Smeal Quint
Kelly Days, RDO's, and Debit Days

Some agencies have a rotating system that provides their members additional scheduled time off to meet a negotiated agreement regarding work hours; these are frequently called "Kelly Days". In the Federal Fire two-platoon system, the functional equivalent is called an "RDO", a Rotating Day Off.

Similarly, some four-platoon agencies have a system for scheduling members to work on what otherwise would be a day off, to assure that the members work a specified number of hours. These are usually called "Debit Days".

Under these systems, each variation usually has a name (e.g. "A1" or "C3"), and members are divided up and assigned to these variations to assure that the appropriate number of hours are worked and that the proper number of personnel are scheduled on duty each day, according to the labor contract.

Wouldn't it be convenient if a calendar could be set up to display a member's Kelly days or Debit days?

ShiftCal can be configured to display these variations to the shift schedule in a different color; this is particularly useful for an individual firefighter to be able to glance at a calendar and see when he or she either has an extra day off, or must work back a day.

Let's look at an example...

A common Kelly arrangement is a three-platoon system that works a "24 on/48 off" rotation with a Kelly day every seventh shift.

The normal shift rotation (24 on/48 off) might be "ABC", so each member works one shift, then has the next two days off.

Firefighter Sean is on the "C" shift, and, since he is off probation, he gets every seventh "C" shift day off. We need to create a ShiftRotation 21 days long similar to the following:

[Shift Schedule]
ShiftRotation=ABCABCABCABCABCABCABX

Notice that the last "C" shift entry has been changed to a "X".

To generate Sean's calendar, create entries for the "X" platoon in the [Colors] section of the .ini file:

[Colors]
XPlt=Yellow
XInv=Black

Set StartDate to the day following one of Sean's Kelly days:

[Shift Schedule]
StartDate=12/22/2000

Save the .ini file with a unique filename and reload it (e.g. with File | Ini File), or exit and restart the program.

The really cool aspect of this is that all "C" shifters can use the same ShiftRotation; they just need to vary the StartDate to reflect where they live in the rotation. (Note: some complex schedules are best implemented as two or more ShiftRotations using variable start dates; see Seattle Fire Dept).

To accommodate all members, it will be necessary to create a set of .ini files using all of the possible iterations (e.g. A1, A2..., B1, B2..., C1, C2...). To display a particular schedule, open the desired .ini file with File | Ini File.

Some Federal agencies configure their schedules so that each member has an assigned day-of-the-week off. That is, if Sean's day is Wednesday and next Wednesday is a "C" shift day, Sean is going to be fishing instead of on the engine room floor at shift change.

Could I see another example?

Surely. Email Tech Support for links to examples. We have a two-platoon system with RDO's, four-platoon systems with debit days, and several unique shift schedules.

If you are interested in setting up a set of .ini files to reflect your agency's system, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Copyright © 2013 T. Wesley Erickson
Warner Springs, California
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