21014 – Brigade Managers

Ref: FOI/21014

RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST

West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information requested on 22nd January 2021

Please find below a summary of our findings.

Request

When the service refers to brigade managers is this relating to the roles of CFO, DCFO and ACFO?

Reply

Yes

Request

With regards to the above roles can you confirm how many are in each post and breakdown by male or female.

Reply

1 CFO Male 1 DCFO Male 2 ACFO  1Male 1 Female.

Request.

With regards to the above roles can you confirm their shift pattern and how many are on duty at one time for 999 call outs

Reply

1 Brigade Manager is on duty at a time. Shifts are broken down to 3 periods in a 24 hour period as follows:

Request.

Can you confirm how many area managers/commanders the service have and broken down by male or female and the length of service each one has in this particular role

Reply

5 Area Commanders as follows

Gender Date commenced role
Male 23.10.12
Male 18.04.16
Male 13.01.16
Female 10.02.20
Male 07.10.20
   

Request.

With area managers/commanders can you confirm how many of them respond to operational incidents. Please also include their rota pattern and how many are on duty at one given time.

Reply

1 area commander is on at one time on a 24-hour cover shift (0900-0900) they provide 24/7 cover across the year and self-roster themselves on to cover shifts.

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.

 

21003 – Crewing levels and full-time firefighters

Ref: FOI/21003

RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST

West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information requested on 1st January 2021.

Please find below a summary of our findings.

Request

How many times did fire stations under the authority of your fire service fail to meet their minimum safe fire engine availability threshold over the specified year? Please could you specify the stations which most frequently failed to meet this threshold and state the number of times they failed to meet it.

Reply

There are occasions whereby fire appliances 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.

Request

How many full-time firefighters were employed by fire stations under the authority of your fire service over this period?

Reply

Please see below.

Apr-20 1176
May-20 1170
Jun-20 1177
Jul-20 1164
Aug-20 1169
Sep-20 1169
Oct-20 1159
Nov-20 1157
Dec-20 1152

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.

 

20101 – Equality data statistics

Ref: FOI/20101

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.

Request

How many BME personnel are employed within each listed role: FF, CM, WM-A, WM-B, SM, GM, AM, ACFO, DCFO, CFO

Reply

Brigade Manager 1
Area Manager B 1
Group Manager B 1
Station Manager B 3
Watch Manager B 8
Watch Manager A 10
Crew Manager 18
Firefighter 126

 

Request

How many female personnel are employed within each listed role: FF, CM, WM-A, WM-B, SM, GM, AM, ACFO, DCFO, CFO

Reply

Brigade Manager 1
Area Manager B 1
Group Manager B 2
Station Manager B 6
Watch Manager B 4
Watch Manager A 6
Crew Manager 18
Firefighter 117

Request

How many formal complaints have been received by the organization alleging sexual harassment from 1st January 2015 to 1st January 2020?

Reply

Between 1st January 2015 to 1st January 2020 there has been 2 formal complaints alleging sexual harassment

Request

How many formal complaints have been received by the organization from 1st January 2015 to 1st January 2020 alleging direct discrimination and racism?

Reply

from 1st January 2015 to 1st January 2020 there has been 6 formal complains alleging direct discrimination and racism

Request

Out of all the formal complaints made, how many were dealt with formally through agreed procedures?

Reply

8 complaints were dealt with formally through agreed procedures.

Request

How many complaints in item 5 were not resolved internally and were subject to external resolution through an industrial tribunal?

Reply

3 complaints were subject to external resolution through an industrial tribunal

Request

Do the organization have a formal process involving an exit interview?

Reply

The formal process involving an exit interview is through our HR Management system

Request

How many BME personnel have left the service before reaching retirement age between the years 2000 – 2020?

Reply

The number of BME personnel that have left the service before reaching retirement age since 2007 is 132. Information prior to 2007 is exempt under section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as we do not hold this information. Leaver information is only available from 2007 onwards .

Request

How many personnel have cited racism, bullying or sexual harassment as their reasons for leaving the organization?

Reply

This information is exempt under section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as we do not hold this information. We do not record this information from our exit interviews

Request

How many female personnel have left the service before reaching retirement age between the years 2000 – 2020?

Reply

The number of female personnel that have left the service before reaching retirement age since 2007 is 461

Request

Please list any processes in place to encourage recruitment from under representative groups

Reply

We have a comprehensive positive action recruitment strategy which has made WMFS an award-winning organisation (winning the Guardian newspaper public sector award for diversity in recruitment in 2019) and seen as the Gold standard for the Fire and Rescue sector in the recruitment of underrepresented groups. We have a full-time positive action officer, as well as a specific Diversity and inclusion team which run all aspects of fire fighter recruitment (not just positive action). We are a Stonewall Champion and have been listed in the top 50 UK inclusive employers for 4 years running.

Our positive action programme includes;

  • The sophisticated use of social media to target our advertising at underrepresented groups within our area.
  • Pre-recruitment activity , consisting of organised programmes to support and prepare underrepresented groups for selection.
  • Fitness session for potential female candidates to help them fully physically prepare for selection
  • Virtual support, including current employees from underrepresented groups talking to potential candidates about what it is like to work for our organisation.
  • All interview panel members being trained in unconscious bias to ensure fair assessment.
  • Innovative behavioural selection process which is less dependent on the traditional interview and uses a variety of behavioural assessments including roleplay exercises to create a more inclusive and neuro diversity friendly assessment process.

Request

Please list any formal internal support mechanisms for the retention of personnel from under representative groups

Reply

We have employee stakeholder groups which support and mentor underrepresented groups;

  • Fireout (LGBT+)
  • Inspire (BAME, particularly Afro Caribbean)
  • AFSA (Asian Fire Service Association)
  • Affinity (women and gender)

These groups organise Brigade wide training days and events , have their own social media and internal comms pages, terms of reference, and meet regularly with senior management

Request

Have you conducted an equality impact assessment on station facilities and premises to ensure that the organization are not discriminating against any group? Please supply a copy

Reply

The content of Equality impact assessments (EIA) is exempt under Section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person (an individual, a company, the public authority itself or any other legal entity). It is the policy of West midlands Fire Service that EIAs are completed for all new and existing premises to ensure that the organization does not discriminate against any group.

Request

When ordering PPE and working rig, do you consider anthropometric data to ensure garments are suitable for all?

Reply

West Midlands Fire Service purchases uniform and PPE from Framework Agreements where this study would be carried out.

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.

20096 – Equality and Diversity and Information Requests

Ref: FOI/20096

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.

The information requested under the FOIA for the last 5 years to present are:

Request

What are the criteria to transfer to the WMFS as a firefighter?

Reply

Applicants must be a current serving wholetime competent firefighter.

Request

How many BAME transferee firefighters has the WMFS accepted and rejected?

How many transferee firefighters employed by the WMFS are disabled?

How many transferee firefighters have been employed who that fall under the Equalities Act 2010?

Reply

The number of BAME transferee firefighters is less than 10

The number of disabled transferee firefighters is less than 10

The number of transferee firefighters who that fall under the Equalities Act 2010 is less than 10

As the numbers involving transferee firefighters are low, further detail about transferee firefighters is classed as personal data and therefore attracts a Section 40(2) exemption under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Disclosure of the information may cause damage and distress to the individuals involved so would therefore be unfair to disclose it and contravene principle 1 of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Request

What reasonable adjustments does the WMFS have for disabled transferee firefighters protected under the Equalities Act 2010?

Reply

WMFS applies its duty under the Equality Act 2010 to consider reasonable adjustments across all employees, including those who have transferred into the organisation. Adjustments are considered on a case by case basis to ensure that any adjustments are Reasonable, Practical and Achievable as outlined by the Acts guidance. WMFS operates a Workplace Adjustment passport system for employees requiring a reasonable adjustment which is seen as best practice. Adjustments are individual specific and confidential. WMFS has provided reasonable adjustments not only for individuals with any of the 3 automatic conditions covered by the act (Cancer , MS and HIV) but for a range of conditions as defined by the Equality Act including neurodiversity and mental health as well as physical conditions, on a case by case basis

Request

How many transferee firefighter applications have been refused due to an ‘administrative error’, by the WMFS?

Reply

No applicants have been unsuccessful because of an administrative error.

Request

How many complaints have been made by transferee firefighters against the WMFS in relation to their transfer process?

Reply

One

Request

How many grievances have been made by transferee firefighters against the WMFS in relation to their transfer process?

Reply

None

Request

How many discrimination complaints have been made by uniformed staff against the WMFS?

Reply

There have been no discrimination complaints from uniformed staff – they would utilise the internal grievance process for such matters

Request

How many discrimination grievances have been made by uniformed staff against the WMFS?

Reply

In the last 2 years there have been 4 grievances made by staff around discrimination.

Request

How much money does it cost for training transferee firefighters before they are posted to their stations?

Reply

Transfer firefighters are posted to station on the start date of employment with WMFS

Request

How much money does it cost for training new recruit firefighters before they are posted to their stations?

Reply

Based on a minimum of 16 recruits, the cost is circa £8k per recruit for initial training before being posted to a fire station. This does not include the salary costs of the trainee. Trainee firefighters are in development for up to 3 years after being posted to a fire station.

Request

How many transferee firefighters’ contracts of employments have been withdrawn after they were signed and accepted by the recipients?

Reply

One, who did not meet the criteria for transfer.

Request

How many contracts of employment have been withdrawn by the WMFS?

Reply

In the last 2 years 3 contracts of employment have been withdrawn.

Request

I would like the WMFS policies and procedures on:

  1. a) FOIA
  2. b) Complaints/Harassment
  3. c) Transfer of firefighter’s criteria
  4. d) Recruitment
  5. e) Grievances
  6. f) Equalities & Diversity
  7. g) Subject Access Request (SAR).

Reply

FOIA, Subject Access Request, Recruitment and Grievances/Harassment – please see attached

FOI20096 3
Freedom of Information Act 2000 and SARs Policy 1.0 Download
FOI20096 2
Grievance Procedures Policy 1.0 Download
FOI20096 1
Managing Vacancies Policy 1.0 Download

Transfer of firefighter’s criteria – the policy on the criteria for the transfer of firefighters is that applicants must be a current serving wholetime competent firefighter.

Complaints – This information is exempt under section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as this information is reasonably accessible to the requestor. Information concerning our complaints policy and can be found on West Midlands Fire Service website at the following link: https://www.wmfs.net/mdocs-posts/customer-care-and-compliments-comments-and-complaints-ccc-policy/

Equalities & Diversity – This information is exempt under section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as this information is reasonably accessible to the requestor. Information concerning our equality and diversity policy and can be found on West Midlands Fire Service website at the following link:https://www.wmfs.net/mdocs-posts/equality-and-diversity-policy/

Request

What are the demographics of the firefighters WMFS employ?

Reply

This information is exempt under sections 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as this information is reasonably accessible to the requestor. Information concerning our workforce demographics can be found on West Midlands Fire Service website at the following link: https://www.wmfs.net/mdocs-posts/workforce-data/ . Data not currently published will be published on our website in the future and is therefore exempt under section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Request

What are the demographics of the transferee firefighters into the WMFS?

Reply

Due to the low numbers involved I can only express the data as a percentage of the whole rounded to the nearest 10%, as further detail about individuals is classed as personal data and therefore attracts a Section 40(2) exemption under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Disclosure of the information may cause damage and distress to the individuals involved so would therefore be unfair to disclose it and contravene principle 1 of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Gender – male – 90%, female – 10%

Age – 25-34 – 60%, 35-44 – 30%, 45-54 – 10%

Sexual Orientation – Heterosexual – 60%, Gay / Lesbian – 10%, Not stated – 30%

Request

What are the demographics of the transferee firefighters that were rejected in their applications into the WMFS?

Reply

Further detail about the demographics of the transferee firefighters that were rejected in their applications into the WMFS is classed as personal data and therefore attracts a Section 40(2) exemption under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Disclosure of the information may cause damage and distress to the individuals involved so would therefore be unfair to disclose it and contravene principle 1 of the Data Protection Act 1998. This is due to the low number of transferee firefighters that were rejected in their application.

Request

Who has overall authority in which transferee firefighter is recruited and who is not?

Reply

The person with overall authority in which transferee firefighter is recruited and who is not is the Strategic Enabler for Peopl

Request

What is the reviewing process and criteria in recruiting/rejecting transferee applications into the WMFS and by whom?

Reply

The review process and criteria in recruiting/rejecting transferee applications into the WMFS is as follows

  • Registration of Interest from the applicant
  • Behavioural Assessment
  • Medical examination and fitness assessment
  • Pre employment checks including references (one must be current Fire Service employer), Statement of Recorded Details and training records from current Fire Service

 

The above is carried out by members of the People Support Services Team and Occupational Health.

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.

 

20095 – The case of Bear (Scotland) v Fulton

Ref: FOI/20095

RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST

West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information requested on 3rd November 2020

Please find below a summary of our findings.

Request.

In 2017, the employment courts decided – in the case of Bear (Scotland) v Fulton – that employers were required to take into account all remuneration earned (including non-guaranteed overtime) when calculating holiday pay.

(1) Has your fire authority implemented this ruling?

Reply

We have implemented the ruling.

Request.

(2) If the answer to (1) is yes, what date was the ruling implemented?

Reply

It was implemented for any Annual Leave taken on or after 1st February 2020.  First payments were therefore made in March salaries.

Request.

(3) If the answer to (1) is yes, was a collective agreement signed with the Fire Brigades Union or any other representative body prior to implementation?

Reply

There was not a collective agreement that was signed for this matter,

Request.

If a collective agreement was signed, I wish to view a copy.

Reply

N/A

Request.

Any backdated payments were made to staff, or whether all payments took effect only from the date of implementation.

Reply

The agreement was backdated for a three-month period to include any leave taken on or after 1st November 2019.

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.

 

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