Do Firefighters Sleep At The Station: Long & Hectic Shifts

Firefighters have hectic routines that keep them working 24/7. Firefighters usually work long shifts and are required to live nearby their stations so that they come back to their equipment in the case of an emergency. Moreover, firefighters also work night shifts, which means that they often reside or sleep in their stations. 

Hence, the short answer to this question is yes. A firefighter does sleep at their station. However, they do not reside in them nor do they properly live in them.

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The details of their shifts and how a firefighter’s nightly office hours work is described below.

Why do firefighters need to sleep at the station?

Firefighting is a risky business, an emergency could occur at any time, and because of this fire stations across the states have their firefighters work in shifts, some firefighters work in the mornings (their shifts are usually between 8 to 12 hours long). Sometimes firefighters also works 24-hour shifts (more details on that later in further sections).

Some firefighters get morning shifts and hence, leave when their time is over, however for night shifts firefighters usually sleep at the station.

They wait for any signals or emergencies and are always at hand if help is required. 


Can firefighters choose not to sleep at Stations?

Firefighters have hectic routines and they cannot choose to be home during their shifts. Hence, if a firefighter has been given a night shift he or she will have to stay at the station in a vigilant manner so that they may be ready if an emergency occurs.

The long shifts especially those that go through from one night into the morning of the next day can be tiring, moreover, calling in sick is usually not an option. Hence, a firefighter cannot choose not to sleep at the station. 


Can a firefighter sleep during their night shifts?

Technically firefighters can sleep during their night shifts, however, they more often than not have to be vigilant and should be present if an alarm indicates an emergency in the area they are responsible for.

Moreover, firefighters are not allowed to live far away from their stations because they will not be able to reach the fire in time if they can’t get to their equipment.


What do firefighters do during a night shift if there are no emergencies?

Firefighters can rest during night shifts if there are no emergencies but they remain awake and ready in case a call comes in and they have to leave.

Other than that, in case the firefighters are having a thankfully emergency free day, they usually mop, take care of teh equipment that they have (as this is all public property and hence they are responsible for its maintenance).

Moreover, firefighters also take care of other jobs such as painting the station and the firetrucks. Firefighters also take several training seminars and are usually undergoing training so that they can manage and use new equipment that is given to them by the government.

24-hour shifts:

Being a firefighter isn’t easy, and sleep deprivation is something that most firefighters suffer from. The United States has recently created a 24-hour shift for their firefighters according to the U.S fire department it has reduced the number of losses, this means that during their night shift the firefighter can go to sleep.

However, at this point, the firefighter can be awakened by an alarm (as mentioned above). Moreover, they also have a bunk-room light that can be turned on at any time (this usually works as a bell). While this may come as a shock to many (because the firefighter continues to work during the day and through the night), however, this is exactly the same for a firefighter who is at home and is woken up by a pager during the night. There have been studies that indicated that the heartbeat of a normal firefighter would rise just about 80 percent whenever he or she heard the alarm.

Moreover, it should be noted that this kind of heart rate is usually achieved when one is exercising really hard and is undergoing a lot of stress. Moreover, there is also the sudden waking that creates problems for the heart and the mind as well.

After they have been woken up during the night shift they must immediately put on their equipment and then receive information, set up their equipment, and then leave in a matter of minutes.

Hence, their heart rate mainly increases because their body is immediately filled with adrenaline. This adrenaline then helps them perform the tasks that they have to perform. This means that while the 24 work shift does mean that the firefighter can go about their daily lives, they still have to work long hours during the night and the day and always be on call with no vacations and no time off. This can be strenuous and there are several critics of this kind of shift. 

Hence, it can be said that the life of a firefighter can be difficult during their shifts. 


Conclusively the answer to the question, do firefighters sleep at the station is but a simple one. Yes, they do. However, they are unable to exactly sleep there and need to be vigilant at all times.

Plus, even when they are at home they have completely been on the alert in case an emergency arises and they have to present.

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