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18179 – Call outs to NHS hospitals

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Ref: FOI/18179


I am writing to confirm that the West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information you requested on 18th December 2018.

Please find below a summary of our findings.


Since 1.1.16 to the date of this e-mail please state how many times you have attended fire alarm calls at an NHS hospital because of a problem caused by:

  1. Toasters
  2. Ovens
  3. People Smoking, and
  4. People Vaping.


Please see the below table for the information requested in respect of NHS hospitals.

Incident Type No of Incidents
Cooking / burnt toast (e.g. smoke) 200
Smoke from cigarettes / candles / joss sticks etc. 154
Grand Total 354

Please kindly note the following:

  • The period queried is between 00:00hrs 01/01/2016 and 23:59hrs 21/12/2018.
  • In order to capture incidents at NHS hospitals and exclude private hospitals/nursing homes the following property type labels were used- ‘local authority general hospital, local authority psychiatric hospital, local authority specialist hospital, local authority geriatric hospital’.
  • Due to the way the information is recorded we cannot separate incidents into separate categories for toasters, ovens, smoking and vaping.
  • These figures 2018 are also subject to change.


How much does a typical call-out cost your fire service? Do you reclaim any costs back from the NHS?


West Midlands Fire Service does not record the typical cost of a call outs, so it is therefore exempt under Section 1 of the Freedom of Information 2000 Act. However it is possible to calculate a notional cost for call out by applying the charging mechanism that is used to calculate special service call charges.

Please see attached  for the cost of a Pump Rescue Ladder for a special service calls.

SSC costs from 2010-2018 1.0 Download

If you wish to calculate a notional incident cost then this would per approximately one pump rescue ladder for one hour per call out.

West Midlands Fire Service has not reclaim any cost back from NHS.

If you have any queries about this Freedom of Information request, please contact me.  Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications. If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision please write to 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: or at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF.