The fire chief of Sault Ste. Marie is now working with his employees to create 24-hour shifts. An arbitrator ruled in favour of the union to create the round the clock shift similar to what North Bay firefighters already have. In the case of the Sault, the arbitrator wants the department to try the 24-hour shifts for three years.
Chief Mike Figliola opposes 24-hour shifts because he believes fatigue will set in and that could comprise safety. Figliola says he’ll call in off-duty firefighters if he suspects anyone working is fatigued. The mayor of the Sault believes the 24-hour concept will make fighting fires in his city a lot more expensive and city officials believe much of the cost will come from overtime.