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Ga. FD tests new 48/96-hour shift schedule to improve firefighter wellness

The Roswell Fire Department is beginning a pilot program with a new shift schedule to counter the health risks of sleep deprivation

By Bill Carey

ROSWELL, Ga. — The Roswell Fire Department is adopting a new schedule through a pilot program to enhance firefighter health and wellness, featuring a 48/96-hour work cycle with a delayed start time.

The department adopted the new schedule in response to health concerns linked to chronic sleep deprivation, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and mental health issues like PTSD and anxiety, 11Alive reported.

The goal is to enhance recovery by giving firefighters extended rest periods. Additionally, shifts will now begin at a later time of 11 a.m. to further support this aim.

“The health, safety, and quality of life of our firefighters are paramount,” Fire Chief Joe Pennino said. “We anticipate that this new initiative will improve our team’s mental and physical health outcomes, which are essential for maintaining high levels of service to our community.”

The six-month pilot program will evaluate its effectiveness through data gathered from medical physicals, operational efficiency, and the job satisfaction of firefighters and their families.

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