24-48 Shift Pattern | 24/7 Shift Coverage

The 24-48 shift pattern uses three teams (i.e. platoons) and three shifts to provide 24/7 coverage. It consists of a 3-day cycle where each team works one 24-hour shift followed by 2 consecutive days (48 hours) off duty. This shift pattern is very popular with fire departments in the United States and is also known as ABC shift pattern.

24-48 Shift Schedule

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Characteristics

Plan IDC3TF24-4
Name24-48 Shift Schedule
Applicability24/7 operations
Teams Required3
ShiftsA (24-hr), B (24-hr), C (24-hr)
Repeat Cycle3 days
RotationFixed plan, no rotation
Average Hours per Week56
Staffing FluctuationBalanced from shift to shift and day to day
Pluses
  • Personnel never work an entire weekend (Saturday and Sunday)
  • Personnel work a maximum of 3 days a week
Minuses
  • Not enough rest time between shifts
  • Potential for short term fatigue due to working 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 21 days.

 

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