How Many Days a Week Do Firefighters Work?

Firefighters typically work an average of 56 hours per week, but their schedules are unique. The most common format is the 24/48 schedule, where they work 24 hours on duty followed by 48 hours off.

Some departments may utilize 10-12 hour shifts for 3-4 days with longer breaks in between. Regardless of the specific schedule, firefighters work all days of the week, including weekends and holidays, to ensure constant public safety.

Read: How to Become a Volunteer Firefighter

How Many Days a Week Do Firefighters Work?

Firefighters typically don’t work a standard number of days per week. Instead, they work long shifts that often span multiple days:

Here’s a deeper dive into how many days firefighters work:

Shift Schedules:

Firefighters primarily operate under two main shift schedules:

  1. 24-hour Shifts: This is the most common arrangement, where firefighters work a continuous 24-hour shift followed by 48 hours off. This cycle repeats, resulting in working 3 days and being off for 4 days. This schedule allows for continuous coverage throughout the week, with multiple crews rotating to ensure constant presence at the fire station.
  2. 10-12 Hour Shifts: Some departments utilize 10-12 hour shifts for 3-4 days in a row. This is followed by a longer off-duty period of 12-14 hours at night and then another 3-4 days off. This schedule offers more frequent breaks but also requires working several consecutive days before extended time off.

Key Points:

  • No Standard Workweek: Firefighters don’t have a fixed number of days worked per week. Their schedules revolve around long shifts, often spanning multiple days.
  • 24-Hour Shifts: This popular schedule involves working a full day followed by two days off, creating a 3-on, 4-off cycle.
  • 10-12 Hour Shifts: This approach involves working several consecutive days (3-4) with shorter shifts, followed by a longer off-duty period and additional days off.
  • Extended Off-Duty Periods: The long shifts are balanced by extended periods of time off, ranging from 48 hours to 96 hours (4 days) in some cases. This allows firefighters time for rest, recovery, and personal commitments.
  • Flexibility: While the specific schedules may vary between departments, the core principle remains the same: ensuring continuous coverage and rapid response to emergencies.

Advantages of Long Shifts:

  • Constant Coverage: Long shifts guarantee 24/7 presence at fire stations, ensuring immediate response to emergencies.
  • Teamwork and Camaraderie: Working extended shifts fosters a strong sense of teamwork and camaraderie among firefighters who rely on each other for support and safety.
  • Work-Life Balance: Despite the long shifts, the extended off-duty periods provide firefighters with significant time for personal life, family commitments, and pursuing other interests.


  • Physically Demanding: Firefighting is a physically demanding job, and long shifts can be taxing on the body and mind.
  • Mental and Emotional Strain: Firefighters often witness traumatic situations and deal with high-stress environments, requiring mental resilience and emotional support.
  • Shift Work Challenges: The irregular sleep patterns and rotating schedules can disrupt the body’s natural rhythm, potentially impacting sleep quality and overall well-being.


Understanding how many days a week firefighters work provides insight into the demanding nature of their profession. While the 24/48 schedule is a popular choice, variations exist to accommodate diverse needs. Ultimately, firefighters work tirelessly all year round, sacrificing personal time and facing unique challenges to safeguard their communities. Their unwavering commitment and dedication deserve our utmost respect and appreciation.


How Long Do Firefighters Work A Week?

  • Firefighters typically work an average of 56 hours per week.

How Many Days Of The Week Do Firefighters Work?

  • They work all days of the week, including weekends and holidays, to ensure constant public safety.

Do Firefighters Work 2 Days A Week?

  • No, this is not a common schedule. While some variations exist, most firefighters work longer shifts followed by extended breaks.

What Days Do Firefighters Work?

  • Firefighters work any days assigned by their schedule, including nights, weekends, and holidays.