How to Make a Firefighter Shift Calendar

By Ericka Watson
An annual calendar is best for making a shift calendar.

Making a firefighter shift calendar helps keep you and your family organized by knowing which days are duty days and which are not. Once created, firefighter shift calendars can be printed in multiple sizes, such as a larger one for home use and smaller ones for a pocketbook or wallet. A firefighter shift calendar will make planning and scheduling appointments a snap.

Open your word processor software. Microsoft Word or iWork Pages both work well because they have calendar templates, but any word processor software will do.

Choose a yearly calendar template and update it based on the current calendar year. This template provides the entire year on one page. Each month is a small square with only numbers to show the specific days.

Determine your shift days. Each fire department has different work schedules. For example, if you work 24 hours on and then 24 hours off, your duty will fall on every third day. Most fire departments name their shifts, such as A-shift, B-shift and C-shift.

Select one color to highlight each shift. You may highlight your own shift days in a color such as red or green and leave the rest black, or you may decide to color each shift differently. The choice is yours to decide which one works best for your situation.

Highlight and change your shift days to the color of choice for the entire year. You may change every day or just the ones for your shift.

Print a full-size calendar for home use. Then, to print a small portable calendar, change the size and output in the word processing program under the document's settings.

Laminate the calendar to keep the pages clean and neat longer. This is especially important for shift calendars that will be carried in a wallet or pocketbook and used often. Lamination sheets can be found in crafts stores if you wish to do it yourself, while some copy stores will laminate items for a small fee.

Tip

Add relevant and specific events to your calendar such as open houses, training sessions, holiday parties, birthdays, and other atypical tasks they may affect the regular routine.

Be sure to amend and save the calendar when schedules change or additional shifts are added.

Use a file-sharing program like Teamup or Google Calendars to create an online shift calendar using the same principles. Also, check to see if the program allows you to create a mobile version for use with a cell phone.

Firehouse.com has a shift calendar template that generates a simple calendar in minutes. The drawback is that it cannot be customized.

About the Author

Ericka Watson is a freelance writer with 4 years of experience in blogging, writing for the Web, and corporate communications. She currently writes for About.com as the Guide to Powerboating, where she blogs and publishes articles that help boaters with the challenges of boating. She is a graduate of the New York Institute of Technology with a degree in professional writing/writing for the Web.