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Aghia Pal Singh MBE

We’re proud and delighted that Aghia Pal Singh, a member of our staff, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2019.   

Aghia (59), who’s from Walsall and has worked as an infrastructure engineer in our ICT department for 22 years, has been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire.    

The honour recognises his services to the communities of the West Midlands and his voluntary work in the UK and abroad.

Aghia, who’s married and has a daughter and two sons, said: “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be awarded the MBE. I read the letter in disbelief and was overcome with emotion. I’m very grateful to whoever put me forward.    

“Working for West Midlands Fire Service has given me the opportunity to give something to the community – be that at work, through volunteering with the UK International Search and Rescue Team or via the various charity projects with which I’m involved.   

“As a Sikh I have tried, over the years, to put back into the community. Sikhism teaches that people should try to become less self-centred and live their lives in the selfless service of others.   

“All I wanted to do was make a difference in people’s lives. I’m very humbled.”   

Chief Fire Officer Phil Loach said: “Aghia’s MBE is worthy recognition indeed. He is quiet, unassuming and professional and his contribution to the community is understated.    

“He is passionate about the work he does for those who are less fortunate, and dedicated to promoting equality and awareness of other cultures.”   

Aghia is one of a group of WMFS staff who volunteer their skills and expertise as members of UK International Search and Rescue (UKISAR). On behalf of the UK Government they have been deployed on several occasions to disasters around the world.   

Aghia is particularly proud of the links he has helped to foster with the Matumaini Orphanage in Tanzania, which he and WMFS colleagues have visited several times to help improve its facilities.    

He said: “The children have given us more than we could ever give them, in just teaching us to be happy however hard life might be. Even though they have very little, they always had a smile on their face.   

“I understand that the honours system exists to thank recipients for their services to the community, but also to encourage others to do the same. I hope my award has that effect on my family, friends and others who know me.” 

Birmingham Pride 2019

Fire service staff in the Birmingham Pride parade holding a banner that reads West Midlands Fire Service wishes you a safe pride.

This weekend (25-26 May) sees Birmingham Pride Festival return to the West Midlands.

The two-day LGBT Festival is the biggest of its kind in the UK and one of the bigger community events of the year. And we’ll be there to support the region’s amazing diversity!

West Midlands Fire Service float during the 2018 Birmingham Pride parade
Firefighters and staff from across our organisation will join the celebrations along with members of our very own LGBT support network, FireOUT, and police and ambulance service colleagues – be sure to give us all a wave during Saturday’s parade! Continue Reading

Our Accounts

Documents with figures, and an iPad with graphs and charts

As part of our commitment to transparency, our accounts are available to view on our website.

Today we are issuing a formal notice to our communities that from Monday 3rd June 2019 anyone on the electoral register is able to inspect our accounts for the financial year 2018-2019. The period of exercise of public rights commences at 10.00am on 3rd June 2019 and will conclude at 5 pm on 12th July 2019.

Our (currently unaudited as at 23rd May 2019) Statement of Accounts 2018-2019 can be viewed in our Documents section which also includes many other publications.

Formal notice of the right to inspect the financial year 2018-2019 accounts is given below.

Documents with figures, and an iPad with graphs and charts

WEST MIDLANDS FIRE AND RESCUE AUTHORITY AUDIT OF ACCOUNTS YEAR ENDED 31st MARCH 2019

NOTICE OF PUBLIC RIGHTS

The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014
The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015

  1. The Authority’s accounts are subject to external audit by Grant Thornton UK LLP of 11th Floor, Colmore Plaza, 20 Colmore Circus, Birmingham, West Midlands, B4 6AT. Members of the public and local government electors have certain rights in the audit process:
    Notice is hereby given that from 3rd June 2019 to 12th July 2019 (excluding Saturdays and Sundays) between 10.00am and 5.00pm any person may inspect the accounting records of the Authority for the financial year to 31st March 2019 and certain related documents (comprising books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers and receipts) at the address given below. They may also make copies of the accounts and documents.
  2. From 10.00 am on 3rd June 2019 to 5pm on 12th July 2019 at the request of a local government elector, the local auditor must give the elector, or any representative of the elector, an opportunity to question the auditor about the accounting records of the Authority.
  3. From 10.00am on 3rd June 2019 until the conclusion of the audit process a local government elector for the area of the Authority or his/her representative may object to the Authority’s accounts asking that the auditor issue a report in the public interest or apply for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. Written notice of the proposed objection and the grounds on which it will be made must be sent to the auditor at the address given above and also copied to the Authority at the address given above.
  4. The Statement of Accounts for West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority is available to view on the internet during the period of display. The web address is: www.wmfs.net

 

Dated 22nd May 2019

Mike Griffiths
Treasurer
West Midlands Fire Service
99 Vauxhall Road
Birmingham
B7 4HW

#ThinkSprinkler!

Sprinkler campaign details

We’re supporting the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) National Sprinkler Week campaign, from 19 to 24 May.  

NFCC and the National Fire Sprinkler Network (NFSN) research into sprinkler systems’ effectiveness and reliability found that they operate on 94% of occasions and extinguish or contain the fire virtually every time.  

The evidence also demonstrated that in both converted and purpose-built flats, sprinklers are 100% effective in controlling fires. 

A diagram showing how a water sprinkler works

NFCC lead for sprinklers, Chief Fire Officer Terry McDermott, said: “The evidence speaks for itself. Sprinklers are very effective and provide strong fire safety protections as part of a fire safety package.  

“Wales and Scotland recognise this and have implemented measures to make their communities safer from fire. We want to see the same changes in England and Northern Ireland as a matter of urgency. Fire does not discriminate and is just as dangerous in England as it is in the rest of the UK.”  

You can follow the national campaign on Twitter, using the hashtag #ThinkSprinkler. 

Station Commander Dave Hodgkins, of West Midlands Fire Service’s Fire Safety team, said: “Sprinklers not only save lives, property and businesses but also enhance firefighter safety. 

“We wholly support the installation of sprinklers and other suppression systems, where appropriate, which can only help to make the West Midlands safer, stronger and healthier.” 

We encourage the installation of Automatic Fire Suppression Systems (AFSS) where people or premises are identified as being ‘high risk’ in our Integrated Risk Management Plan. AFSSs include:                  

  • commercial and industrial sprinkler systems
  • residential and domestic sprinkler systems
  • water mist systems
  • foam systems
  • wet chemical
  • inert gas systems
  • powder extinguishing systems
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