White text which says "Ready. Willing. Able."
Logo for the National Fire Chiefs Council
White text which says "#ReadyWillingAble"
White text which says "Supporting you during the pandemic"

What is Ready Willing Able?

West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) was proud to be part of the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) #ReadyWillingAble campaign.

Launched in April, the 12-week initiative threw a spotlight on extra activities carried out by fire and rescue services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic – made possible by an agreement between the NFCC, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and Fire and Rescue Employers.

Members of our staff who volunteered to help ensured that some of our most vulnerable residents received food and medical deliveries.

Sadly, others were also involved in the movement of the bodies of some virus victims. We were also #ReadyWillingAble to support with the fitting of face masks and driving ambulances if needed.

We worked with organisations such as local councils to identify and help those most in need, with more than 70 of our workforce volunteering – testament to their commitment and dedication to keeping our communities safe.

Firefighters and WMFS staff across the West Midlands will be taking to social media to share stories and videos about how they’re using their wide range of skills to offer community reassurance and help, in response to the national crisis, should the need have arisen.

Key milestones

March

Friday 27 March

Agreement between National Fire Chiefs Council, Fire Brigades Union and the Fire and Rescue Employers for services to carry out extra activities during the pandemic.

Sunday 29 March

We established six hubs in the West Midlands, from where food and medical deliveries were coordinated

Monday 30 March

Jaguar Land Rover proved they were also #ReadyWillingAble to help, by supplying vehicles for the essential deliveries.

April

Monday 13 April

Our Partnerships Manager, Kate Alliss, interviewed by BBC Radio WM about why she volunteered.

Wednesday 15 April

We’re off! #ReadyWillingAble campaign launch day.

Thursday 16 April

Our Fire Safety team visited the new Nightingale Hospital at the NEC. We were key to the planning and preparations, ensuring the facility was safe from fire.

Friday 17 April

Our staff volunteers began supporting Birmingham Community Trust, delivering packages to palliative care children across the city.

Wednesday 22 April

We release a video explaining how we’re supporting businesses during the pandemic.

Friday 24 April

The Royal Family tweet their thanks to all fire and rescue services for being #ReadyWillingAble.

Firefighter Chris Oliver runs 26 miles outside Stourbridge Fire Station in 4.5 hours in aid of NHS charities – just one of our staff who decided to fundraise during the pandemic.

Monday 27 April

Our trainee firefighters carried on training during lockdown – and we release a video about it.

May

Sunday 3rd May

Sunday Mercury feature our staff volunteer, Mat Dixon.

Thursday 7 May

Facebook Live stream of our trainee firefighters’ pass out ceremony.

For Deaf Awareness Week, we marked Clap for Carers with a very special #ReadyWillingAble message, signed by Smethwick firefighters.

Tuesday 12 May

Justin Bayliss, from one of our hubs coordinating our deliveries during the pandemic, interviewed by BBC Radio WM about the 2,000th parcel.

Wednesday 13 May

We celebrate our 2,000th delivery with a food box and some extra goodies for 80-year-old Barbara in Oldbury.

June

Monday 6 June

One of our volunteers, Kirstie Empson, tells BBC Radio WM about the deliveries she’s been making.

Saturday 11 June

Our Command Development Centre explains how, in spite of the pandemic, they’ve still been able to carry out more than 150 assessments – while working from home.

Sunday 12 June

Working with Solihull Council, Station Commander Ryan Forrester shares a behind the scenes video of our food parcel deliveries.

Thursday 25 June

Balsall Common Sewing Circle donate 150 sewn hearts to go out to vulnerable people with our food parcels.

Wednesday 24 June

We celebrated our 5,000th delivery with 80-year-old John from Brownhills.

July

Wednesday 22 July

The National Fire Chiefs Council issue a video on the #ReadyWillingAble campaign and the story of the last 16 weeks of fire and rescue services going the extra mile to support their communities and keep vulnerable people safe.