Fla. city approves 24/72 staffing model for firefighters, EMTs
Gainesville officials hope the new work schedule will enhance first responders’ work-life balance and boost recruitment
By Sarah Roebuck
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The City Commissioners of Gainesville have approved amendments to the City’s three-year agreements with Gainesville Fire Rescue (GFR) public safety staff.
City officials hope that the introduction of a new work schedule will improve work-life balance for existing first responders and stimulate growth in future recruitment, the City of Gainesville said in a news release.
During the meeting on Nov. 16, the commissioners greenlit a 24/72 staffing model. This will allow Gainesville Fire Rescue firefighters and emergency medical technicians to operate on a schedule that includes a 24-hour shift, followed by a three-day break. Currently, the GFR’s first responders follow a 24/48 work schedule.
“This is a great day,” said GFR Fire Chief Joseph Dixon. “This new shift schedule demonstrates the continued commitment of our city leaders to our personnel and to the community at large.”
Gainesville officials said the city is among a limited number of municipalities across the state to adopt the 24/72 model. The GFR leadership aims to establish this new shift schedule by mid-2024.
“Right now, a firefighter/EMT who starts work at 8 a.m., expecting to end their shift 24 hours later, might get off work 48 hours later instead. They’ll get overtime but they lose the downtime they really need to rest and the quality time they should have with their families,” said Nick Gonzalez, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 2157.