Naperville Fire Department Implements Innovative “Power Shifting” Program
Data-driven program increases productivity of existing Fire personnel without overtime costs
NAPERVILLE, Ill. – As part of the City of Naperville’s continued efforts to make data-driven decisions while providing high-quality services to the community, starting today, Naperville’s Fire Department is implementing a “power shifting” program to enhance services and increase efficiencies while holding the line on costs.
Traditionally, the Illinois fire service schedules full time employees on a 24 hours on, 48 hours off basis. This schedule has been used to offset overtime costs for maintaining an all day, every day service and provide coverage for the community. Much like other communities, the Fire Department experiences most of its service calls during daytime hours; in fact, data from the past five years indicates that 54 percent of calls occur between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., with the demand for service dropping considerably after that time.
Power shifting will make use of existing Fire Department personnel to better serve Naperville during high-call volume times without incurring overtime or adding additional employees to the department. In Naperville’s case, the power shifting program will assign up to four current Fire Department employees to work a 40-hour schedule 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday versus the traditional 24 hours on, 48 hours off.
The Fire Department’s minimum staffing number of 42 will be maintained at all times; however, assigning four people to peak hours of operation and reducing the workforce during low impact times allows for an additional response vehicle during peak hours of operation without any increased costs, decreased response time to calls when power shifting is in place, increased productivity, additional training hours and less demand for mutual aid from neighboring departments.
“I like to think of the power shifting program as a triple win – a win for employees, for management and, most importantly, a win for the community,” Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis said. “We know that having the same number of employees on the clock for 24 hours straight isn’t optimal, and we also know service cuts or increasing overtime isn’t right for our community. By having four employees transition to this schedule, we meet our need for service when it is greatest without incurring additional costs. I’m pleased the department and its members could embrace this level of innovation for the benefit of Naperville.”
Power shifting is also beneficial for supporting mandated Fire and EMS training that occurs during the daytime hours Monday through Friday and that, due to the nature of the training, often requires ambulance availability for trainees. Power shifting will help ensure this essential training can take place with adequate medical support while, most importantly, simultaneously meeting the public safety needs of the community.
“On behalf of our union firefighters, we shared a goal with department management and City leadership to negotiate a unique agreement that brings a long-needed increase in service levels to meet the City’s demand for ambulance service,” said John Sergeant, president of the Naperville Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 4302. “It is truly an example of labor and management coming together for a shared purpose - utilizing dynamic staffing to negotiate a win for our citizens.”
For more information on the Naperville Fire Department, visit www.naperville.il.us/nfd.
About Naperville: Located 28 miles west of Chicago, Naperville, Ill., is home to approximately 145,000 people. This vibrant, thriving city consistently ranks as a top community in the nation in which to live, raise children and retire. The city is home to acclaimed public and parochial schools, the best public library system in the country, an array of healthcare options and an exceptionally low crime rate. Naperville has ready access to a variety of public transportation, housing and employment options. The city’s diversified employer base features high technology firms, retailers and factories, as well as small and home-based businesses. Residents also enjoy world-class parks, diverse worship options, the opportunity to serve on several City boards and commissions, a thriving downtown shopping and dining area, a renowned outdoor history museum known as Naper Settlement and an active civic community. For more information, please visit our website at www.naperville.il.us.