PDA

View Full Version : Fire Department & Lawn Care


NateRI
05-24-2007, 03:22 PM
Curious to see if anyone out there is a full time firefighter / EMT who landscapes on the side. How good / bad do the schedules go together? We do 4 on 4 off. Any feedback about your operations is welcome.
I am looking to cut alone for the most part, got a good lead on a 48'' walk - behind.:walking:
Thanks --

lawnspecialties
05-24-2007, 04:32 PM
Curious to see if anyone out there is a full time firefighter / EMT who landscapes on the side. How good / bad do the schedules go together? We do 4 on 4 off. Any feedback about your operations is welcome.
I am looking to cut alone for the most part, got a good lead on a 48'' walk - behind.:walking:
Thanks --

Huh? Do you mean you work 4 days in a row and then get 4 days off? :dizzy:

A whole lot of us are firefighters here but if that is your schedule, I would imagine it could be tough if your business grows well.

thomjr03
05-24-2007, 04:37 PM
Works good for me. I am a full time firefighter / Emt and we work 24 on and 48 off.

americanlawn
05-24-2007, 05:04 PM
Fall of 2006, Ankeny fire department, police department, HASMAT, State DNR, etc responded to a pesticide spillage. There were 12 governmernt vehicles involved
Turned out that a three-way ball valve was defective (worn out) on our tanker unit. So it overflowed one of our tanks, causing spillage along the curb. (only one gallon at most)

The Ankeny cops showed up. They instructed my guys NOT to do anything, as the Ankeny Fire dept would be showing up soon and would take care of ther problem.

My guys had kitty litter ready to use, but they were instructed not to do anything by the Ankeny Iowa police derpartment.

The Ankeny fire department chief told us we in violation. He also said we could expect severe fines & expenses. I filed a statement with the State of Iowa regarding what actually occurred...............Guess what? No fine. No expenses. Plus a personal letter from the State of Iowa apoilogizing for what happened.

Bottom line: The police department actually STOPPED US from containing the spillage. Your tax money at work here???

tazman7
05-24-2007, 07:59 PM
I am a poc firefighter/emt right now. I am testing to get on fulltime for a few departments in the next few months so i guess we will see...most depts around here work 24 on 48 off so that should work great

NateRI
05-25-2007, 09:40 AM
Lawnspecialties - 4 0n 4 0ff = (2) 10 hour days followed by (2) 14 hour nights, followed by 4 days off.

Americanlawn - sounds like a real mess there are many situations we face everyday on the job that fall into the category "damned if we do damned if we don't" usually the root of the problem is b/c of a lawsuit. At any rate, sorry that happened to you and your crew.

Thomjr - thanks for the input, how big is your business?

Tazman7 - Good luck with the testing the job has been good to me so far.

thomjr03
05-25-2007, 09:27 PM
I am Small now but hoping to grow. I am only doing about 11 with mowing and fertilizing. I am learning everday.

lazyike
05-26-2007, 10:57 PM
I used to be a deputy sheriff and had that rotation. Worked great for me I just told all my customers that the day I would be there would slowly rotate 1 day forward each week. no problems.

But now I do this full time so I don't have to worry about it.

hoskm01
05-27-2007, 03:57 AM
PD here. 4on, 3 off, 3 on, 4 off. Schedule is great. Consistent days (3 a week, plus the 4th every other week is awesome.)

Small business here. 1/2 day of maintenance and the rest installs every week.

SpruceLandscape
05-27-2007, 07:41 AM
FD here, 24/48. So far this season its working out ok with my schedule, but last year was a rough one. On the other hand, we finally had some retirees as well which until recently was a rarity because of the DROP. Once I got myself off of the bottom of the vacation calander, things improved. Its also nice to know a few guys on other shifts and nearby departments to help out in case you get stuck at work or need an extra hand. Good luck! =o)

NateRI
05-28-2007, 01:09 PM
Thanks for the input guys, I am going to start small and see where it gets me. Have a good Memorial Day!

Nate

HydroCutter
05-28-2007, 07:49 PM
Fireman here. 24/72..works out really nice.

agm
05-28-2007, 08:21 PM
FF/EMT. Work 24/48's. Have no problem with scheduling. I have 32 residential customers (weekly) 5 (biweekly) and 2 Commericial accounts. When I am off duty, I can pretty much handle them if I really wanted to, but I do have a full time employee, that does work for me. He does some of the work when I am on duty for the customers that are scheduled for that day. Company is still growing though. Phone rings non stop!!!!! I am considering hiring another guy since I have bids in on several other commercial properties that if I get them, I will have no choice but to hire another! Good luck with your businesses!!! As always......................STAY SAFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (IAFF 244 Albuquerque, New Mexico)

americanlawn
06-04-2007, 07:45 PM
We have 3000 customers. Still no bill in the mail from the city of Ankeny. Several Ankeny firemen are customers, and they say just what you said -- it's a fine line sometimes. I totally respect all American firefighters -- good hard-working Americans who take risks to keep us safe.

americanlawn
06-04-2007, 07:47 PM
p.s. We rely on firefighters in our outlying areas to "subcontract" mowing for us. They all do a fine job and also provide mulching, pruning, etc. It's a "win/win" deal.

SOMM
06-05-2007, 10:30 PM
U ain't chit unless you're fully licensed and fully insured (that don't mean just your flip'n truck!).

p/t , f/t or otherwise - otherwise you're just a scab by any other name, a'ight?

I.D.R Lawn Care
06-10-2007, 01:41 PM
24/48- suppose I am a scab on my days off. Nannynannybooboo. Started with a couple lawns last year, am growing rapidly this year, insured but no Licensing requirement unless I start applying fertilizer or pesticides. Looking for a rider as I just got a 3 acre commons area around a lake. Any good ideas on what size and type I need.

hosejockey2002
06-10-2007, 02:35 PM
Firefighter, Modified Detroit schedule- 24 on & off for three shifts, 4 days off with 17 kelly days. Works out fine, but sometimes it's rough getting in the truck for a days work after being up all night. Licensed, bonded, insured, pay taxes and all that.

SOMM, do us all a favor, worry about you, not us.

americanlawn
06-10-2007, 04:14 PM
hosejockey2002 - I agree 110%. When I started my bus in '90, my 1st emplyee was part-time....a full-time Des Moines firefighter. He immediately passed his pesticide tests (never met a stupid American firefighter). It worked out slick as he helped my business get off the ground. Currently we rely on firefighters for mowing in our outlying areas. I cannot say enough about these guys ---never any complaints from customers, and they do the "extras" like pruning, mulching, etc. These guys also do a superb job in communicating with our clients which saves us service calls and retains customers. Examples: Newton & Ames, Iowa. God bless our Nation's firefighters. americanlawn

hosejockey2002
06-10-2007, 09:04 PM
(never met a stupid American firefighter).

Don't worry, I've met a few...:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Oasis-Outdoor
06-11-2007, 10:14 AM
I am a full time Firefighter/EMT-I/Police Office in Kansas. My sideline business is Oasis Fence, Lawn & Landscape. I work 24hrs on,48 off. The other a-b-c shift I used to work was a lot better for my business.I targeted my big jobs on my 4 days off. I think the key to making it on your own in business is to diversify. Also, equipment can replace a few workers. Good Luck

lawnprosteveo
06-12-2007, 10:45 PM
4 on and 4 off would make it tough. We work 24 and are off 48...I can mow 3 days a week and usually have the wk ends when Im not on duty.

LawnScapers of Dayton
06-13-2007, 08:14 AM
Firefighter Paramedic, 24/48......I work solo......and have more work than I can handle......

I wish it would rain for a week......

BlueShieldLawnCare
06-13-2007, 01:38 PM
I'm a cop and work 4 days a week, 10 hour shifts, also have call out every 4 weekends (I'm crime scene). We do lawns in the evenings and on days off. So far customers have been happy with that, and don't mind that I might not be there every 7 days EXACTLY. The fact that they don't have to worry about who is doing their lawn bc I'm a cop helps, I think!

NateRI
06-13-2007, 01:56 PM
Well, I ended up buying a 48'' JD walk behind, and am still putting together other equipment. Practicing on my lawn for the time being.
Thanks to everyone for adding to this forum. Good luck to all public saftey personell out there.

LawnScapers of Dayton
06-13-2007, 04:59 PM
my customers know I will be there Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday..... They are cool with that......

americanlawn
06-13-2007, 08:29 PM
Odd but cool -- when I was younger (like most of you guys), we "got into trouble too many times". Now, we are one in the same. I'm 53 and now & know what my resposibilities are. When I was younger, I hated "cops". Not now, cuz I've grown wiser, and know the "laws". Yet I can recall several times in my younger years when I was unlawfully detained by cops, just cuz of the vehicle I was driving. Spencer, Iowa in particular.

YardMedic
06-13-2007, 09:29 PM
Full time Firefighter/Paramedic, local 1153. 1 day on, 2 off, 1 on, 4 off. It's great for landscaping, though I'm busy enough landscaping that I usually give away most of my overtime from April to October!

hosejockey2002
06-14-2007, 12:33 AM
though I'm busy enough landscaping that I usually give away most of my overtime from April to October!

Ain't that the truth. I could make probably the same in two shifts of OT as a whole month of landscaping. It is nice to have something to do on my days off that has nothing to do with the fire department, though.

YardMedic
06-18-2007, 07:10 PM
Ain't that the truth. I could make probably the same in two shifts of OT as a whole month of landscaping. It is nice to have something to do on my days off that has nothing to do with the fire department, though.

Funny... I'd work more overtime, but from April til June I'm ALWAYS working long days landscaping to get all my work done (a sure sign that I need someone working for me regularly). Finding good, dependable help has been tough for me, despite paying well and being a fair & reasonable boss.

TTHardscape
06-18-2007, 09:04 PM
Lawn Medic, I am also A FF with a small Hardscape Co. Working OT in summer is out. Just found good help and it makes all the difference in the world. What Dept. are you with.

LawnScapers of Dayton
06-19-2007, 07:45 AM
Overtime.......whats that? We hardly ever have OT.......

YardMedic
06-19-2007, 09:04 AM
Overtime.......whats that? We hardly ever have OT.......

I know there are too many departments where OT is rare, and that's too bad. Right now we're battling the chief's attempt to balance his budget by running a man down when vacancies occur, but as a rule there's 12-18 hours per week available in OT, sometimes more. We're very lucky that way.

BlueShieldLawnCare
06-19-2007, 02:09 PM
Kinda off subject, but I thought you fire guys might like to know, Charleston, SC, lost 9 firefighters in the line of duty last night. There was a massive fire at the Sofa Super Store, and they went in to save 2 employees. Did save them, and were searching for any other people caught inside when there was some kind of an explosion and the roof collapsed in on them. These are the first deaths in the line of duty deaths in the city in more then 32 years. Between the 9 men, the city has lost more then 100 years of experience. Please keep these men, their families, their friends, and their fellow firefighters in your thoughts and prayers.

YardMedic
06-30-2007, 02:53 PM
Bump to the top!

Hope the fire guys around the country are doing well out there, staying hydrated (beer counts, ya know!). Take care

americanlawn
07-12-2007, 05:24 PM
A little off subject here, but I live right across the street from the Saylor Fire department (volunteer). Up until about a year ago, their station siren would go off for every call that came in. Talk about a very loud annoyance! They were the last fire dept in a 3-county area to "sound the siren" for every call that came in. Now their siren goes off only on Saturdays at noon, since the guys have pagers anyways. Also....when I grill out, and I see some of the guys over their, I offer them free food fresh off the grill and a cold soda. It always pays to repect our firefighters, cuz the next emergency might be at MY home. God bless 'em -- they work cheap -- yet they risk their lives. True Patriots! We spray their lawn twice a year. $24 each time, and they have 24,000 sqaure feet of turf.

task125
07-12-2007, 06:17 PM
I work a 24 on 72 off,It has been working out pretty good,just don't want to get to big.

YardMedic
07-14-2007, 12:17 PM
I work a 24 on 72 off,It has been working out pretty good,just don't want to get to big.

I hear ya. My dilemma with a similar schedule is wondering about my equipment making money on the days I'm on the job. I don't have employees yet, and I'm nervous about taking that leap with all the additional liability. It pains me to push projects back, though, knowing there are 8 days per month I'm not landscaping.

ferris_1972
07-14-2007, 12:50 PM
Full time fire/medic 24 on/24off/24on followed by 5 off. Currently have 25 accounts no problem getting them done in about 1.5-2 days depending on weather.