07/20/08 172 W - + 16 - 15 Shift Happens

When did Raleigh firefighters begin working 24-hour shifts? The answer is revealed in a Raleigh Times article of October 7, 1974. The subject of the article was shift schedules, and changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act, while ultimately resulted in the hiring of a third shift. Fire Chief Clarence A. Puryear recalled that the city moved to 24-hour shifts in 1946. He was one who voted for the change. What was the work schedule before 1946? Need to research that. Decades earlier, when the full-time fire department was first formed, personnel apparently worked every day. (They may have also resided at the fire stations!) At some point, split shifts were likely implimented. The above article also cited a future Raleigh Fire Chief, Sherman Pickard, then director of services for the North Carolina League of Municipalities. It also featured a photo of a firefighter "laying in the bed" and reading. Though a photographer shot station activites up and down, the paper only ran one photo. And said firefighter never lived it down.

More on this. The Raleigh Fire Department switched to 24-hour shifts in 1948, not 1946. A trial period was started at Station 5 on April 1, 1948. Presumably, but not certainly, this change was effected department-wide. It appears the trial never ended! The schedule prior to the switch may have been a split-shift, with personnel working six of seven days straight. Day 1, day. Day 2, day. Day 3, day. Day 4, day and night. Day 5, night. Day 6, night. Day 7, off. Need to research more. There were also folks who worked 24-hour shifts, perhaps one person station.
Legeros - 08/03/08 - 12:39

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