The Jefferson City Fire Department is considering moving to 48-hour shifts to improve firefighters' health while still providing quality service.
The Jefferson City Public Safety Committee voted Thursday to advance the Fire Department's proposal to switch to 48.5-hour shifts, with 96 hours off, to the Jefferson City Council for further discussion.
The department currently runs on 24.25-hour shifts.
For the last few years, the Fire Department has been discussing the potential change and researching other departments that have swapped to 48-hour shifts, Fire Chief Matt Schofield said. In May 2018, the fire department union, Local 671, created a committee to research the 48-hour shifts.
Currently, a shift will work three days in a five-day span and then have four days off before repeating the cycle.
By working two consecutive days and having four days off, a firefighter will see an improvement in his or her circadian rhythm — the brain's internal clock that regulates the body's sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals — Union Vice President James Noah and committee member Colin Wright said.