RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST
I am writing to confirm that the West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information you requested further to your freedom of information request.
Please find below a summary of our findings.
How many full-time firefighters employed within your service were forced to self-isolate after:
Testing positive for Covid-19,
Living with someone who had contracted the virus or had symptoms of it,
Having symptoms of coronavirus,
Being in close contact with someone in their support bubble that had symptoms or had tested positive for Covid-19,
Told by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS Covid-19 app to self-isolate, or arriving in the UK after visiting a country with a high coronavirus risk over this period?
Please see attached.
Overall, for how long (in hours) over the month period did fire stations under the authority of your fire service lose full time cover as a result of such isolation due to Covid-19?
There are occasions whereby fire appliances/stations are unavailable due to insufficient crewing levels but information about this is being withheld under Section 38(b) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) related to health and safety.
The reasons that we are withholding this information is because by disclosing this information to you, we would be releasing this information into the public domain as we publish all FOIA requests and responses on our website. We have considered that this information may indicate patterns of unavailability and this information could be used to assist with unlawful activity that may adversely impact our communities.
Section 38 of FOI is a qualified exemption and means that we must consider a public interest test. In this case the safety of communities of the West Midlands outweighs the release of this information into the public domain.
How many retained firefighters had to be used over this period in replacement?
Not applicable, as West Midlands Fire Service does not have any retained firefighters.
If you have any queries about this Freedom of Information request, please contact us. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.
For service complaints, issues or comments regarding this request please contact The Public Relations Department, West Midlands Fire Service, 99 Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW
Further information concerning Freedom of Information requests can be found on the Information Commissioner website at either the following link: https://ico.org.uk/ or at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF.