City of Gainesville and Fire Rescue historic agreement on schedule
Published on November 20, 2023
New 24/72 shift schedule to be implemented next year
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (Nov. 20, 2023) – Gainesville City Commissioners have ratified changes to the City’s 3-year contracts with Gainesville Fire Rescue (GFR) public safety employees, hoping a new work schedule will lead to better work-life balance for current first responders and to an increase in future hires.
At its Nov. 16 meeting, commissioners approved a unique 24/72 staffing model that will permit GFR firefighters and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to work a 24-hour shift followed by three consecutive days off. Currently, GFR first responders work a 24/48 schedule.
“This is a great day,” said GFR Fire Chief Joseph Dixon who noted the department has already begun receiving calls about the upcoming change. “This new shift schedule demonstrates the continued commitment of our city leaders to our personnel and to the community at large,” he said.
Gainesville is one of a select few municipalities across the state, and the first in North Florida, to switch to the 24/72 model. City commissioners approved similar changes Nov. 2 as part of a new bargaining agreement for GFR district chiefs. GFR leaders hope to implement the new shift schedule in 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, who negotiated the changes during bargaining talks between the City and the local union.
“The 24/72 schedule has generated a lot of excitement in the field and will help GFR become more competitive in recruitment and retention efforts. It really is a great investment in the health and well-being of our first responders and in the city we serve,” Gonzalez said.
For more information, contact City of Gainesville Public Information Officer Rossana Passaniti at 352-318-9599 or PassanitiR1@GainesvilleFL.gov.