Jamaica Firefighter Suspended Over Protest

A Jamaica firefighter who held a one-man protest over a change in shifts has been suspended. Sergeant Leo Bennett held the protest yesterday, claiming that most of the firefighters in Jamaica prefer to continue working the 24-hour shifts they have been working since COVID began.

Prior to COVID, firefighters worked 8 hours-on, 24 hours-off. During COVID, the firefighters worked 24 hours-on, 72 hours-off. Sergeant Bennett claims that firefighters want the 24 hour shifts to become permanent. According to Nationwide News, the Jamaica Fire Brigade is considering the 24 hour schedule, but requires certain legislative changes be made first.

According to Sergeant Bennett, the 8 hours-on, 24-hours-off schedule leaves firefighters with no days-off, and unable to even clean their gear between shifts. More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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