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RI firefighters required to work 56 hours per week

The schedule was implemented earlier this month as part of the mayor’s plan to reduce callback overtime in the city


PROVIDENCE, R.I. — When Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza announced his plan to require firefighters to work an average of 56 hours per week, he said the routine was common in other parts of the country, most notably on the West Coast, but also in North Kingstown and Tiverton.

But the schedule that actually gets the city’s firefighters to 56 hours a week is so rare that neither the city nor the union can name a single fire department in the country that operates under a similar model.

Here’s how it works: Under the city’s old four-platoon structure, firefighters worked two 10-hour days followed by two 14-hour nights before having four days off, a schedule that worked out to an average of 42 hours a week over the course of a month. The new three-platoon structure is similar, except firefighters have two days off instead of four. That brings them to an average of 56 hours.

Full story: How Providence’s firefighter schedule is different than the rest of the country