Community Risk Management Plan

West Midlands Fire Service has a Community Risk Management Plan (CRMP) which identifies and assesses all foreseeable risks which our communities may face. This assessment informs our Service Delivery Model, priorities and how we use our resources to reduce risk and vulnerability across the West Midlands.

Our Community Risk Management Plan explained

We work hard to identify and assess all foreseeable risks which our communities might face – from house fires and road traffic collisions, through to flooding and terrorism.

We use this information to shape our priorities and Service Delivery Model – how we use the resources we have to reduce risk and vulnerability in our communities.

Our planning looks ahead three years and factors in the views and needs of our communities, our staff and the many other organisations with which we work.

All fire and rescue services have a duty to do this, under the Fire and Rescue National Framework.
But it’s about much more than responding to 999 calls and emergencies.

Our prevention and protection activities are also key to making our communities safer, whether that’s at home, on the roads or in buildings where people work, live or visit.

A basic graphic showing the shape of the West Midlands in yellow

Community Risk Management Planning

Our planning never stops!

Our risk analysis and research provide the evidence which shapes our priorities, policies and objectives.

‘Our Plan’ clearly sets out our strategic priorities and objectives for reducing risk, across our prevention, protection and response services.

We use our risk analysis, research and ‘Our Plan’ to identify how we can deliver our services more effectively and efficiently to make the West Midlands safer, stronger and healthier.

A graphic of a pair of futuristic looking binoculars
A 3D graphic showing risks in the home such as bottle of wine, pint glass, cigarettes and overloaded plug sockets. Used on Our Plan and Prevention pages

Our planning toolkit

We use data going back several years to understand which sections of our communities are most at risk from fire and other incidents. We work out where certain types of incidents happen most. We then map the West Midlands based on risk levels, to work out where to locate our resources and where to focus our prevention and protection activities.

We monitor trends in the types of incidents we attend, and when and where they happen.
This data helps us to spot potential opportunities to adapt our services, to allocate resources differently and to focus our interventions.

We keep up to date with studies and research taking place around the world and also commission our own. We apply our professional judgement, incorporate relevant findings into our own planning.

We keep a close eye on many external factors which might affect or influence how we deliver our strategy. These include social issues, technology, politics, the economy and environmental issues, as well as legal and ethical considerations.

Future forecasting helps us to look beyond our three-year planning cycle. For example, how might the population grow and change? What are the emerging social or health issues? And what can we learn from global risks, such as climate change or pandemics, or from unprecedented events and international emergencies?

We constantly assess whether the measures we have in place match events and incidents to which we’re likely to respond. Are we targeting our prevention activities where we need to? And, if the worst does happen, are our response arrangements and resources appropriate? This process allows us to identify any potential gaps and future development opportunities.

Our planning principles

The risks faced by our communities are always changing, so we need to keep evolving and adapting. But we always apply the following planning principles:

  • change delivery of our risk-based services in line with our communities’ needs
  • create opportunities and make the best use of our resources to effectively manage changing risk
  • our services need to be as ‘future proof’ as possible – sustainable and resilient
  • our response services are rated as ‘outstanding’ – we want to keep it that way
  • maintain and expand what we can offer to our partners and communities
  • the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff
  • work with and involve our staff in delivering the most effective CRMP.
A 3D graphic of a house used on Our Plan and Prevention Pages

Your views matter

We have a duty to consult with our communities about our Community Risk Management Plan.

In late 2020, some 11,000 people shared their views! Our public consultation focused on:

  • Response: Management of resources
  • Prevention: Digital approaches
  • Prevention: Tackling “upstream” issues that increase the risk from fire
  • Protection: Approach to automatic fire alarms
  • Funding.

The results!

93% agreed we should continue to take a flexible approach to managing our resources

84% agreed we should explore digital ways of complementing our face-to-face engagement and delivery of our prevention activities.

74% agreed we should tackle social issues that make people more vulnerable to fire and other risks.

88% agreed with developing alternative approaches to responding to Automated Fire Alarms.

94% agreed that, while our future funding remains unclear and further budget restrictions are likely, we should develop options that keep enabling us to deliver the highest quality services to our communities within a balanced budget.

Our latest Community Risk Management projects

The projects outlined below have resulted from our latest review of our Community Risk Management Plan.

Risk-based crewing of a blended fleet of vehicles
Many of the incidents to which we respond are of low risk – for example, a relatively minor traffic collision or outdoor fire – so we’re reviewing how many firefighters we send to such incidents, what resources they use and new types of vehicles.

Automatic Fire Alarms (AFAs)
Many of the AFA activations to which we respond are false alarms, so we’re looking at how we categorise and respond to them. We want to ensure we only respond to AFAs when necessary, so we’re ready to respond to incidents that pose an immediate risk to life or property. 

Emerging risks
The number and severity of incidents we attend are influenced by climate change, the threat of terrorism and big infrastructure projects, eg construction of the HS2 rail line. We need to be ready to respond to all foreseeable risks, which means improving our skills and resources plus partnerships with other organisations.

Reducing health inequalities
There’s an opportunity to enhance how we reduce risk in our communities. This includes tackling, at an early stage, the health factors which can increase someone’s chances of being harmed by fire at home and other emergencies.

Dynamic mobilising
We can increase our understanding of what affects someone’s chances of surviving an emergency. We already know that getting to serious incidents in five minutes can make a massive difference to the outcome. But we want to do more research, so we can better match our levels of response to different types of incidents.

All of the projects will be complemented by innovation and technology.

A 3D graphic of a fire station with fire service vehicles outside, used on Our Plan.
A 3D graphic of a mobile phone showing a 5 minute timer to represent the five minute response time on Our Plan
A 3D graphic of an aerial drone
A 3D graphic showing fire service vehicles on a road representing Response