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Posted: 2/22/2006 1:53:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/22/2006 2:01:15 AM EDT by Mid-Tenn]
Been mulling this one over for a few days. I work full time in an adjacent county as a paramedic at a pretty busy 911 service and live in a small town of about 2500 people, The town where I live is served by a combination paid and volunteer fire dept. One man on the fire dept works Mon-Fri 8 hrs a day while the other three work on a 24 on, 48 off shift. This gives a guarenteed response of two men on all calls, medical first responder being the most frequent, which is supplimented by a volunteer response. One, if not two of the 24 hour men may be leaving around July first for jobs with a larger dept in a neighboring city. The Chief of the big city dept gave the Chief of the small town dept a courtesy call to let him know in advance that he was looking at two of his three men for the upcoming fiscal year. I was approached by the Chief of the small town combo dept and asked if I was interested in one of the positions. I told him that I would be if I could keep my job with the big city EMS b/c that's where my tenure, benifits and retirement is based and work the combo dept on one of my off days. I'm qualified for this position, commisioned ff, haz-mat, extrication and a paramedic. The financial gains would be great, all credit cards would be paid off in the first year, wife's vehicle and student loans the second, and then every thing earned by the two of us could go into savings and into paying off the mortgage on our home. Just can't decide if I want to undertake another full time job. I did it once working two full time EMS jobs, both for busy 911 services and I was completely exausted and burnt out after the first year or two. I'd like to think that the FD would be different due to a lower call volume than the county EMS where I previously worked. That was when I was single, now I'm married, no kids. My wife seemed to entertain the idea knowing that it would not be for forever and that in the long run it would be benificial. The ironic thing is I went to paramedic school to better my chance of getting hired with a large metro fire dept due to the big push at the time for ALS engines companys. Once I rec'd my paramedic license I never reapplied for a fire dept job. Now I'm being offered one at a small dept in a quite town less than two miles from home. Just trying to get some input before I commit.
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 6:37:44 AM EDT
I thought that 24 hour shift workers generally worked 7 days per month.

7 X 24 = 168 hours per month

8 hours X 5 days = 40 hrs
40 X 4 (weeks) = 160 per month

Am I missing something?

1 on, 2 off, = somethin like 240 hrs per month 2880 hours per year.

Full time is usually considered 2080 hours per year.
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 7:52:39 AM EDT
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
I thought that 24 hour shift workers generally worked 7 days per month.

7 X 24 = 168 hours per month

8 hours X 5 days = 40 hrs
40 X 4 (weeks) = 160 per month

Am I missing something?
................................................................................................................

....In my paid service, we provide 24hr ALS coverage; 12hrs on Fire apparatus, 12hrs on Ambulance.

We work usually 10 days a month, 240hrs.

Just about everyone here works "part-time". Non-FD folks may call it full-time as these outside jobs can certainly be more lucrative or family-operated.
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 9:29:40 AM EDT
48 hours of EMS/Fire on a revolving cycle?.....uhhh no thanks.

My fulltime job is at a municipal fire dept working 24/48 . I work as a P/T driver for a small combo department aswell. Depending on what day my fulltime shift "starts" each week dictates if I will work P/T one or two days that week. I generally dont work fridays, or weekends. Im on duty for this department on my " first day off ". The day shift for P/T drivers is 8-5pm.

If you could workout something like that I'd suggest it, 48hrs as a steady routine.... Id never be able to do. Maybe they could hire two 8-5 guys.

This works for me quite well, if we are up all night the previous night, I can struggle to make it through the 8-5 shift. An extra 15 hours would break me. I work 48hrs occasionally when I want specific days off or planning a vacation...but that is rare.
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 10:41:04 AM EDT
Yeah, but dont you fire/ems guys get to sleep during your shifts? a 48 hour shift where you can get a few hours of sleep in here and there seems do-able to me....especially if it is just for a year.
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 12:19:46 PM EDT
We work the same set up at both agencies, 24 hrs on 48 hrs off, ten shifts a month just different shift change hours. I presently work on "B" shift at EMS and we change shifts at 0700hrs. The job at the fire dept that has been proposed is on "C" shift and shift change there is at 0800hrs. This would give me an hour to get from one job to the next. Just trying to juggle employment options in my head. This would have me completing one job, the drive to the next county to start a shift at the next, although they're two completely different jobs in effect I'd be "working" a 48hr on duty 24 hr off shift. This combined would figure out to be roughly 20, 24hr shifts a month.
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 12:23:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By trippletap:
Yeah, but dont you fire/ems guys get to sleep during your shifts?



In theory we're suppose to. I've had several shifts that I can recall, esp at the inner city EMS stations, where I started my shift in the morning, made my bed in the afternoon, and never so much as climbed in it once during the night. Long nights make longer day afters.
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 1:01:04 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 3:00:16 PM EDT
I would definatly look into the call volume on the small town rig. Even if you would be able to sleep on the busy rig, those of us who have worked 24 hour shift know that that sleep is not close to "real" sleep when you are home, because you are on "alert" waiting for the next call.
You went to medic school to get a job with a big city Fire/Ems company. Will the small town company aquire this goal? Or will it only cause sleep deprivation. If it were me I would start applying for those big town Fire/Ems jobs. Then you can do what you really want. If you are close to vesting in your retirement, you are good to go.
The money sounds great, but if you wife is not a EMS/Fire type person, she will soon regret you not being home. She may think it will be okay now, but take it from me, once you start she will resent the he** out of you never being around when she "needs" you.
I guess the point I am trying to make is what comes first, your job or your wife. It's a very hard decision to make when Fire/Ems is in your blood.
Link Posted: 2/25/2006 10:45:53 PM EDT
The company I work for has 12 hour shifts that actually go for 14-16 hours and often end up as a 24.

Then they have 24's that are usually just that.

I pulled a 12 on Monday and then a 36 on Wed and Thurs, followed by a 14 on Friday. My partner clocked in Wednesday morning at 8 and was still there Friday night when I punched out.

They have regular 72 hour shifts, one 72 a week. Three on, four off. From what they say you kind of get used to it and then it's just natural. That's what you do when you get up in the morning, you pull on your boots and grab your clipboard and strap down with some bsi and get rolling.

Every day I show up they ask if I can pull a 24 that night Every single day. We had one guy put in something like 128 hours in a week. I think there's like 160 hours in a week.

Anyway.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 2:49:51 AM EDT
My schedule is 90+ hours per week, on shift everyday. Supposed to be 12 hours shifts but they can run over as much as 4 hours daily and are usually at least an hour over. I am looking forward to a schedule change :)
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 3:17:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/26/2006 3:27:01 AM EDT by sta1treeman]

Originally Posted By Mid-Tenn:

Originally Posted By trippletap:
Yeah, but dont you fire/ems guys get to sleep during your shifts?



In theory we're suppose to. I've had several shifts that I can recall, esp at the inner city EMS stations, where I started my shift in the morning, made my bed in the afternoon, and never so much as climbed in it once during the night. Long nights make longer day afters.

+1, Almost every shift for us. There is one guy who works at another dept also, but he works C shift with B'ham, and every other A shift at the second dept. This is a pretty common setup in the area. If your second dept. is slow, and you would be pretty sure of getting some rest on most shifts, you could do it. I did this when I first got on with the FD. I worked second 24 on the ambulance, which was just as busy as the FD, and it got old real quick. That was 15 years ago, and I was 21, I had no problem physically, I just got tired of being at work all the time, and missing all the fun. The money was good, but I didn't have time to enjoy it. (EDA)- If you are responsible, and pay your bills off, like you plan, that will be good, but if you get used to the extra money, and living off of it, you are trapped. The best advice I ever got in recruit school was, NEVER RELY ON PART TIME MONEY! because you will always have to work that much to maintain your bills/lifestyle. That was and is great advice.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 2:09:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/26/2006 2:13:32 PM EDT by Tango7]

Originally Posted By simple8127:
Even if you would be able to sleep on the busy rig, those of us who have worked 24 hour shift know that that sleep is not close to "real" sleep when you are home, because you are on "alert" waiting for the next call.



My psycho ex GF was the former GF of a "big city" FF, who claimed to "know how a FD runs". She never understood why I preferred to come home and nap for an hour or two before going to my side gigs.

Then she did a ride along for her EMT.

We got tapped for a truck "leaking fluid". Turns out it tore its oil pan, but... the point is, we went from sitting at the kitchen table to on the road in under a minute. Pretty standard. But Miss "know it all" had never seen that sort of response.

The next morning I came home, the bedroom blinds were drawn, the bed turned down, and a note that said "have a nice nap".

Our "sleep period" is really more of a glorified rest period. I hardly ever get much REM sleep at the downtown station (our busy house).


The money sounds great, but if you wife is not a EMS/Fire type person, she will soon regret you not being home. She may think it will be okay now, but take it from me, once you start she will resent the he** out of you never being around when she "needs" you.


Well put. My wife (no relation to the PXGF) is finally used to the 24/48, and actually enjoys "her day". We love when I have a Kelly day (FLSA shift day off - every 9th for the City) and get to spend it together, but she still gets frustrated when S hits the F at the house and I'm on shift or can't stop by.

BTW we're 2597 hours/year.


I guess the point I am trying to make is what comes first, your job or your wife. It's a very hard decision to make when Fire/Ems is in your blood.


+1.

BTW, any union concerns over your working the side gig?
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