When fire departments are faced with more demand than they can handle, the answer may lie in creating new positions that cover high-need shifts as required. These "floaters" can help response times and cut down on the need for mutual aid calls.
When there are too few firefighters on call during everyday shifts, but not enough room in the budget to bolster each one, a floating employee who serves as needed could help fill the gap. Floaters can be used in the short term or, in special cases, brought on permanently.
Staffing arrangements that go beyond usual scheduling are more easily managed by agencies using public safety workforce management software. Instead of making do with improvised systems, personnel assigned to floater positions can be placed where they are most needed with work hours tracked for reporting purposes. It's a great way of filling gaps without impacting the budget.
We'll be back soon with more news about public safety workforce management.