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Many career firefighters throughout the world have a working schedule that is unique to the fire service.  The majority of the departments, as well as the Marion Fire Department, have three shifts of firefighters. Each shift works a 24-hour shift from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. for three straight days. In other words, a shift works one 24-hour day, has two days off and then repeats every three days.  All shifts must have six to eight persons on duty each day.  

The Marion paid-on-call (POC) Firefighters consist of men and women throughout the community willing to donate their time to be firefighters when needed. A stipend is paid to these individuals when they are summoned to assist with emergency situations which require more personnel than the daily shift personnel can efficiently mitigate. The POC firefighters train twice a month and are required to have at least 30 hours of firefighter training per year (which is six more hours than required by the State of Iowa). These POC firefighters dedicate themselves to helping the department to prevent injuries and death, by assisting with the provision of life-safety educational programs to the community.

The Marion Fire Department also consists of six full-time administrative staff members, one part-time Public Education Coordinator and one part-time administrative staff. The administrative staff consists of the Fire Chief, one Deputy Fire Chief, one District Chief in charge of Training, one District Chief in charge of Fire Prevention (also, known as the Fire Marshal), one Captain in the Fire Prevention Bureau (also, known as the Deputy Fire Marshal), one Public Education Coordinator and one 20-hour administrative assistant.  

All career and paid-on-call personnel carry pagers while off-duty. If a major emergency occurs, off-duty and paid-on-call are paged to come in and assist with the incident.