London Fire Brigade

A shift in the right direction

05 May 2011

FirefightersToday (5 May) sees the first change to the working hours of London’s firefighters for over 30 years.

Staff at the 113 fire stations across the capital are moving from a nine-hour day shift and 15-hour night shift to a 10 ½ hour day shift and a 13 ½ hour night shift. The new shifts are expected to improve performance and productivity, particularly in areas such as training and community fire safety.

The changes are being introduced following agreement with the Fire Brigades’ Union in January.

Chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority Councillor Brian Coleman said:

“From today the capital will get a better service from the London Fire Brigade. After six long years of negotiation, firefighters can now do more during the day shift, without adding to the hours they work overall.

"It’s an excellent result that without having to spend more public money we are able to make Londoners safer.”

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said:

“This is an important step in the continuing modernisation of the service. Current shift start and finish times have been in place since 1979 but the fire service we provide over thirty years later has changed dramatically.

"The changes will give us more time during the day for firefighter training and community safety work.”

ENDS


Notes for editors

  • Both the current and the new shift patterns work on the “2-2-4” system which means that firefighters work for two consecutive day shifts, two consecutive night shifts and then have four days off. 
  • Previously the day shifts were from 9am-6pm and night shifts are from 6pm-9am. 
  • The new day shift is from 9.30am-8pm and the night shift from 8pm-9.30am.
  • The changes have been introduced following a period of industrial action which saw two one-day walkouts by members of the Fire Brigades Union. A collective agreement was signed on 18 January.