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Work Environment

In many fire departments, firefighters may be on duty and live at fire stations for long periods of time. They may work 24-hour shifts followed by either 48 or 72 hours off. Firefighters can also work in split shifts, which require that they work nine-hour days and 15-hour night tours or 10-hour days and 14-hour night tours. After each set of day tours, firefighters receive 72 hours off, and after each set of night tours, they receive 48 hours off. Workweeks can range from 40 to almost 56 hours; across the United States and Canada, firefighters work an average week of 50 hours.

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