48/96 vs 24/48

Please only comment below if you have actually worked the 48/96. Please HELP US. Your thoughts after actually trying the 48/96. We have people that have never tried it and all they have is fear factors. How does it affect your family? Your sleep? Your happiness?

Please comment below negative or positive if you have actually worked 48/96

6 thoughts on “48/96 vs 24/48

  1. We work the 48/96 and I absolutely love it. I have worked a 24 in the past and I feel like when I go to work for a 48 I’m more apt to get actually settled in, and into a groove than when I worked a 24. On the flip side being home for 4 straight days is amazing. It is easier to plan around and when I take a 48 set off I get 10 straight days off. Vacations that once require 72 or more hours off now require only 48 leaving more of my time off to split with family and the ability to travel for training. When I’m home for 96 vs 24 or 48 I’m settling in and sleeping better knowing that I have multiple nights. This directly related to an improved mood at home and thus I feel also helped my relationship with my girlfriend and son. These are obviously specific to me but I don’t think I would ever willfully go back to a 24 hour shift without some fight.

  2. Background: We’ve been working 48’s for almost 10 years. We transitioned from a modified kelly. We have multiple suppression and medic transport companies that run 2500+ calls/year. I was a big proponent of trying the 48’s. It has been great in terms of reducing commute times, which is a big deal for us since no one can afford to live closer than 45-60 minutes to work. I also found it really nice to have a big block of time to get stuff done as a company.

    There are three potential downsides i see, they are;

    1 – there has been an undeniable reduction is members willingness to come in for events on a 4-day – i can’t say for certain that is only attributable to the schedule.

    2 – If your department has companies that are running 2500-3000+ calls a year, my opinion after working in the system for a long time is that the schedule is completely unsafe. On day two, people on those busy companies are not functioning at the top of their game…..sometimes they have that zombie look. Not the right thing for the customer we are serving.

    3 – Although it was clear when we transitioned that there is an expectation that day two is fair game for organized training and other activities, there is a fair amount of push back, especially after a busy night on activities scheduled on day two.

    So, i think if you have a strong culture of participation and don’t have companies running more than 2500 calls/year, its a nice schedule. Otherwise, i cannot recommend it from the perspective of the customer.

  3. Busy single engine firehouse. We ran 3700 calls last yr. We have been working the 48/96 for about 10 yrs now. 4 station dept, covering 100k plus population.

    Cons: Can be very exhausted by the afternoon of day two due to the sleepless nights and high call volume. 4 days off leaves ample time to get too involved in a second career and or certain vices. Can also give so much free time to spend more money.

    Pros: If made a priority, you can recover your sleep and decompress in the 4 days off. But that it up to the individual. I personally make health, sleep and family time a priority. And once I did that my life much improved. Commutes are cut way down. Use of fuel for my personal vehicle went way down. Cleaning supplies were another cost savings for the dept. The Chiefs try not to plan anything extra for us on day two and naps are encouraged. It also gives more consecutive time for projects and training.

    After working a few schedules, 48/96 is the most beneficial I have done. But it’s on the individual. YOU must prioritize your recovery.

    We did a trial and a complete study and haven’t looked back.

    Hope this helps.