DOCUMENTS

Our Documents section, also known as our publication scheme, houses all the information that the brigade makes available to the public. We use categories (or classes) of information as provided by the Information Commissioner’s Office to organise our documents in line with other government organisations. All of our documents are available in hard copy, too – documents under 50 pages are free, and documents of 50 pages or over cost £5.

Our strategy and performance information, plans, assessments, inspections and reviews.

Text in BLUE refer to documents that can be found at the bottom of the page

The Plan is our 3-year strategy to Make the West Midlands Safer, Stronger and Healthier, including the targets against which we measure ourselves such as our risk-based attendance standards. Our Statement of Assurance and The Report brings together our key financial, governance and operational assurances and performance indication within one publication

We have an Annual Audit Letter which brings together and summarises the findings from external audit work undertaken by the Audit Commission. You can also review our Peer Challenge Report carried out in late 2016 by fire and rescue and local authority colleagues, using the Operational Assessment (OPA) toolkit, the fire services’ self-assessment tool.

The West Midlands Conurbation Local Resilience Forum produces a Community Risk Register to look at the likelihood and impact of a range of hazards happening. A peer review of the arrangements of the local resilience forum was carried out by Greater Manchester Resilience Forum in 2015.

As part of our commitment to diversity, inclusion, cohesion and equality, we have clear equality objectives which are supervised by the Fire Authority Scrutiny Committee. Under the Public Sector Equality Duty (Equality Act 2010) we’re also required to publish data annually on equality in our workforce – the data supplied is provided voluntarily by all staff and covers protected characteristics. We are required to publish data annually on equality in the workforce, that information can be found in our Workforce Data 2018 Document.

As part of our commitment to diversity, inclusion, cohesion and equality, we have clear equality objectives which are supervised by the Fire Authority Scrutiny Committee. Under the Public Sector Equality Duty (Equality Act 2010) we are required to set and publish a range of equality objectives and report on our progress on our previous equality objectives. This information can be found in our Equality Report.
We’re also required to publish data on the make-up of our workforce annually, the data supplied is provided voluntarily by all staff and covers protected characteristics, this can be found in our Workforce Data 2018 Document. Finally, to fulfil our legal duties we also publish yearly our Gender Pay Gap data

West Midlands Fire Service has also produced an environmental strategy which outlines our approach to how we intend to play a significant role in helping our communities by taking action on climate change to protect and enhance the environment.

All documents referred to above can be downloaded using the links below.

Name Description Version Download File Type
This document reports and celebrates the progress of West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) related to Diversity, Inclusion, Cohesion and Equality over the last 4 four years and sets out our objectives for the next four years. 1.0 Download
Environmental Strategy
Outlines our approach to how we intend to play a significant role in helping our communities by taking action on climate change to protect and enhance the environment. 1.0 Download
Annually published document for Gender Pay Gap information as at the ‘snapshot’ date of 31st March 2018. 1.0 Download
A peer review of the arrangements of the local resilience forum that was carried out by Greater Manchester Resilience Forum in 2015. 1.0 Download
Peer Challenge Report
Report from a peer challenge carried out in late 2016 by fire and rescue and local authority colleagues, using the Operational Assessment (OPA) toolkit. 1.0 Download
Risk Based Attendance Standard
Explains what our risk based attendance standards are and the times to attend incidents based on this. 1.0 Download
Statement of Assurance and The Report
Our key financial, governance and operational assurances and performance indication within one publication 1.1 Download
Workforce Data

This annual document contains published data on the make-up of our workforce. The data supplied is provided voluntarily by all staff and covers protected characteristics.

1.0 Download

Policy proposals and decisions, including decision-making processes, procedures and consultations.

Public opinion is important to us, and we consult with our communities in a clear and concise manner on decisions that may affect them in an area that they live or work. Consultations will be carried out in order to meet our statutory obligations, to find out what you think and to identify priorities and concerns.

Any consultation undertaken will be informative and open for response for a pre-determined period of time from our communities, businesses, groups and individuals online, via email, post, focus groups or at public consultations meetings.

The results of any consultation undertaken will assist us to understand the needs of our customers and help shape how we deliver our services and campaigns.

Our current written protocols for delivering functions and responsibilities.

Name Description Version Download File Type
Anti-Fraud, Corruption and Bribery
Our guidance for dealing with gifts, hospitality, sponsorship or other potential conflicts of interests. 1.0 Download
Core Values
Our core values set out the behaviours and values we expect our employees to abide by. 2.0 Download
Corporate Risk Management
Our framework which supports the assessment and treatment of our corporate risks. 1.0 Download
Customer Care
Our policy for dealing with compliments, comments and complaints (CCC.) 1.0 Download
Environment Information Regulations
How we comply with the Environmental Information Regulations 2014. 1.0 Download
Equality and Diversity Policy

Our strategy to meeting the diverse needs of the communities we serve and how we accommodate disabled job applicants and employees.

1.0 Download
Freedom of Information
Our procedures to releasing information under the Freedom of Information Act. 1.0 Download
Health and Safety Framework
The procedures we have in place to manage health and safety issues. 1.0 Download
Management of Information
How we make sure our staff are compliant with the managing our communities information according to the Data Protection Act 2018. 1.0 Download
Recruitment and Selection
Our approach to the recruitment of firefighters and support staff. 1.0 Download
Special Service with Charges
Details of special services that we charge for and their costs. 1.0 Download

Information held in registers required by law and other lists and registers relating to the functions of the authority.

  • Contracts List – we release a new register each month which can be found in the ‘What we spend and how we spend it’ section above.
  • Fire Safety Notices – these can be viewed on the Chief Fire Officer Association’s Public Register of Notices.
  • Hospitality List – this is available under the ‘What we spend and how we spend it’ section above.

Information about the service, locations, contacts and how we’re governed.

Text in BLUE refer to documents that can be found at the bottom of the page

Governance
Our fire authority oversees the service and is made up of 15 councillors from the West Midlands’ seven different councils, the Police & Crime Commissioner and 2 Co-optees. For the day-to-day running of the service, our Chief Fire Officer, Phil Loach, and our Strategic Enabling Team (SET) plan the organisation’s shape and direction.

Contacting us
We’ve listed the details of all of Our Stations on our website. Our other main contact details can be found in our Contact Us section.

About us
We do much more than fight fires – there’s lots of information about Your Fire Service available on our website. You can also find out more about the Role of a Firefighter and download our anonymised Incident Data for the past year – previous years can be made available. To help, we have a glossary of some of the terms we’ve used.

The Statement of Assurance provides evidence of our financial, governance and operational assurance arrangements and can be found in the ‘What our priorities are and how we are doing’ tab.

The West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority Code of Corporate Governance outlines all the governance and accountability arrangements for the Authority and the Service in one place.

All documents referred to above can be downloaded using the links below.

Name Description Version Download File Type
Incident Data
Anonymised Incident Data for the past year 1.0 Download
Glossary of terms
A glossary of terms regarding our incidents. 1.0 Download

Financial information relating to our income and expenditure, how we award contracts and how we procure.

Text in BLUE refer to documents that can be found at the bottom of the page

Finance

Our Fire Authority is responsible for the stewardship of public money and prepares an annual Statement of Accounts which provides details of our finances across the organisation. The accounts are prepared in accordance with the Code of Practice on Local Authorities in the UK under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). To enhance our accountability, we also provide a Summary of Accounts which summaries the Fire Authority’s Statement of Accounts. The Statement of Accounts is subject to an external audit and we have also published our annual Audit Findings report.

The Fire Authority needs to ensure that it conducts its business efficiently and that it has sound financial management policies. Financial Regulations set out the financial policies of the Authority and provide the framework for managing its financial affairs. Our Efficiency Plan details how we plan on making savings over the next few years.

As part of the budget setting process which results in a precept to the seven West Midlands local authorities, we produce a Council Tax Leaflet which provides details of our budget and the council tax payable to the Fire Service by residents of the West Midlands.

The Authority has also produced a Reserve Strategy and a Capital Strategy which is referenced in the budget report and forms part of the medium-term financial planning.

Land Usage

Our use of local authority land also details the premises we own, and in what capacity.

Staff and Pay

Our staff are able to join one of four unions depending on their role: Unison, the Fire Brigades’ Union, the Fire Officers’ Association or the Association of Principal Fire Officers – you can see the posts, facility time and costs of each in our Trade Union Facility Time publication.

From time to time our staff receive gifts to say thank you for the fantastic work they’ve done. Items or services that go beyond small items such as chocolates or flowers are recorded in our Gifts and Hospitality Register, regardless of whether they are accepted or not.

Our Staff Pay and Grading publication comprehensively describe what financial remuneration our staff receive for the discharge of their duties, as well as the behaviours that are expected. You can also view the Additional Responsibility Allowances policy we have for staff that are ‘acting up’ within this document. (Our new pay award has been agreed for 2016, we are currently working on these figures and will upload this by 1St October 2016.)

The salary information for our senior officers is available in our most recent Statement of Accounts. For added context, you can also view the job descriptions of the Chief Fire Officer, Deputy Chief Fire Officer and Assistant Chief Fire Officer. Follow this link to our Pay Policy Statement and pension discretions.

Procurement

In the interests of fairness and transparency, we follow a number of rules in all of our Procurement processes almost all the details are on our website and our downloadable Conditions of Purchase.

Our monthly Contracts Register has details of all of the contracts we award to support us in our work, with further information in our monthly Transparency Report or our Local Transparency Report for tenders or contracts over £5,000. We also have a separate, specific publication for Waste Contracts. The Transparency Reports from previous years are also listed and available below.

Social Value

The Authority is committed to supporting its local community by using the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 to consider how what is being procured, and how it is procured, might improve the economic, social or environmental well-being of the area of the West Midlands. The Authority wishes to encourage Bidders to offer Social Value as part of their tender response in addition to fulfilling the Service or supplying Goods. The Authority has produced information to help Bidders understand more about social value and how it is used as part of the evaluation of bids.

WMFS Social Value Guidance For Bidders

All documents referred to above can be downloaded using the links below.

Name Description Version Download File Type
Archive Transparency Report for 2015/2016

Further information for tenders or contracts over £5,000 for 2015 to 2016

1.0 Download
Archive Transparency Report for 2016/2017
Further information for tenders or contracts over £5,000 for 2016 to 2017 1.0 Download
Archive Transparency Report for 2017/2018
Further information for tenders or contracts over £5,000 for 2017 to 2018 1.0 Download
Job description of our Assistant Chief Fire Officer 1.0 Download
Audit Findings Report
External audit findings based on our Statement of Accounts. 1.0 Download
Capital Strategy
Capital Strategy showing how the Authority sets out its priorities for capital investment 1.0 Download
Job desciption of our Chief Fire Officer 1.0 Download
Contracts Register
Our monthly Contracts Register has details of all of the contracts we award to support us in our work 1.0 Download
Council Tax Leaflet
Provides details of our budget and the council tax payable to the Fire Service by residents of the West Midlands - for 2019-2020. 2.1 Download
Job description of our Deputy Chief Fire Officer 1.0 Download
Efficiency Plan
Our Efficiency Plan details how we plan on making savings over the next few years. 1.0 Download
Financial Regulations
Financial Regulations set out the financial policies of the Authority and provide the framework for managing its financial affairs 1.0 Download
This register covers any gifts our staff receive beyond small items like chocolates or flowers, whether they are accepted or not. 2.0 Download
Local Authority Land
Our use of local authority land also details the premises we own, and in what capacity. 1.0 Download
Local Transparent Report
Local Transparency report for tenders or contracts over £5,000 - Updated to include April 2019 4.1 Download
Pay Policy Statement
Covers our Pay Policy Statement and pension discretions 1.0 Download
Reserves Strategy
Details the strategy for the services financial reserves 2.0 Download
Social Value Guidance for Bidders
Information to help Bidders understand more about social value and how it is used as part of the evaluation of bids. 1.0 Download
Staff Pay and Grading
Comprehensively describes what financial remuneration our staff receive for the discharge of their duties, as well as the behaviours that are expected 1.0 Download
Statement of Accounts
Annual Statement of Accounts which provides details of our finances across the organisation 1.0 Download
Summary of Accounts
A Summary of Accounts which summarise the Fire Authority’s Statement of Accounts 1.0 Download
Trade Union Facility Time
Covers the posts, facility time and costs of each of the four unions our staff are eligable to join. 1.0 Download
Transparency Report
Further information for tenders or contracts over £5,000 in a monthly Transparency Report for 18/19 - updated to include March 2019 5.0 Download
Waste Contracts
Separate, specific publication covering contracts for Waste. 1.0 Download

Advice, guidance, booklets, leaflets and media releases.

There is more information on what we offer under ‘Who we are and what we do’

Firefighting and Rescue
The service responds to a number of incidents involving fires, road and rail accidents, chemical hazards and other situations where its expertise and equipment can be used to save lives, reduce suffering or protect property and the environment. For more on how we use our fleet and firefighters to keep people safe, have a look at The Plan.

Fire Investigation and Prevention
Our Fire Investigation and Protection Service (FIPS) is available 24/7 to investigate the cause of fire in a variety of incidents. Officers also work on special projects including arson reduction, human behaviour in fire and information to identify trends in fire causes – all are critical for campaigns and education around fire safety.

The team are also supported by our fire dogs who are able to sniff out fuel or accelerants.

Children and Young People
Our work with Children and Young People is split into three areas. Our Safeside centres in Eastside and Handsworth provide experiential learning on safety issues for children and young people. Our Wise (West Midlands Fire Service in Schools) team work with teachers and schools to educate children on safety issues. We also have our Youth Services section who look after our Fire Cadets and more.

International Search and Rescue
As disasters and accidents can happen at any time, there’s a need for professional teams to be able to deploy rapidly to assist with search and rescue operations at a moment’s notice. The United Kingdom International Search and Rescue Team (UK-ISAR) is on call 24/7 to respond to humanitarian accidents or disasters anywhere in the world. The role of the team is to support the UK Government when deploying personnel and equipment in response to international disasters such as an earthquakes.

When on an international mission, we send a team of six including a team leader and a Group Commander to act as the Operations Commander or Deployment Commander in charge of UK-ISAR. The team should arrive in the affected country within 24 hours of the disaster occurring and be self-sufficient for up to 10 days.

Business Fire Safety

Legislative Fire Safety
We’re committed to enforcing the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 which has repealed most of the previous pieces of fire safety regulations. Our safety Business section has lots of information for businesses to remain compliant with the law.

Our concern is always for the safety of people, and where possible we will provide education and information to encourage self-compliance to those that are responsible for others’ safety.  In severe cases of non-compliance with fire safety requirements, or where the law is flouted, we will take strong action to protect people from businesses and individuals that present a risk to the members of our community. Our Enforcement Policy details our approach to this, and our Fire Safety Complaints section has information on how to bring fire safety concerns to our attention.

As an enforcing authority of fire safety legislation, we are required by the Environment and Safety Information Act 1988 to maintain a public register of the notices we have served. Our notices are listed on the Public Register of Notices, available on the Chief Fire Officer’s Association website.

Licensing

As a licensing authority under the The Explosives Regulations 2014 (ER14), you’ll need to obtain a licence from us for explosives including fireworks. This is also true if you’re storing, handling or selling petroleum.

Engineering

Our Fire Engineering team deals with complex fire safety matters in proposed new buildings to ensure that, when they’re occupied, the buildings are safe for people in them

Training Courses

We offer a number of Business Training courses in areas including: first aid, fire extinguishers, fire marshalling and operational firefighter training.

Safety and Wellbeing
Our crews provide information on staying safe and well on visits to schools, working in our communities and at events we attend. Our Your Safety section has lots of advice on this, too.

We also offer Safe and Well Checks in homes to ensure there are no immediate fire hazards, provide safety advice, fit free smoke alarms and cover a number of other topics such as mobility, mental health and exercise. We know that all of these areas can be a factor in reducing the risk of fire.

British Red Cross Emergency Response

The Emergency Response service from the British Red Cross is designed to meet the needs of people who have suffered damage to their homes following a fire. Delivered by trained volunteers, they provide practical help and emotional support to vulnerable people affected by an incident.

Volunteers use a specialist vehicle, based at Oldbury Fire Station, which allows them to offer temporary accommodation, signposting to other organisations, the use of a shower and more. The service is available from 7pm until 7am on weekdays, and all day on weekends and bank holidays.

More information can be found on the British Red Cross website.

Incident Reports
We make Fire Reports from incidents available at a cost of £85.

Media queries
Our Press Office, fire control and fire stations provide details on a number of incidents using our social media channels. For further details on incidents, you can either e-mail press.office@wmfs.net or call 0121 380 6101. Press releases are published on our website, and details of our organisation’s wide and varied work via social media – search for either West Midlands Fire Service or @WestMidsFire.

Privacy Notice

NHS England, the Royal College General Practitioners and Fire and Rescue Services (FRS) in England work together to ensure preventative resources are offered to those who may benefit most. This is achieved by referrals and the sharing of information (where relevant, proportionate and necessary) to allow fire service personnel to undertake Safe and Well visits. If you require more information about how NHS England use and share your information, please click on the following link: https://www.england.nhs.uk/contact-us/privacy-notice/your-information/

Research has shown that those at high risk from fire death and injury are those who are most likely to impact on a range of NHS services. Safe and Well visits are developed between local health practitioners and FRS’s to meet local health-risk priorities. They therefore represent an intervention which can improve people’s quality of life while reducing demand on critical services.

The majority of fire deaths in the UK occur amongst the elderly population. However older people are most vulnerable to fire and a number of other risks. A Safe and Well visit from the FRS is proven to make them safer and can reduce risk significantly across a range of factors.

In one area of the United Kingdom where this work has been piloted since 2007, there has been a very significant reduction in fire deaths and injuries which has developed into a current trend well below the national average. So we know this work can save many lives.

The FRS and NHS will continue to work together in the future to ensure the visits undertaken by the FRS are effective in helping to make making people safe and well.