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Old 07-20-2014
chgodon chgodon is offline
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Default ON-CALL TIME IS MY TIME?

I'm working 40 hrs of a regular shift. I'm on-call 4 nights a week. No problem there. We have 3 officers for 24 hr coverage. This week, one officer went on vacation. That left me filling in for the second officer's 2 days off and he filling in for my 2 days off. That meant 2 officers worked a regular shift from 8am - 5pm and on-call from 5pm-8am. Each officer had to be back for the next days regular shift at 8am. I look at it as I'm working 48 hrs in 2 days. My on-call hours went from 32 hrs to 64 hrs. That means I'm obligated to 104 working hrs per week. I have no problem for emergencies, vacation or sick days.

Our manager just advised me that if the third officer leaves the field, she is looking into keeping this vacation schedule as a permanent weekly schedule?? I don't think I could physically or mentally put in that many hours. I feel on-call time is not MY time even though I'm at home. I do not get a good nights sleep because I'm listening for the phone or afraid I'm going to miss a call. I can not go anywhere I want because I'm obligated to respond if called. Management has this idea that on-call time is not work time but MY time. They do not see it as I'm putting in 64 hours of working hours.

I don't agree with that or the amount of standby hrs that maybe required. I've worked double shifts with other agencies and they were not as exhausting as bouncing back and forth in between calls. Any thoughts on this scenario or on-call is not YOUR time.
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Old 07-26-2014
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shawnee2630 shawnee2630 is offline
 
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On call is the single worst part of this profession...I hate it...I hate it...I hate it. We work seven night rotations. It is from 9pm to 8am and we get called out EVERY night a couple times. It interrupts every aspect of your life...it is awful. If our bosses worked just one week of on call they would understand, you are thinking about it, waiting for a call. Sleeping with one eye open and waking up at 4 am frantically grabbing for the phone thinking you missed a call....stand by is the reason I am leaving this profession...
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Old 07-27-2014
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SixbyFire SixbyFire is offline
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Our agency doesn't have on call, we have a graveyard shift, only if they're off sick or something does someone end up on call. Our total "on call" is maybe 8 or so times a year tops. The way we run and the service level that is expected from the citizens, you'd never go home after your shift. You'd run calls all night, every night. Well maybe not every night, but I can remember many a graveyard shift where it was nothing but one priority call after another. Even if my boss wanted to nix graveyard, cut two officers, and go to on call, I would fight it tooth and nail, unless they changed, in a massive way, what we respond to after hours.

Now the supervisor on call and investigator on call are another matter entirely. They are there for support for the swing or grave officers should the need arise. Its happened in the past where we've assembled all three of us on some odd late night call, usually some cruelty call or something. We can usually deal with most situations until the morning crews arrive.

Jeff
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Old 07-28-2014
halfacop halfacop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnee2630 View Post
....stand by is the reason I am leaving this profession...
Why not stay in and simply leave for a better agency.....???
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Old 07-28-2014
chgodon chgodon is offline
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The one agency I worked for also had a graveyard officer with 25 officers. They serviced 19 cities and all unincorporated areas. Only 1 officer from 9pm-7am. The officer responded to bites, injured wildlife and police calls. Over the years, these calls also have included deads. When its slow, the grave yard officer will do admin stuff, like rabies certs etc..

Another agency I worked for had 13 officers and did not have a graveyard person. They serviced unincorporated areas that were up to 2 hours away. Officers rotated oncall shifts for emergency calls only. I would do maybe 1-2 nites per week, unless I volunteered for more nites.

My current agency only services 2 cities the with a population of about 30,000 each. They do not have the quantity of calls to justify an officer patrolling the field after 5pm. This is why due to vacations, I'm working 8am - 5pm and then oncall from 5pm - 8am. This is done on officer 1 two days off and officer 2 days off. Third officer is on vacation. Again, if we lose the third officer, this may be a permanent shift for two officers. This would be my shift:
Mon 4pm-12mid & oncall 12mid-8am
Tue 4pm-12mid & oncall 12mid-8am
Wed 4pm-12mid & oncall 12mid-8am
Thur off
Fri off
Sat 8am-5pm & oncall 5pm-8am
Sun 8am-5pm & oncall 5pm-8am

If nobody is on vacation or we keep 3 officers, my Sat and Sun shifts are:

Sat 12mid-8am
Sun 4pm-12mid & oncall 12mid-8am

I realize oncall shifts are a requirement for some agencies, but this possible permanent shift is ridiculous. The reason for my original post is because the manager is hinting in only using two officers, when the third officer leaves for her career goal.

Last edited by chgodon; 07-28-2014 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 07-28-2014
chgodon chgodon is offline
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Correction. The dept had 25 officers total, but 1 officer on graveyard.
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