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Community Risk Management Plan

Our Community Risk Management Plan (CRMP) identifies and assesses all foreseeable risks which our communities may face.

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.

Illustration of ambulance, police and other emergency service staff with speech bubbles above their heads

Risk explorer

Data drives more and more of our work to make the West Midlands safer, stronger and healthier.

It helps us to understand risks across the areas we serve. We use it to create our Community Risk Management Plan and three-year rolling strategy.

Now, you, our communities, can explore some of this data yourself in our new 'Risk Explorer' tool!

All you need to do is enter your postcode, then you can explore and interact with the same data we use! You'll be able to see incidents to which we’ve responded near you, our response times, and even the different levels of risk for various emergency types. There’s also lots of handy demographic info, and you can turn different data on and off.

To visit our risk explorer, click the button below, or visit

Check out our Risk Explorer tool for yourself
A screenshot of the risk explorer tool and map showing incidents in an area


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. Find out about Our Plan by clicking it below.

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.

Illustration of of emerging risks like climate change, terrorism or HS2

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.

Illustration of a magnifying glass analysing data next to a laptop with graphs on

Our 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

Illustration of fire service vehicles and firefighters

Many of the incidents to which we respond are of low risk - for example, a relatively minor traffic collision or outdoor fire - so we continue to review how many firefighters we send to such incidents, what resources they use and to explore new types of vehicles.

Following a successful trial period, a new approach was rolled out to 11 fire stations from April 2022. Risk-based crewing (RBC) allows our staff to use data together with their knowledge and experience to select the right number of crew to send to low-risk incidents.

Our priority for 2023/24 is to trial a more sustainable concept vehicle designed to tackle low-risk incidents as part of our blended fleet, allowing the wider roll-out of RBC.

As well as allowing us to better match our resources to risk, RBC reduces disruption for our staff, keeps more of our appliances ‘on the run’ and frees-up time for vital training, prevention activity and protection interventions.

Automatic Fire Alarms (AFAs)

Illustration of a fire alarm and alarm ringing

Many of the AFA activations to which we respond are false alarms, so we’re continuing to look at how we gather more information at point of call to help us categorise and respond to them proportionately. 

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. 

Where we do respond to an AFA, we want to utilise the flexibilities offered by our blended fleet to send a smaller vehicle with fewer staff.

This year we are focusing our attention on residential care homes, working with them to ensure we respond - but only when they need us.

Emerging risks

Illustration of of emerging risks like climate change, terrorism or HS2
The number and severity of incidents we attend is influenced by climate change, the threat of terrorism and big infrastructure projects, such as 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. 

This year, we are continuing to monitor and review risks to identify new trends that may affect how we deliver our services and the skills our staff need to allow them to respond, as well as what support we can offer to our communities, so they are more resilient to these risks.

Reducing health inequalities

Illustration of risks, such as disabilities, elderly, alcohol and smoking
Our review of risk showed that there was an opportunity to enhance how we reduce risk in our communities. 

This included tackling, at an early stage, the health factors which can increase someone’s chances of being harmed by fire and other emergencies at home. 

This year we are committed to continuing this work through our work with partner organisations and a proactive approach to prevention.

Dynamic mobilising

Illustration of brigade response vehicle next to a car crashed into lamp post.
In 2022 we increased 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. We did more research, so we could better match our levels of response to different types of incidents. 

The focus for this year is to take our findings and use them to improve how we work, including through our approach to flexible crewing and a blended fleet of vehicles.

Beyond 2023-2024

This year is the last year of our current three-year CRMP, so we will be carrying out consultation to inform and shape our next which will come into effect in 2024. It will build on the priorities outlined above, and the projects that have already been developed, as well as new and emerging issues.

We have already identified a number of new areas which will likely form part of our next CMRP, including:

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    Environmental sustainability - how we will deliver against regional and national carbon reduction targets, to reduce harm to the environment and mitigate the inevitable impacts of climate change, such as flooding and heatwaves.
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    Business continuity and resilience - COVID-19 and recent summer heatwaves are just two examples of why we want to make sure that our service is resilient to external shocks of all forms, in an increasingly complex risk environment. At the same time, we have an important role to play in improving the resilience of our communities, so they are better prepared to deal with crises.
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    Emerging technologies - new transport technologies such as electric cars, driverless or autonomous vehicles, AI (Artificial Intelligence) systems and modern methods of construction all represent new risks which will need us to adapt our response.
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    Cost of living - what impact does the increase in the cost of living have on our staff and the communities we serve? We know that deprivation increases risk from fire and other emergencies, and increases in the cost of heating and energy have implications for the safety of people’s homes and businesses.
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