Staffing for fire departments varies depending on community needs. Most fire departments employ three shifts (ABC) to have firefighters on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Other fire departments operate on the 24-48 (24 on 48 off) shift schedule where firefighters work as a team for an entire 24-hour shift then take two days off. The challenges to fire station scheduling are many. Union and FLSA rules place restrictions on work hours, consecutive work days, overtime compensation, as well as the types of schedules that can be implemented.
That is why fire departments are changing, moving towards employee scheduling software that saves time and money. Addressing age old scheduling problems, shift management programs have proven popular in today’s cost conscientious environment. Some of these employee scheduling software packages are available for free, providing a trial service that can enable those in charge of shift management to see which option best fits their scheduling needs.
Fire Department Scheduling Software
Here is a list of three fire department staff scheduling software applications for fire departments with a brief description of each:
- Schedule any number of staff (full-time, part-time, temporary, per-diem), positions, shifts, and locations
- Ensure adequate shift coverage and efficient personnel utilization while taking into consideration all time-off constraints, specific labor and overtime rules, skills, certifications, and preferences
- Spend less time on developing work schedules and on day-to-day changes
- Instantly see shift coverage, hours scheduled, overtime, vacations, and time off
- Reduce labor costs; avoid overtime and over/under staffing
- Print, export, and e-mail work schedules to staff
- Keep work schedules, labor costs, and employee data in one place for complete reporting and analysis
The Snap Schedule Premium Edition gives you enterprise-class scheduling power and innovative workforce management features, including web and mobile access. Employees can remotely access their schedules, request time off, bid on open shifts, punch in and out, update their availability to work, and view the employee directory via a web browser or a native iPhone/iPad/WindowsStore app.
- Windows/Windows 8
Schedules are cross-referenced with vacation, sick, compensation and other time-off. You are alerted when they conflict. Time Tracker notifies you when specific reminders regarding an employee are due. It can alert you when an employee’s certification is about to expire, or that they are to attend a seminar or anything else that you choose. Time Tracker will monitor your employees scheduled times and warn you about errors such as double bookings or overtime situations. You can also track an employee’s refusals to work.
Notes: Not all are downloadable desktop programs for Windows/Mac OS and some may be browser-based applications that require high-speed Internet access. Be sure to read all systems and licensing agreements from the developer’s website to make sure you meet all requirements. At the time of publication, a free basic service (lite or cripple version) or a free trial version of all of these software packages is available from their manufacturer’s website. To take full advantage of a package’s features you may need to upgrade to a paid version of the software.
What Can Scheduling Software Do for You?
Scheduling software takes the hard work out of staffing, scheduling, and publishing work schedules, freeing you up to do more important things. It helps drive efficiencies and frees up staff to spend more time providing quality services to residents
- Spend less time creating and publishing work schedules. Scheduling software makes scheduling staff and support staff, editing information, analyzing data, and distributing employee work schedules easy and simple. Schedule any number of staff, assign shifts, stations, floors, breaks, and duties within each shift.
- Quickly fill a shift or find a substitute based on many criteria including job position, skills, availability, labor cost, work hour limits, and seniority.
- Prevent and alerts you to availability conflicts, duplicate shift assignments, overlapped shift assignments, and conflicts with scheduled time off.
- Know instantly where workers are assigned. No need to flip through pages of paper to see absentee, on-call, training, or overtime situations.
- Reduce the time to track and assign employee training, vacation and time off requests. Fire department scheduling software keeps you up to date on who will not be coming in to work and why. Its comprehensive reports provide details on planned vacation, training, and time off hours for any time period you select.
- Reduce labor costs and avoid unnecessary overtime. Fire department scheduling software lets you accurately track absences and forecast staffing needs to minimize over-staffing, which in turn reduces payroll costs. It automatically sums up employees’ work hours and costs; calculates overtime, on-call, time off, and incentive pays; and provides detailed cost reports so you know instantly if you are on budget.
- Keep scheduling and employee information in one place for easy access. Insert ID photos as well as employee contact information, authorized work stations, skills, available work hours for part-time and volunteers, and work hour constraints into employee records.
- Monitor attendance, work hours, and labor costs. Advanced fire department scheduling software with time clock features lets you see exactly who clocked in and how your scheduled hours compare to the hours your employees are actually working.