Firefighters frequently work 24/7 hours a day. They work, eat, shower, and relax in the firehouse during this period. As a result, they practically reside at the firehouse for around one-third of their employment. But do firefighters sleep at the station too?
Firefighters can usually sleep in the firehouse stations as they work so hard. Sleeping quarters are frequently available at these stations. It also varies based on how busy a firefighter is regularly. However, they would not have enough time to rest and sleep while on duty.
This article will inform you of all factors that influence firefighters to sleep at the station or not, how the stations are designed to accommodate sleep, how did firefighters handle their sleeping time in the past time, the demanding work schedule of a firefighter, how busy their department, and whether they face any sleeping disorder or not, etc.
Also Read: Check out our other article about How Does Firefighters Make Money?
Do Firefighters Sleep at the Station?
Yes, firefighters do sleep at firehouses. They’re both paid and volunteer firefighters. Some volunteer firefighters live in the fire station. College students can volunteer and save money on other expenses by taking advantage of special allowances.
There’re exceptions to the rule, and some volunteer firehouses do not have sleeping spaces, while specific career departments cycle shifts, such as 12 hours, and staff work the entire time they’re on duty.
Because those stations handle so many calls throughout a shift, the 12-hour shift is designed to offer firefighters a respite rather than to keep them awake.
A firefighter’s daily duty may include:
- Equipment inspections and proper maintenance
- Cleaning, sanitizing, and maintenance of the station
- Drills and training to maintain and strengthen the abilities required to respond to a variety of calls
- Inspections of commercial or residential fire safety, as well as public education
- Prevention of fires
And any emergency calls take precedence over all of these responsibilities. This implies that firefighters are frequently far too busy to sleep much, at least throughout the day.
In the Previous Time, How did Firefighters Handle Their Sleeping Time?
For many years, from 1984 to 1987, firehouses had bunk rooms, and many firefighters resided in them for various reasons and for varying lengths of time.
Some were bachelor members who wanted to be involved in as much firefighting action as possible, while others were students who lived there and ran calls when they weren’t in class. These firefighters were precious members of their communities.
How Are The Fire Stations Designed to Accommodate Sleep?
Typically, fire stations have had a big dormitory with personal beds, bunks, or Murphy beds. However, as more women enter the profession, gender-neutral settings are becoming increasingly important.
Another advantage of individual sleeping quarters is that firefighters can get better sleep because rooms may be customized and climate-controlled.
While they shorten the time firefighters spend together, they also provide a sense of relaxation and a place to unwind.
What is the Work Schedule of A Firefighter?
A full-time fireman works 56 hours weekly on average. However, the hours are broken into 24-hour shifts. Many departments schedule firefighters for eight or twelve-hour shifts, although this is not the norm.
Firefighters typically work 10 of the 24-hour shifts every month, giving them around 20 days off each month. In that case, fire departments are generally intended to allow firefighters to rest or sleep during the night.
However, whether or not they get any sleep will be determined by the number of calls they receive at night.
How Busy are the Fire Departments?
Although all of the other factors can influence how and where firefighters sleeping, the amount of emergency calls they receive is the most critical factor in determining whether or not they get any sleep at all.
Many slower fire stations may sleep all night, whereas many more active fire stations are on duty virtually every shift.
Do Firefighters Suffer From Any Sleeping Disorders?
According to a new study, 37% of firefighters have sleep disturbance symptoms, the majority of which go unnoticed and untreated. In addition, firefighters are more likely to have chronic health problems compounded by sleep deprivation.
Sleep deprivation makes firefighters:
- 2.4 times more likely to have cardiovascular disease
- 1.9 times more likely to develop diabetes
- Three times more likely to develop depression or anxiety disorders
Shiftwork-related sleep loss has been linked to an increased relative risk of cancer and stroke.
Sleep deprivation has a significant impact on mental performance. Only obtaining 5 hours of sleep for four days in a row, rather than the usual 7–9 hours, causes cognitive impairments comparable to a.06 percent blood alcohol content.
Injuries on the fire ground are more probable between 12-6 a.m. than any other time of each day. Firefighters who have been diagnosed with sleep deprivation are twice as likely to be in a car accident.
Sleep deprivation has also been connected to employee theft or damage, coworker verbal abuse, sensitivity to unethical recommendations, impulsive behavior, and a general lack of emotional discipline.
Do these Sleeping Disorders Cause any Impact on Firefighters?
Poor sleep has a wide range of consequences: a severe safety problem and a large area of liability for fire departments where firefighters exhibit these symptoms.
We all know that sleep disorders do not have an easy treatment, no matter how common they are. So, one potential solution is policy-related, while another is due to the built environment.
Related Questions (FAQs)
1. Does the municipality cover the cost of firefighters’ meals when on duty?
No, it doesn’t. When on duty, firefighters will provide their meals. Frequently, all firemen on a station share their funds to make purchases for cooking meals. You may also witness firefighters eating at one of the neighborhood restaurants.
2. Do firefighters get time to rest, eat, or bathe?
While the fire service has downtime, firefighters on duty have to be prepared to respond to incidents at any point during the task. Emergencies do not follow a routine and frequently cause disruptions to sleep, to eat, and restroom time.
3. Who does the cooking and cleaning at the firehouse?
The station serves as a second home for firefighters while they are on duty. Firefighters prepare Meals in turn. Another responsibility of firefighters is to maintain the station’s living quarters because they don’t have the luxuries of a housekeeping service.
4. Do Firefighters Sleep on the Night Shift?
Firefighters are always on high alert, so their day is far from ended after 5 p.m. Several businesses labor through the night shift with no sleep.
Leander firefighters are permitted to relax after 6 p.m. when they aren’t attending to emergencies. Firefighters use this time to talk to family, read and study, or sometimes watch television.
The department sometimes conducts periodic “night drills” at strange hours to keep firefighters accustomed to changing conditions.
Typically, the firehouses are quiet and peaceful at night. Each station has been cleaned and prepared for “shift change” at 7 a.m. the following day. Firefighters try to sleep at that time but are always ready to spring and run at the drop of a hat.
Now you know that why firefighters sleep at the station. Contrary to popular belief, we must remember that firefighters are human, not superhuman, and require adequate rest to function well.
Sleep deprivation can significantly increase the chance of developing various severe health conditions, considering fatigue management just as crucial to firefighter wellbeing as wearing a breathing mask, safety glasses, and gloves.
In a sector that requires long work schedules and firefighters to offer assistance both day and night, disrupting regular sleeping habits is unavoidable