the ball rolling to institute the 48-96 schedule. But we seem to be having some problems with are paramedics going along with the plan. How do we convince them that this is a good schedule, and it would work. The medics I have spoke to are worried that they would be stuck "on the box" for 48 hrs. Which is not a very pleasing thought. The majority of are calls are medicals. About 80% of them anyway. So I am basically trying gather as much info as I can in order to get the medics on board. As you can see, I would enjoy this schedule very much. But some people are afraid of change.............Thanks, Bill


Did you contact them at all? They are a very busy department running ALS. They would probably have the best insight as to how it works. Based on their long history with 48-96, they must not seem like it is too hard on them. You might also try a 6 or 12 week trial period.

You can also look at our list of other departments on this site and see who else is running medics.


After talking to people on the schedule, it seems like "I am always home." is the common answer.

You cant look at it like I am working 48, rather I am going to be off for 4 days straight the in a day or two. The comstant four days make the career seem like a part-time job.

Orange County Fire Authourity (CA) 48-96


Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2005


Orange County Fire Authourity is seriously looking to the 48-96...Check out their website

"Change in the Fire Service doesn't come easy..."




Hank- Thanks for the info. Nice site and great Power Point! I have added it to my collection.

-Boukca (former OCFD PCF)


I have converted the OCFA and San Jose Reports to PDF:

Not everyone has PowerPoint and Word installed on their computers! Thus, PDF is much more appropriate for public posting!

-Kevin Rice,

Fatigue study


Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2006

A while back I read a study done by the "Round the Clock" company about long term fatigue vs short term fatigue. I see this mentioned in the San Jose Report. I cannot find that report now.

Does anyone know how I can get any and all reports done by the

Round the Clock folks that deal with the 48/96? 



I am trying to get a copy of that report right now. I will let you know what I come up with.

Add another department...San Ramon Valley, CA


Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2006

I just visited a San Ramon Valley fire station and they started this schedule the first of the year.

I talked to one of the guys that has a family and he straight up said- "I love it!" I asked him about his wife and she loves it too.

Ok, the numbers-

The voting to switch came out 100 YES and 35 No. And guess what, the "no" guys are now liking it and kinda shy about their "no" votes.

(this seems to be the case)

On a positive note- I get emailed about once a week from people all over the nation asking me for my information. I have been sending it out. This site is working! People are sharing information and its working! Good job!


I recently chatted with one of RMV's union guy. He told me that the vote for the work schedule was 100 pro, 35, at the end of 2005.

Fast forward to today and those 35 "no votes" will tell you in a quiet voice- "Yeah, now I kind of lke the new schedule..."

Seems to be the typical with every FD that goes to it.

Child Custody changes due to the 48/96....


Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2006

Anybody have any experience/argument with transitioning from a 3/4 kelly to the 48/96....More or Less visitation, etc.....


Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006


Have you gotten any information on chiild custody issue's; pro and/or con? Also do you have any info on child care or how kids of the ff's like the schedule in general?

My own experience; my dept. works the mod. Kelly /Berkely schedule my husbands dept. just went to the 48/96 this year Jan. !. Our kids definitely love 'dads' schedule more than 'moms'. They see him more, he is not as tired which = more play time, etc. etc., etc. I notice he is finally completeing some of those 'unfinished' projects.

Why not four platoon?


Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2006

So all this buzz about 48/96 and comparing it to the Kelly shift and the 24/48 but NO ONE seems to have done an all out shift comparison of current shift worked with 48/96 , four platoon, or anything else that we can creatively come up with. Why is the 48/96 the end all? There are departments that work four platoon (OOOOOXOXOOOOO, OR OOOOXOOXOOOO) with debit days to make hours per week. Where is their input and desire to switch? Is 48/96 really the better schedule or is it just the current hot thing for people who live far away from work (which, admittedly, is many FF's)?


I've been working on the 48/96 for about 2 years at my Dept. in Wa., and it cracks me up when someone tells ME to do a comparison of different shifts for THEM. We currently work a modified Detroit, or Kelly schedule, with 12 K-days a year. My Dept. runs about 14,000 calls per year, 7 stations. For me, the best part about the 48/96 is cutting commute in half, plus "getting it over with" to reach the 4 days off. I'm sold on it since every Dept. that has done a trial period has adopted it, usually by overwhelming margins.

4 platoon is a different animal, and more costly, with promotions of new officers, plus you have to shake up the shifts to move people to the new one.Add in debits to keep your current weekly hours, and I don't see an advantage. A 50 hr. week is a 50 hr week, but at least with the 48/96 you cut the commute in half, and always leave work on a 4 day. Just MHO.

48-96 research


Posted: Tue May 02, 2006

My dept is researching the 48-96 shift and I'm looking for firefighters that are currently working the 48-96 shift. If anyone is available to answer questions on this shift i would appreciate it if you email so I can contact you.

Thanks and be safe,


James Clack's Report


Posted: Sat May 13, 2006

I'm looking for a copy of James Clack's Report entitled "The management effects of firefighters working a consecutive 48-hour shift. Does anyone have a copy or know where I can get it?




not sure where I saw it...i'll keep looking


I actually found it. I got it from Chief Clack himself.


Boise Fire Department to Start 48-96 Jan 2007


Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2006

After a journey of 3 ½ years, the Boise Fire Department has implemented the 48-96 work schedule with a department wide trail to start January of 2007. The trial was to be written into the contract during negotiations this spring, however in the end it was implemented through a Memorandum of Understanding between the Chief and the Union. It was a lot of work to get it done and I would like to thank everyone, both inside and outside our department, for their help.

Here is a copy of the MOU (sorry for the loss of formating):


This Memorandum of Agreement is entered into this 31st day of March 2006 by and between the INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FIREFIGHTERS, LOCAL #149 (hereinafter the “Union”) and the CITY OF BOISE (hereinafter the “City”).

WHEREAS, the UNION and BOISE CITY have entered into a Collective Labor Agreement dated April 1, 2006 through March 31, 2008; and

WHEREAS, the Collective Labor Agreement, ARTICLE 5 HOURS OF WORK Section A. Shift Duty Members, and Boise Fire Department General Order 129 General Rules and Regulations, 9.0 GENERAL RULES 9.4 designates the current three platoon system (24/48 of operation, and;

WHEREAS, the UNION is proposing a change from the current 24/48 schedule to a 48/96 schedule, and

WHEREAS, the 48/96 schedule would reduce the number of vehicle miles driven by fire-fighters commuting to work, thus reducing traffic and pollution, and

WHEREAS, research has indicated that the 48/96 schedule may have a minimal impact on operations, and has the potential to reduce sick leave utilization;

NOW, THEREFORE the parties do hereby agree as follows:

1. Effective in January 2007 (Dependent upon the FLSA Break) the Boise Fire Department will implement, on a trial basis, the 48/96 work schedule. The trial period will be in effect through December 31, 2007. The trial period will allow both BOISE CITY and the UNION to accurately evaluate the merits of the work schedule throughout a calendar year.

2. During the trial period, either BOISE CITY or the UNION may elect to return to the 24/48 schedule by giving the other party thirty (30) days written notice. In the event BOISE CITY or the UNION initiates this clause, there will be a sixty (60) day grace period to return to the 24/48 schedule. The UNION will assist in the re-selection of vacations to return to the 24/48 schedule.

3. If BOISE CITY and the UNION wish to continue the 48/96 schedule past December 31, 2007, a vote of the Union membership and approval by the City Council would be required. A Memorandum of Understanding making the change will be executed by the Parties and will be incorporated in the successor collective labor agreement.

4. The 48/96 shift schedule is a three platoon system in which each employee will work two consecutive twenty-four hour shifts for a total of forty-eight hours, and have ninety-six consecutive hours off duty. A typical work schedule is as follows: X = work day, O = day off XXOOOOXXOOOO (repeats).

5. A “shift” will consist of a 24 hour period.

6. Overtime will be in accordance with the current Collective Labor Agreement, however no overtime shall be incurred by BOISE CITY in order to transition from 24/48 to the 48/96 schedule or to return from the 48/96 schedule to the 24/48 schedule should that occur.

7. In the event that a shift is scheduled to work both December 24th and December 25th the same year, the shift assigned to work on December 23rd will be reassigned to work December 24th. The shift originally scheduled to work December 24th will be reassigned to work on December 23rd.

8. The FLSA work cycle shall be changed from a 27-day cycle to a 24-day cycle for the remainder of 2007. Should the 48/96 schedule be discontinued, the 24-day cycle shall return to a 27-day cycle.

9. The FLSA maximum hours of work for a 24-day cycle is182.

10. The hours of work for shift duty members shall be fifty-four and twenty-nine one hundredths (54.29) hours per week. Hours of work for shift duty members shall remain the same as the 24/48 schedule.

11. Employees assigned to the 40 hour work schedule will not be affected by this agreement.

12. This agreement is in no way meant to change or delete a benefit or privilege provided by the IAFF Local #149 Collective Labor Agreement (CLA). This agreement is only meant to change the scheduled work days. The annual hours of work shall remain the same. All benefits and privileges will remain unchanged. In the event of an inconsistency between the terms and conditions of this agreement and the CLA, the terms and conditions of the CLA shall prevail.

AGREED and DATED this 31st day of March, 2006.


______________________________ ______________________________

Renn Ross, Fire Chief Tom Lovell, President

Variation to 48/96 shift schedule


Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2005

Hello everyone,

First of all, I am excited to see all the buzz not only statewide, but from around the country regarding the 48 hour shift schedule.

Having worked the 3/4 shift schedule and the Federal Fire Schedule, the 48 hour shifts is the best schedule.

Anyway, to the point of my post:

I just wanted to give you departments thinking about going to 48 shift schedules a variation on the theme.

In Kern County, we work the following 48 shift schedule: XXOOXXOOXXOOOOOOOO or 2 on 2 off 2 on 2 off 2 on 8 off. There are 3 departments in Kern County working this schedule:

Kern County FD
California City FD
Taft City FD

This schedule allows for more continueity and consistency between agencies on auto aid / mutual aid assignments. You always work with the same shift from the other department. They know what to expect from you and you know what to expect from them.

Also, there is another ambulance company that works 48 hour shifts. That is Hall Ambulance out of Bakersfield. In the outlying / rural areas of Kern County, Hall Ambulance works the same schedule as the 3 FD's listed above. This provides for a better working relationship between public / private sectors, because you are always workin with the same medic crew.

Like I said, just wanted to throw out a variation to the 48 hour shift schedule.

Please contact me at: if you would like more info on our shift schedule.


Kris Boyer

Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 11:53 am    Post subject: Its an option.


Its an interesting schedule option. I doubt though many have mutal aid agencies with that schedule to match up with. The benefit would have to be measured in simply what impact it has on your work and home life. I think the reason most prefer the 48/96 in general is the fact there isn't built in heavy work cycles. The schedule is steady. I think most would wake up in that schedule at the end of 8 days well rested, but dreading the next ten days.

Kris Boyer


fytfir- As far as I know, only those FDs you listed run that 2-2-2-6 schedule. Sounds like you like it. I would be interestedd in the 2/4 also because there are more 4 days than 6 days.

Also- since youre from that area, check this out-


Both working 48/96


Sat Aug 05, 2006

Does anyone have experience with husband/wife, both firefighters and both working 48/96 but at differient departments. Either on same shift or not.

We will be voting on moving towards a trial period and have 2 members who are in this situation.


Roger- i know of atleast two couples that are all Firefighters and each couple are in the same situation.

One works the 48/96 and the other spouce works the 3/4 schedule. Both FFs on the 3/4 really wish they could move over to the 48/96.

Hope this helps out.

Need family & Female input on 48-96 please


Posted: Wed Sep 06, 2006

We are looking at the 48-96. The schedule we work now is XOXOOXOXOOOO. The number one negative comment so far has been about how this will effect our families. Specifically wives at home with small kids for 48hrs. I am looking for all the input I can get from anyone on this, especially opinions from female FF's that are mothers and from any other FF's families. Opinions both before implementation of the 48-96 and after would be great. Thanks, Fraternally, BJ


BJ- OC or LA Co?

Please email me at so we can chat on the phone. If you can find Tanya (Colorado) in here, she is the best person to chat with. LOTS of info!



Posted: Fri Sep 22, 2006



Peters77- I wish I had some infor for you. The only word I have ever gotten regarding FLSA is that there is no change in FLSA on the 56 hour work week going from a 3/4 Kelly to the 2x4.

I know that doesnt really help you out. But its the only feedback I have received so far.

Hope this helps. Your Local 55 brother, boukca

Age Gradient


Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2005

I'm courious what the age gradient is of the Boise FD and nay other departments working the 48/96. Our's is a younger department, and if it comes to a union vote, the majority of the younger members (both sexes) may be able to push the vote. The older members (including myself) are against the longer hours. Any input would be appreciated. Donno


I would have to say that we are of average age. Some old guys some new ones. Of the firefighters we have had try the schedule, age has made no difference to how they liked the schedule. Of the 40 or so people we have had try the schedule, only one has not liked it.

A side note to working 48 hour shifts is that many of our members nearing retirement strive to make as much overtime as possible. Some of theses members make 600 hours of OT in their last year. That is the equivalent of up to 24 48-hour shifts a year on top of trade paybacks. 48 hour shifts don't seem to be a problem for our members.


I have available a DVD of interviews from a cross section of 48-96 dept members. I interviewed an "old guy" who was 2 years from retirement and was anti 48-96 prior to the trial period. This individual absolutely loved the "new" schedule as did his family...

The bottom line on this proposed schedule change is that has been implemented by numerous professional fire agencies and works.

Departments that are small, large, advanced life support, EMT only, transport and no transport capability as well as high call volume or low volume.

Firefighters are the same ANYWHERE in the USA. They could exchange shirts and work in each others departments without any disruptions. The main hitch in making a schedule change seems to be from Chief's who seem reluctant to make a change as "their" department is different than others...

We are not reinventing the wheel here; we are simply asking for trial periods to experience a potential schedule that would allow firefighters to work in a more desirable fashion with 50% less commuting, and more consistant time off with families, all without any disruption to serving our communities or level of service.


How would one get a copy of this DVD?


I would also like a copy of this video. Let me know the cost involved.


As there have been quite a few requests for the DVD, I thought I'd give a overview... It was made about 5 years ago when I visited some departments that used the 48-96. It is by no means a professional recording as it was done with a cheap sony cam. The first 5 mins are a little scratchy as the master copy which was VHS was used hard!

Other than that it contains candid interviews with firefighters as well as admin staff that were on the 48-96.

If you would like a copy I have been sending them without a charge (although an xl fd shirt would be cool)

Send me your name, address and department and I will get it out to you.




Just wondering if you got my address and request? I was having problems sending to your email.


Lance Tryggestad

Short vs. Long term fatigue


Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2006

Our chief seems concerned about the fatigue as some of our medic engines stay pretty busy. Does anyone have any studies as they relate to the fire service and the 48/96 and fatigue? Short term vs. long term?Everybody talks about the short term fatigue during the shift, but I believe that always having a 4 day after the shift has got to be better than just having 24 hours to recover in the 3/4 schedule.



Bro- I think you might have answered your own question.

It seems that there are "so many four days" that the fatigue factor goes down.

But, I was always told in the beginning, if you run a lot of calls, this might not be the schedule for you.

But Albq, NM is a busy FD too and they still love it. So go figure. Sounds like a trail period might be the best for you?

Good luck.

PS- If you need the doc. and PowerPoints, please email me at


Ya, That's what i have heard from people. I am hoping someone might have a formal or informal study on the fatigue angle I could share with the Chief. Thanks for the help


Vacation, Holiday, and Kelly Scheduling


Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006

We are in the process of negotiating the 48-96, one of the issues we need to solve is how leave is scheduled. I would like info in how other departments pick there leaves, i.e;

does it have to be picked in blocks?

Based on seniority how many leave days can a person select?

Do any departments include their Kelly time in as part of the overall leave?

Any info would be great,


Dm- I dont have any information for you on this one. The only feedback I have seen is that people take sick leave in 24 hour blocks at a time.

I am only going to guess that you 48 hour request come first before the 24hr. to pre-schedule OT?

I am also going to guess that you wont needt o change much of your existing polcies?

Losing kellys?


Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2006

We work a XOXOXOOOO shift at my department and is it my understanding that we would lose our kelly days by going to 48/96? We use a 19 day kelly cycle which gives us 6-7 kellys (24hrs) per year depending on which days your shift falls on any given year. Trying to sell this to the other members so any help would be appreciated. thanks.


As far as I know, there are no Kelly Days on the 48/96.

And, once you go to the 48/96, you wont miss or need them.

What's up with Minneapolis FD? - Chief Clack's Report


Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2006

I have read Chief Clack's report. His report appears very thorough. I'd like to hear from the guys working at Minneapolis FD. Do you agree with the findings in the report? Have you gone back to your previous schedule? Do you think the problems were due to the high volume of calls?




We just had a Deputy Chief from Minn. at our Dept. in Wa. for some TIC training. He told me that the entire admin. was against the 48-96 being incorporated into their schedule, but they decided to allow the trial period. During that time, they carefully tracked fatigue, accidents, productivity, etc, between the 2 different shift schedule ( 2 shifts work XOXOOO). He said emphatically that there was NO difference between the shifts. It sounded like the 48-96 was manned by the guys who wanted to try it initially, and liked it, and the other 2 shifts was manned by the more senior guys who were afraid to try it, and the younger members who didn't have enough seniority too get on the 48-96. I have no doubt that if they ALL were put on the 48-96, that they would have embraced it by the 90%+ that most Dept.s do.


I can't imagine my FD working very well while 2/3 of the guys are working 1 shift and the other 1/3 working something different?? Where is the continuity? Tracking the training offered everyone would be tough also.


There are several problems with Chief Clack's report. The first is that it is based on the "Professional Opinion" of the one person who answered his email survey. Chief Clack sent 29 survey's out and received only 14 back. When you read the appendix of replies from the various departments, the strong majority doesn’t support the opinion or views that Chief Clack offers.

The second problem, you can't take an accurate survey if only 1/3 of your department is in a test environment. There are too many factors to compare the two groups. For example, is one group more prone to accidents, discipline, or sick leave than the other? The most accurate way would have been to study the entire group on one schedule and then the entire group on the next schedule. Other variables to the data could be: is sick leave up because of extenuating circumstances, is there a poor attitude towards work because of outside conditions (i.e. admin).

The third problem, some of the research is not fire department specific. The fatigue studies were based on the general population. They do not take into account firefighters being accustomed to the long schedules. They do not account for the long rest periods (4 days off). They do not account for adrenalin in emergency conditions. They do not account for short term and long-term fatigue.

Go to if you would like to download and read the report yourself. It is about half way down and is titled EFO Paper 48 hour shift.

I have done a lot of research on the 48/96 and have a very extensive report. Topics include: Pros and Cons, Fatigue, FLSA (including specific DOL Documents), Department list (81 total, with over 3400 FF's), Departments Researching, Sample Schedules. If anybody would like a copy, please send me an email.


I actually contacted Chief Klack via several telephone calls while we were investigating the 48-96.Clack's report was continually thrown in our direction as a negative by our Fire Admin Staff. After talking with Chief Klack, who by the way was very informative and generous with his time, he stated that he would not have "any reservations about my entire department being on the 48-96 schedule..." We used his quote at our next Admin / Association meeting and that was the end of any more reference to his report!

By the way, He wrote that report while attending a one week class at the National Fire Academy as part of a required assignment writing a report utilizing the internet.

We are now, after 4.5 years of voting, informing, voting and voting again, going to start the 48-96 in Jan 07 !!!

Does anyone have residency requirements w/ the 48/96?


Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2006

We just finished our trial period of the 48/96. However pressure from some local citizens in the area has swayed our chief and board into imposing a residency requirement. Our fire district is located in the Monterey Bay area in Santa Cruz County, California. It's not uncommon to pay upwards of 600K for a two bedroom condo. We cannot even come close to affording a moderately priced home in Santa Cruz or any surrounding counties. The closest affordable areas are usually loaded with crime, gangs, and poor infrastructure. In order to find some place half decent and affordable you need to go at least 2-3 hours away. This isn't so bad considering the alternatives. My question is for anyone who has had to deal with this issue.

Do you have a residency requirement? How do you feel about being imposed with such a restriction? I'm hoping to get as much feedback as possible so that our union can prove to our administration what's reasonable and what's not.


Stub- You might get some more feedback from the other career FFs at

Hope that helps out.



Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2006

My dept just voted with a 2/3's majority to research implementing a trial period. We currently work 3's and 4's. A big concern with our dept is weekends. How do depts on this 48/96 handle their weekends as far as work and training.

I appreciate any input available. Thanks


I keep telling people...With 20+ more 4 days breaks a year, youre gonna get more weekends off.

Of course my FD doesnt work this schedule and more people have to call in sick, vacation and trade to get a weekend off to do stuff.

But no, some people are too anti-48x96. The same who ravage the weekends.

Research help


Posted: Tue Feb 14, 2006

My name is Charles Bellefontaine of the Northbrook Fire Department in Illinois. I am trying to put together a proposal on the 48-96 schedule for us to consider. Your web site is a great resource. If someone has this in a word document; I would appreciate a copy to be emailed to

I would also like volunteers, who are working this schedule, to interview. Any help is appreciated.

Nice work whoever put this site together.

I can also be reached by phone at 630-327-2700

Charles Bellefontaine


What information would you like in a word document? Is it possible to just cut and paste from a web page? Let me know. You can e-mail me if that is easier. Raftin(at)


Charles- Did you get what you needed?

3 on 3 off schedule 10hr day/14 hr night, current schedule


Location: South Fire District of the City of Middletown, CT

Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2006

I am responding from the Northeast and we are currently in contract negotiations with the District preparing to propose a 24/48 3 platoon work schedule, we are dead set against this. There are several departments in the Northeast that are working a 24/72 schedule, we are seeking some advice and information regarding comparison to the 48/96 to our schedule or any department that may have made this change from this schedule.


Anthony R. Lancia, Jr, President

South Fire District Firefighters

Local 3918 IAFF

445 Randolph Road

Middletown, CT 06457


I've never heard of a Dept. switching from 4 platoon to 3 shift before, but if you are forced to change, the 48/96 would be the shift to go after, but it would be hard to beat 24/72, especially if you don't have debit days!


What little I can offer....

Anytime anyone goes to the 48/96 schedule, they dont go back. they love it. I works well and the wives and families love it.

I have worked the 3/4, 1-6-3 Federal schedule, 2-2-6 (72 hour work week) and the 40 hour work week. And I can promise you this, the 48x96 is the best.

Christmas and the 48/96


Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2006

I am reading conflicting information regarding how often a shift will fall on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Some say it happens very seldom, some say it happens quite a bit. I realize most dept.s split the shift with another crew so they don't have to work both, but I want to have very accurate info for our membership for this question. Can anyone forward their statistics as to how often this occurs?

negative aspects of 48/96??


Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2005

We are getting more questions from some of our members (mostly ones who are adamantly opposed to the 48/96 schedule change) and although I have been researching them, I was wondering if anybody had any information.

1)Does anybody have any information about Chief Clack's (Minneapolis FD) report entitled "The management effects of firefighters working a consecutive 48-hour shift"? This is a very negative report and was wondering what you all thought about it. 

2)The Round-The-Clock Systems report "24/48 vs. 48/96 work schedules: A comparative analysis". I've read the small section of benefits on the family time issue, but have also read the whole report and it is saying that it is undesirable for busy departments. Are there any busy departments out there working it and if so, are they experiencing any problems with fatigue like the report states could happen? 

3) Safetly issues. This is probably the most concerned issue with our department. Being busy, people are worried about the second shift after being busy the first...especially our medic units. Has anybody experienced any safety concerns? ie. increase in accidents, injuries, sick leave assoc with 48/96, increase in disciplinary issues?

I would apprecaite any information anybody could give me. If you have hard copies I would love to have them for upcoming meetings with admin/members. Thanks in advance to everybody. Good luck with all who are doing the work for their own departments.

Kris Boyer


I havent read the report...that would be suspect if it didnt cover multiple departments and included aspects of this 48/96 schedule in it...but I can give you information from experience. We run ambulances at our Fire department and we have a call volume of roughly 8-10 calls per day. Spikes of 15 and slow days of 3 or 4 happen. Ambulance to hospital turn around is about 1.5 hrs. We have run the 48/96 schedule for over a year.

There have not been any claims of an increase in fatigue issues, discipline, or mistakes. No one has claimed the 48 tour to be a cause for a return to the old 24 schedule. Most departments have people working trades or over time resulting in 48s already.

Instead we have experienced everything you have read about the schedule. Fatigue has gone down. Home life has improved. We voted 95% to keep the schedule.

I would talk to some who have ran the schedule alil longer than us here in Oregon. Its still very new in our state. I would also call around to management positive on it for support. Have negative personnel make phone calls and hear for them selves. Good Luck


We are currently studying this schedule in an effort to go to it. I've heard all the positive aspects but to get the full picture what are the negatives? Our department transports and many of our RA's run 12 to 15 or more calls a shift consistantly. Many of our 40 stations are ALS and and some are not. In addition we looking at straight seniority bidding. That means there may not be a rotation of the medic crews for the full 48 hours. I'm sure somebody has discused these sorts of issues. Where can I find this information? I'm not against the schedule, I'm just concerned about somebody stacking up a box because they fell asleep.


I have a copy of Chief Clack's Report. If you'd like, I can email it to you. His report is negative towards the 48/96, yet one-third of their department is currently working it.


We are a unique dept. we have one station and have minimum manning of 13. Does any one have any experience with this many people living together and getting along for 48 hours?


We are currently researching the 48/96. The info i have found indicates fatigue was initially a concern, but when they went to the trial period, it was not a problem. Most people sleep the first day of their 4 day to catch up on sleep if they are busy for the 48 and then you still have 3 days with your family.

mandatory staffing and the 48/96


Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2006

I am looking for info on how departments manage there madatory lists/staffing on the 48/96. The department I work for is currently looking into this schedual and one of the big concerns is how do we manage our mandatory list. Example B shift is working and there is an opening the next day on C shift that has not been filled by Ot, and the opening is for both days 48 hrs. This means we are going to mandatory a B shifter to cover this shift. Our department does not allow you to work more than 72 hrs. How would we manage this situation with out putting some one a 96. Unfortunatly mandatories are very common in my Department. Any info regarding this matter would be very helpful

Thank you



hey woody,

Each day counts as one shift, so a 48 hour cycle is two 24 hour shifts. Your mandatory policy will still work under these conditions. The trouble you could potentially run into is finding someone to cover the second day. Typically in my department, you only get mandatoried as your coming off shift because everyone that is off doesn't answer their phone (Caller ID!).

Also, because it is two 24 hour cycle's, a member can call off sick or take vacation on only one day. This is pretty typical on vacation, but happens about 50/50 on sick time. Depends on the personalities in your organization.

San Bern. Co. Fire and the 48-96...


Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2007

Sb county still has pockets of their department that are still on the 48/96.

The ones that I know off the top of my head are the River Division (Needles) and Helendale, CA.

I have been trying for several months to figure out what happened with SB County. I still haven't got a straight answer. I don't know if you're aware, but their is alot of rumors swirling about why they returned to their original schedule and also if they are going back. I've even heard rumors of the voting process being corrupt but I haven't been able to substantiate it.

Here's the best I have so far:

SB county is basically two departments - The Valley (Fontana, CA) and everybody else. The Valley is extremely busy, 20 - 30 calls a day out of multiple stations. The best answer I have gotten is that the extreme call volume made the schedule difficult. The Valley was told that all training days would be on the first 24hrs. That way if, or when, they get hammered at night, they could recoup the second day. I was told admin made it a habit of training on the second day.

In the end, the 48-96 trial period lost the 2/3 majority by 6 votes. The Valley makes up a large part of the department (8 stations) It is my understanding that they all rallied together and defeated the schedule.


Fire Management is supportive of the 48-96. It cut down on alot of overtime costs related to station coverage because some of their stations are several hours apart.


I have heard that alot of the other divisions are talking about going back to the 48-96 and leaving the Valley division the same. Only time will tell.

If I hear any updated material, I'll start a new post.

Sacramento City starts 48/96 schedule


Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2007


Sacramento City Fire Dept. started the 48/96 on 3/06/07. In my eyes the schedule is great. This will be for a 1 year period.

We used to work a modified kelly xoxooxoxoooo. The old schedule had fewer 4 days than the 48/96. It is also great for my commute reducing the drive from 600 miles a month to 300.

We also do all the transporting (Fire base). We have 12 ALS ambulances. The busiest ran 6,152 with 5 others ran over 5,000. And our slowest ran just over 3,000. We also have a few engines that are over 4,000 runs a year, too. So the big controversy is fatique...we'll see how it will go.

Sac City Fire Department stats:

Population: 500,000 +
Calls 2006: 66,284
Stations: 23
Engines: 23
Trucks: 8
Heavy Rescue:1
ALS Ambu: 12
Busiest Station: St. 6: 14,000 + calls (4 pieces of apparatus)
Busiest Engine: E6: 4,620
Busiest Truck: T6: 2,585
Busiest Medci: M2: 6,152
Fire Calls: 3,274 out of those 1,028 are structure fires (house, hotels, schools,apartments etc.)
Check out my stations website:


Matt Rosales

New department on the 48/96...


Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2007

I just found out yesterday that Beverly Hills FD has been in the trial for 6 months.

Here is my current city list with number of personnel and my research package:

I get alot of Requests also...

Kris Boyer

Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2005

I get alot of requests for information from other departments and always forward this website to them for their research. I've now been asked to attend some department's Union meetings to provide information. Often I get asked.. "How did you work with management to trial and continue the schedule?".

This is what I'm wondering... we should have a group of Firefighters who can travel to departments, even outside their state, to give Management and the Union an outsiders perspective for why they should both want to trial it.

This schedule is that much of a benefit that I would hate to see someone not get to the trial period. The two sides can argue who got the bigger benefit outa the change after the trial period. The data is clear.... departments don't go back. I would assume the cost of travel is prohibitive. Just a thought. Maybe the IAFF would sponsor it. But some of you need help it sounds like.

Kris Boyer


Kris- I got 4 Power Points and 4 big documents. You want me to email you what I got? OR I could send a CD in the mail.

Kris Boyer

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2005


That would be helpful. I have a meeting coming up with our State Council and would like to be able to offer a varity of assistance to anyone still seeking the schedule. If you can zip it individually and then try to send thru email, that would work best. Or, I can give you my work address if it would need to come by snail mail.

email me to request the address if needed.

Thanks Friend



I am still getting request from this website almost on a weeklt basis, Its amazing how the people/Chiefs/Captains are looking at this schedule.

Please keep writing and I will keep sending out the material.

BFD's current situation?


Location: Boise, Idaho

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 10:27 pm

Currently we are still working our 24-48 schedule. Through shift trading we have several members, if not whole stations working the 48-96. As more of our members try it, momentum is gaining. We were at first reluctant to try to change work schedules for fear of our admin opening the contract and going after our health care benefits. Now, as contract negotiations approach, we are going to make a hard run at 48-96. Rumor has it the union president and fire chief will be visiting a department working the 48-96 to see how they are doing. Stay tuned!


I recently created a page with all the information I have on where we stand on this issue. Please check it out. It is in the main page navigation structure.


Posted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 9:13 am    Post subject: our guys have tunnel vision when it comes to 48/96

3-4 months before negotiations our union sends out a survey to find out the top 10 items that our body is most concerned about. The union leadership takes the top 5 items to the negotiation table. Well this year it has changed they will be taking the top 5 plus 48/96, even though 48/96 was not in the top 5. At our union meeting some of the guys eyes opened up realizing that taking 48/96 to the negotiation table means you are willing to negotiate for it (give something up to get something). The few people pushing 48/96 have been telling the body for the past few years that nothing will be given up for the new schedule; same number of hours , right? Now our health coverage and other benefits are in jeopardy because of this schedule. The guys pushing this schedule have tunnel vision and are willing to give up anything to get it. If you really need the time off take vacation or get a trade!

Skinner BFD


Well, we gained a one year trial period of the 48-96 work schedule starting roughly 1/2007. We have done our vacation picts and everyone is looking forward to seeing how it goes. Admin has a right to cancel the trial period at any time but hopefully they will let it go the entire year. In October we will vote to keep or get rid of the schedule.


BFD - Did you start your trial period and if so, how's it going?

Webmaster/Site Admin

We just got done our vote and 48-96 passed with over 60%. I will post the exact totals. All I heard was that we could stop voting, there was already more than 50% in favor.

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