Anyone with information regarding switching from 24 hour shifts to twelves?

Hi everyone
I work for a hosptital based service contracted with a county to run 911. Additionally we handle inter facility transfers from a small hospital and multiple SNFs. We currently follow the county's old rescue squad model of 24 hour shifts (Kelly schedule) and call volume continues to increase. I personally feel the 24 hour shifts are no longer feasible especially given the projections of call volume increasing. Patient and provider safety is continuously at risk due to sleep deprivation. Basically getting any decent nights has become the exception, not the rule. I'm not one to complain without taking action so I'm drawing up a proposal to present to my Administer and HR department of switching to a 12 hour schedule. I've discussed this with several employees and the reactions are always the same two concerns.
1.) How will we maintain our yearly salary without our built in OT?
2.) "I like having four days off in a row"

So here's my question. Does anyone out there have experience switching from 24 hour shifts to 12 and if so how did you convince you're administrators and fellow employees that it was the right thing to do. Also, what model schedule do all the 12 hour people work? Trying to get ideas so I can propose a schedule. Any help would be greatly appreciated. You can PM me if you're not one to post in the forum. Thanks again

Kyle C. EMT-P

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Kyle, contact Interim Director Tim Gault at Greenville County (SC) EMS.  They switched from 24-hour shifts to a 10-10-14-14-four off schedule.  A few years later they went to straight 12's.  (Straight days or straight nights).  Their last change was the 12-12 rotation with some power shifts since the early 1990's.


The shift pattern was 2 on, 2 off, 3 on (F-Sa-Su), 2 off, 2 on 3 off (F-Sa-Su).


Mr. Gault's email contact can be found here:


I was involved in the 5-year transition of a large EMS agency from 24s to 12s, using the same schedule that Ben Waller developed.

There is good, solid research out there that shows that at the end of the 19th hour, cognitive and psychomotor performance is the same as a person with a blood alcohol of 0.08 - legally drunk.  That is the hard-core justification.  We found that when unit hour utilization (dispatch) reached 0.4 (10 dispatched calls in 24 hours), crews could not get an uninterrupted 5 hours of sleep.  That became the point at which we converted to 12 hour shifts.

With the shift Ben describes, you get a three-day weekend every other week, and three days off in the middle on alternating weeks - and you get to sleep in your own bed and be with your family every night.

As far as maintaining annual salary, you re-calculate your hourly rates to maintain the same income.

The hard part is that instead of needing 6 people to staff, on an average 56 hour workweek, you need 8 people to staff on an average 42 hour workweek.  That costs some more, but it is far more safe and healthy.

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