24/48 hour shift

Francisco

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To those that have worked a 24 or 48 hour shift, were you awake the entire shift or did get some sleep ? how did you manage to say awake for that many hours ? Isn't it dangerous for the safety of the crew to be awake for more than 24 hours and be driving an ambulance ? I'm a new EMT, just got hired by the way, I was advised that I will be working 24's and 48's so any piece of advice about working such shift I'll take into consideration thank you !
 

VentMonkey

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To those that have worked a 24 or 48 hour shift, were you awake the entire shift or did get some sleep ? how did you manage to say awake for that many hours ? Isn't it dangerous for the safety of the crew to be awake for more than 24 hours and be driving an ambulance ? I'm a new EMT, just got hired by the way, I was advised that I will be working 24's and 48's so any piece of advice about working such shift I'll take into consideration thank you !
This is very broad brush you painted.
1. You can be awake the whole shift, sleep all night, or anything in between.

2. Rockstars been my friend since paramedic school. Lol, you find ways.

3. Yes, it is, and can be dangerous, so my last 24 I would take turns driving for my partners if they were too tired. Depending on the workload of your particular station(s) thag's hard to tell. The 24 I am at now can range from busy (for us 3-6 flights=busy), to a shut out, which is also not uncommon.

4. Good luck, and congrats on your new job. I'm sure others will chime in soon enough with their experiences. Until then, have fun, and stay safe.
 

NomadicMedic

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I worked 48 hour shifts pretty often in Eastern Washington. We were a very busy service and it was not uncommon to run 25 or more ALS calls on each truck in those 2 days. Or, if your 911 call volume had been low, you would get selected for the long distance transport to Seattle.

We usually managed to nap every few hours, it wasn't common to sleep through the night, but I never felt like I was exhausted. There was enough downtime that I could get some rest.
 

CALEMT

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To those that have worked a 24 or 48 hour shift, were you awake the entire shift or did get some sleep ? how did you manage to say awake for that many hours ? Isn't it dangerous for the safety of the crew to be awake for more than 24 hours and be driving an ambulance ? I'm a new EMT, just got hired by the way, I was advised that I will be working 24's and 48's so any piece of advice about working such shift I'll take into consideration thank you !

I've worked 24's, 48's, and 72's. All of which I've been ran and I've slept all night. When I've been ran all night I've always somehow managed to get a hour or two of sleep in the night. If I'm uber tired during the day I'll take a nap. I can stay up for 24 hours straight with no problem (perks of being a wild land firefighter) and I've cut out all energy drinks, just strictly coffee for me now.

Mimicking what others have said if your on a 48+ naps during the day will help if you've been running all night. Caffeine is only temporary and its best not to rely on it solely to make it through the night. Most partners I've worked with if I'm too tired to drive we'll switch out driving. You'll get used to it after you've worked a busy 24, 48, or 72.
 

pogoemt

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I know a station by me takes 30+ calls in a 24 hour shift consistently from what I was told, they don't sleep, poor souls.

Shoutout to Tampa Fire Rescue Station 13
 

VentMonkey

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I know a station by me takes 30+ calls in a 24 hour shift consistently from what I was told, they don't sleep, poor souls.

Shoutout to Tampa Fire Rescue Station 13
This is just foolishness. Talk about dangerous on so many levels.
 

pogoemt

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This is just foolishness. Talk about dangerous on so many levels.

I don't work for Tampa Fire so I could be completely wrong, but I heard they are building another station to split 13's response area because of how big an issue this is
 

VentMonkey

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I don't work for Tampa Fire so I could be completely wrong, but I heard they are building another station to split 13's response area because of how big an issue this is
I completely understand. My statement was more of a generalized one. And it really isn't unheard of in larger metropolitan areas to have stations this busy.

It always gets me when providers from stations such as this seem to almost view it as a "badge of honor". Again, I'm not insinuating that this was by any means what you were implying.

I worked at a similar station when I was a brand new paramedic. It has since been disbanded, and there was no honor in functioning, or trying to, with virtually no sleep at all.

It just tends to be debatable and sore subject for some, as EMS providers who have been doing this for any amount of time realize the problems we face, and this is a big one.
 

Jim37F

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I know that the LAFD stations that cover Watts (the area that neighbors our first in area) have 5 ambulances between 2 stations (2 ALS and a BLS out of Station 64 and 1 each ALS and BLS at Station 65) to share the call load, each station gets in the neighborhood of 30ish calls a shift so I've heard, but by adding more units in the same station, it cuts down the call volume for the individual crews to much more manageable levels....hopefully if Tampa Fire has a station with that much call volume they have multiple units running out if it as well....

Most of our own stations also have 2x 24-hour units, which can be hit or miss. Yesterday I ran 8 calls, and slept most all the night, except for a 1 am call and a 4 am post move to cover a neighboring city.....however the shift before, both ambulances out of my station ran 13-14 calls....busy days like that you basically come home and sleep all day....if you picked up some overtime and are on a 48 same thing, sleeping at station in between calls, even the busiest units always manage some down time. While most of our units are scheduled 24-hour shifts, we do have a few shifts on a 48-96 schedule (48 hours on, 96 off) mostly because that mirrors the FD in the city they are assigned....while that city does occasionally blow up, for the most part, it's somewhere you can expect to be able o sleep most of the night and be functional the next day of the shift.
 

VentMonkey

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I know that the LAFD stations that cover Watts (the area that neighbors our first in area) have 5 ambulances between 2 stations (2 ALS and a BLS out of Station 64 and 1 each ALS and BLS at Station 65) to share the call load, each station gets in the neighborhood of 30ish calls a shift so I've heard, but by adding more units in the same station, it cuts down the call volume for the individual crews to much more manageable levels....
And hopefully the NP program LAFD rolled is, or will help augment this problem as well.

Yet another promising avenue that needs further acceptance, exploration, exploitation in our field. It works, it shows, and it needs to be accepted nationwide in every system.

Community paramedicine is nothing short of a godsend, IMO.
 

CALEMT

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I know that the LAFD stations that cover Watts (the area that neighbors our first in area) have 5 ambulances between 2 stations (2 ALS and a BLS out of Station 64 and 1 each ALS and BLS at Station 65) to share the call load, each station gets in the neighborhood of 30ish calls a shift so I've heard, but by adding more units in the same station, it cuts down the call volume for the individual crews to much more manageable levels

I've heard the horror stories from LAFD station 9 "skid row". Something like they're the busiest station in the nation.
 

VentMonkey

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I've heard the horror stories from LAFD station 9 "skid row". Something like they're the busiest station in the nation.
Yes. It is (was) called "Whino Nine-o's". It's where my paramedic preceptor did his paramedic internship back in the 80's when they were still a third service.

It is a busy station. If you can get your hands on it, check out a doc called "Firestorm". It follows LAFD #65 around, as well as another station or two as they get pummeled day in and day out.

I believe that show "Risk Takers" followed LAFD #9 out, but it was very, um, "edited", and doctored so as not to show it in a negative light, understandably.
 

Jim37F

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And hopefully the NP program LAFD rolled is, or will help augment this problem as well.

Yet another promising avenue that needs further acceptance, exploration, exploitation in our field. It works, it shows, and it needs to be accepted nationwide in every system.

Community paramedicine is nothing short of a godsend, IMO.
Unfortunately all that I've heard about the NP program is what they've put out in press releases, but hopefully it'll expand, personally it sounds promising.

I've heard the horror stories from LAFD station 9 "skid row". Something like they're the busiest station in the nation.
I've heard many of the same horror stories...cursory search shows that that station has 2 engine company's, a Light Force company (I know how popular that concept of a Truck with Pumper engine married together is around here :p ) and 4 ambulances (looks like 2 each ALS and BLS)....def the most ambulances in any one of their stations....I'm not even aware of any LA Co stations with multiple squads (though there's at least one or two I can think of that could use an extra ha)
 

VentMonkey

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[QUOTE="Jim37F, post: 620350, member: 18895]....I'm not even aware of any LA Co stations with multiple squads (though there's at least one or two I can think of that could use an extra ha)[/QUOTE]
Off the top my head? Sqauds 16, 14, and 147 were all endlessly put to work when I was there.
 

CALEMT

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While I'll admit I know nothing of LA or LACo but I've heard the rumors of how busy skid row is. Haven't heard anything about LACoFD. As far as my turf goes (Riverside Co) I believe station 37 is the busiest in the county. We have a 24 hour rig up there that gets absolutely hammered. I don't think I've ever slept the night and got off on time up there.
 

WolfmanHarris

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We're on 12's almost exclusively in Ontario and definitely at my service (3rd service, municipal ALS, limited FD response. 1.1M served, 80K calls per year). I work at one of our busiest stations and have for 7 years. We have 2x 24 units plus our deployment moves us to stations (sometimes far from home) to cover off other stations. I run 5-6 per 12 plus redeployments. I like being busy and will try to stay in a busy station when I come back to Ops after school.

That being said, these numbers being thrown around are not safe for the provider, the patient or the public unless they have some strong rest period policies. Non-stop for 24-48 for work is killing us as providers and probably killing patients.

I'm fortunate to not get held over for OT very often these days (some novel policies to decrease this) but regardless I'm an legally not allowed to work longer than 16hrs without being provided sleep facilities and sleep time. Since we do 12's the translates to OOS drive back to base and have next shift start delayed with pay to ensure adequate rest before reporting in.
 

VentMonkey

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We're on 12's almost exclusively in Ontario and definitely at my service (3rd service, municipal ALS, limited FD response. 1.1M served, 80K calls per year). I work at one of our busiest stations and have for 7 years. We have 2x 24 units plus our deployment moves us to stations (sometimes far from home) to cover off other stations. I run 5-6 per 12 plus redeployments. I like being busy and will try to stay in a busy station when I come back to Ops after school.

That being said, these numbers being thrown around are not safe for the provider, the patient or the public unless they have some strong rest period policies. Non-stop for 24-48 for work is killing us as providers and probably killing patients.

I'm fortunate to not get held over for OT very often these days (some novel policies to decrease this) but regardless I'm an legally not allowed to work longer than 16hrs without being provided sleep facilities and sleep time. Since we do 12's the translates to OOS drive back to base and have next shift start delayed with pay to ensure adequate rest before reporting in.
Just curious Wolfman, what does fire typically respond to in Ontario Canada?
 

Generic

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I've heard the horror stories from LAFD station 9 "skid row". Something like they're the busiest station in the nation.

Fort Lauderdale Fire station #2 is the busiest station in the country with over 33,000 calls last year among 8 units out of that station. LAFD FS9 was second with 27,000 calls and 6 units. LACoFD FS33 was third with 26,000 call and 3 units.

As far as my turf goes (Riverside Co) I believe station 37 is the busiest in the county. We have a 24 hour rig up there that gets absolutely hammered. I don't think I've ever slept the night and got off on time up there.

FS7 was the busiest last year with over 5,600 calls. FS37 is up there though.
 

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