Founded in 2010

News & Entertainment for Mason City, Clear Lake & the Entire North Iowa Region

Letter to City Council from Mason City Firefighters IAFF L#41

Honorable Mayor and Council:

We are contacting you, Mayor Bookmeyer and Council members, regarding discussions that have occurred during recent workshops and council meetings.  These discussions involved altering the current work schedule of the firefighters, and “Streamlining the Fire Department” as a top priority.

Although both Chief Platts and the Firefighters share the same concern about fatigue both acute and chronic, we are not aware of any incidents where fatigue has caused any medical treatment errors or injuries to a patient or an employee.  We do not see, nor has any council member offered, any evidence that this is an actual problem.  Every firefighter both past and present accepted this line of work knowing the work schedule, and we have adjusted our family lives around this schedule.

Having received a memo from Fire Chief Platts, you are already aware of both the current structure of the department and the firefighter’s work schedule.  Current Federal labor laws were written because of the efficiencies and structure of running a 24 hour operation.  Because of these laws firefighters can be scheduled to work up to 53 hours per week before accruing overtime.  This trade-off benefits the city by reducing the overtime liability.  Mason City Firefighters are scheduled to work 2,912 hours each year vs. a 40hr employee that would work 2080.

In our initial research, we found a report which stated that only 2% of fire departments across the nation work an 8hr shift and none that we know if in Iowa.  Departments that worked 8 hour shifts were typically smaller departments that have day time staff of full time firefighters with night coverage provided by volunteer staff who responds from home.

We would also like to bring to your attention that all aspects of the firefighter’s hours of work, including shift schedules, are mandatory subjects of bargaining under Iowa Code, Chapter 20.  Therefore, any changes to the work schedule must be brought forward through the bargaining process.

We are open to the idea of a joint Labor/Management meeting along with member(s) of council whereby your concerns could be better understood.  Likewise, this could allow us to have an open dialog and an opportunity to answer any questions you may have regarding your concerns, and how proposed changes might impact the department.

Jacob Schweitzer, President

Aaron Beemer, Vice President

Cal Wyman, Secretary/Treasurer


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Even more news:

Need help with your website?
Call your local professional,
Breakthrough Web Design:
or go to

Copyright 2022 – Internet Marketing Pros. of Iowa, Inc.
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
%d bloggers like this: