Employee scheduling for fire departments and Fire/EMS companies varies depending on community needs. Fire departments typically employ three shifts (ABC) to have firefighters on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Many fire departments operate on the 24-48 (24 on 48 off) shift schedule where firefighters work as a team at the same fire station for an entire 24-hour shift then take two days off.
Another option is the 48-96 (48 on 96 off) shift schedule where firefighters work two straight 24-hour days then take 4 days off. The challenges to fire station scheduling are many. Union and FLSA rules place restrictions on work hours, consecutive work days, overtime compensation, as well as the types of schedules that can be implemented. In addition, you must keep track of training assignments, compensatory time, off time and know when part-time or volunteer firefighters will be available for work. When necessary, you must find qualified backup and on-call personnel to fill a shift as quickly and efficiently as possible.
See How It Works
Snap Schedule Shift Scheduling Capabilities
Snap Schedule Shift Scheduling Software helps fire departments and Fire/EMS companies meet these challenges. It is packed with powerful employee scheduling features and gives you instant access to key decision-making criteria, including staffing requirements, regular, overtime and on-call hours, labor costs, employee skills and certifications, employee availability and preferences, and more.
Easily schedule an unlimited number of fire department employees and volunteers
- Drag & drop to easily assign shifts, mark time off, move or copy assignments.
- For each shift, line-up on-call or stand-by firefighters for emergency situations.
- View assignments and schedule firefighters from three different views. Use whichever view is easiest and most effective for your scheduling tasks.
- Create rolling work schedules – from days to years.
- Software automatically generates shift schedules using industry standard shift patterns or user-definable schedule plans. Preview work schedules and make changes as necessary.
Improve communications by empowering employees with online scheduling self-service access
Available online, 24 hours a day/7 days a week and accessible to employees whether at work or at home, Snap Schedule 365 self-service features cut scheduling and administrative time by making employees more pro-active in the process.
- View Work Schedules: View employee's shift assignments, time-off, shift trades as well as co-workers’ work schedules. From this planner, employees can filter what they want to see, request time off, bid on open shifts, and trade or pick up shifts from co-workers.
- Request Time Off: Employees can make time off/vacation requests, and schedulers can track, manage, approve, or deny those requests. Employees can see the approval status and are automatically alerted when their request is approved or rejected via an in-app notification.
- Trade/Pick Up Shifts: Allow shift trading between employees with or without a scheduler’s approval. Employees can post their assigned shifts to trade with coworkers who are eligible to work the shifts.
- Punch In/Out: Employees can punch in and out of their assigned shifts, and schedulers can see the punch data in real-time in the Punch view or run reports to see the variances between planned vs. actual work hours and costs for any date range.
- Self-scheduling with Open Shifts: Empower employees by letting them self-schedule with open shifts. Schedulers can simply create an open shift for a position and specify the number of employees needed and the required skills.
- View Time Card Information: Employees can view their planned and actual work hours for the current, previous, or next payroll cycle. On-call, overtime, paid and unpaid time-off hours are also presented.
- Look Up Coworkers: Employees can look up coworker’s contact information to call, text, or email. Schedulers decide whom to include or exclude from the directory.
- Update Availability: Save time and stay up-to-date by allowing employees to update their own contact information and availability. Employees can enter their availability information for each day of the week, and in multiple time segments as needed.
Track all training, vacation, sick leave, and other off-work requests
- Define as many paid and unpaid time-off reasons as you like.
- Simply drag & drop a reason onto the Schedule Planner to mark when a firefighter is off-work.
- The Schedule Outlook shows who are off-work and why.
- Available reports provide details on planned vacation, training, time off hours for any time period you select.
- Publish calendars showing work schedule and scheduled time-off.
Flexible multi-location scheduling
- Define work locations (fire stations) for your fire department and schedule firefighters for each fire station.
- Know instantly where the firefighters are assigned from a single computer screen. No need to flip through pages of paper to see absentees, on-call, training, or overtime situations. Show shift and rotation scheduling for any fire station on any date.
- Use standard reports to gain visibility into scheduling activities and cost data at all locations, groups of locations, entire fire department, or a specific location.
Quickly and efficiently fill a shift or find a substitute
- Quickly find and contact available firefighters when additional manpower is needed.
- Tell Snap Schedule software your criteria and it will show you a ranked list of available candidates to fill a shift. Ranking can be based on many criteria including job position, skills, availability, labor cost, work hour limits, and seniority.
Multi-skill scheduling is a breeze
- You can identify applicable skills and certifications for any fire department employees. Define skills and certifications related to special training, technical rescue, para-medicine, emergency medical services, etc.
- The Shift Coverage Planner lets you know if there are enough firefighters with the right skills to staff a shift.
- The Staffing Overview graph displays the number of scheduled firefighters having a specified skill by location, shift, or hourly coverage.
Work around your schedule constraints with ease
- Define each firefighter’s availability, desired work hours, daily work hour constraints, and weekly work hour constraints.
- The Schedule Planner alerts you to availability conflicts, duplicate shift assignments, overlapped shift assignments, and conflicts with scheduled time off.
- The Daily Assignment Validation report identifies all discrepancies and constraint violations.
Manage labor costs and avoid over/under staffing
- Set overtime rules for your fire department.
- Define hourly cost, overtime exempt status and work hour constraints for each firefighter.
- Use the Shift Coverage planner to monitor under/over staffing conditions based on position, skill, and assignment reason.
- Adjust firefigters' shift assignment start time, end time, and payable hours as necessary to reflect actual work hours.
- Standard reports provide labor cost details and summary data associated with the schedules you created over any specified period.
- Use the software to export labor cost data for payroll and accounting purposes.
Easily publish schedules to firefighters and management
- Print schedule views, lists, shift assignment calendars, and reports to communicate schedule information to fire deprtment management, firefighters, and fire protection personnel.
- Easily publish shift schedules, calendars, and reports in PDF and a variety of other formats.
- Automatically email work schedules (in text or iCalendar file format) to fire department employees and/or their supervisors.
Try It For Yourself
Try Snap Schedule 365 absolutely free for a full 30 days. The trial period starts on the day you first use our software and automatically expires 30 days after. You can use one of the sample schedules to evaluate the software features or enter real data and use Snap Schedule 365 to schedule and manage your employees.Get Your Free Trial
Request a Personalized Demo & Consultation
If you prefer personalized online demo from the convenience of your office via Citrix GoToMeeting, we can do that too. We will schedule one of our product specialists to help you set up your schedule, walk you through the many features of our scheduling software, and answer your specific questions. There is no risk, no cost, and absolutely no obligation on your part.Request a Demo