Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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How fire crew schedules play out elsewhere in US

To the editor:

Amherst firefighters have received an extension on their experimental 24-hour shift plan. This plan, which gives firefighters five consecutive days off after working two of three days, is proclaimed by fire unions to be a national trend.

Unions leave out some data in this area. Northern fire departments are on a plan of 24 hours on, a day off, 24 hours on, then five days off for a 42-hour work week (and 2,200 hours per year). Southern fire departments, where the 24-hour trend evolved, put in more time: 24 hours on, a day off, 24 hours on, three days off for a 52-hour work week (and 2,900 hours per year).

Southern fire unions are well aware of the northern 42-hour week schedules, but southern lawmakers are a bit more conservative and stingy.

Walter Krzeminski


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