The 48-96 work schedule has been gaining acceptance from fire departments and emergency medical services in the United States as a way to reduce the number of work days and the associated long commutes. This work schedule uses three teams (i.e. platoons) and three shifts to provide 24/7 coverage. It consists of a 6-day cycle where each team works two consecutive 24-hour shifts, followed by 4 consecutive days off duty.

Personnel work an average of 56 hours per week or 112 hours per two-week pay period, and work the same day of the week for 2 weeks in a row and then have that day off for 4 weeks in a row.

48-96 Shift Schedule

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Characteristics

Plan IDC3TF24-3
Name48-96 Shift Schedule
Applicability24/7 operations
Teams Required3
ShiftsA (24-hr), B (24-hr), C (24-hr)
Repeat Cycle6 days
RotationFixed plan, no rotation
Average Hours per Week56
Staffing FluctuationBalanced from shift to shift and day to day
Pluses
  • 60 four-consecutive days off duty per year
  • Personnel only make 60 commuting trips per year
  • Long 4 day rest period reduces long term fatigue/sleep deprivation
  • Fewer transitions between shifts means more day to day continuity
Minuses
  • Away from family for 48 hours
  • Potential for short term fatigue due to working 2 consecutive long shifts
Common UsagePopular with fire departments and emergency medical services.
Notes

– The US Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) compensation cycles are 28 days over which firefighters normally works either 216 hours or 240 hours. Hours worked beyond a base of 212 hours in a 28-day period are considered overtime. To avoid overtime, agencies typically use a rotating day off (Kelly day off) every 24 days.

-This plan requires living quarters for the employees to work and sleep during each 24-hr shift.