High Rise – 19011

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Ref: FOI/19011

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 on 22nd January 2019

Please find below a summary of our findings.

Request

Do you have High-rise structures in your response area, if yes how many and what is the size of the largest structure?

Reply

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 do you have high-rise structures in your response are and what size is the tallest can be found on at the following links:

https://www.wmfs.net/foi-entry/high-rise-18141/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tallest_buildings_and_structures_in_Birmingham

http://ukhousing.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Tower_blocks_in_Birmingham

Request

Do you have an operational policy for dealing with high-rise incident, if yes would be able to provide a copy of this information?

Reply

Yes we do have a high rise policy.  The high policy contains sensitive technical information in relation to how we respond to incidents therefore it exemption under section 38 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 by releasing this information we endangering our firefighters and compromise resilience arrangements and impede the ability of the organisation to perform core function such as responding to the incidents at high rise buildings.

Request

What is your Pre-determined Attendance (PDA) for an incident in a High-rise premise for an unconfirmed and confirmed fire?

Reply

Our level of response for high rise is a minimum of 13 personnel and minimum of 16 personnel for a Persons Reported. All incidents are Dynamically Mobilised by Fire Control and the control operator has the ability to either augment or reduce a response to an incident depending on information gathered, from a variety of sources such as multiple calls, information from caller or 999Eye imagery.

Request

What are your average response times for the first and second fire appliance for the last three years?

Reply

Response Times

Please be aware of the following for Q1:

  • As the requestor asked for the response time for ‘fire appliances’ some data had to be deleted, this included….
    • 1st attending and 2nd attending was both Officer vehicles
    • 1st attending is an Officer vehicle and 2nd attending is a BSV
    • 1st attending is a BSV and the 2nd is either another BSV or an Officer vehicle –
    • 1st attending is an Officer vehicle and there was no 2nd attending fire appliance
    • 1st attending is a BSV and the there was no 2nd attending fire appliance
    • Where the timings were not in a logical order i.e. The appliance was in attendance before the call was answered – attendance times removed – this is part of the guidelines as reported by The Home Office
    • Where the response time was less than 1 minute and over 1 hour for 1st attending fire appliances – attendance times removed – this is part of the guidelines as reported by The Home Office
  • Internally, response times are not part of our performance reports as we monitor call handling and attendance times as separate performances.
  • The table above is using the mean average which is in line with The Home Office while internally we use the median average.
  • All operational incidents have been included in the table above and all risk categories
  • Late calls have been included
  • The response time is calculated using the ‘time on scene’ for 1st and 2nd fire appliance and the incident call time.
  • The appliances which have been included in the table above are as follows;
    • PRL
    • BRV
    • Operational Officer – where the 1st or 2nd appliance is an Officer but the 1st or 2nd is a fire appliance
    • BSV – where the 1st or 2nd appliance is a BSV but the 1st or 2nd is a fire appliance
    • Hydraulic Platform
    • DIM vehicle
    • Prime Mover vehicle
    • Tech Rescue vehicle
    • Aerial vehicle
    • HAZMAT vehicle
  • No over border incidents have been included.

Request

How many turn outs have you had in the last three years to a High-rise property? Out of these responses how many required firefighting actions to be carried out?

Reply

Incidents

Please be aware of the following for Q2:

  • High rise properties include all buildings types with 5 or more floors.
  • All operational incidents are included.
  • No over border incidents are included.
  • Firefighter involvement includes the following;
    • Beating, stamping
    • Burned out (Allowed to burn under control / ventilated)
    • CO2 (carbon dioxide)
    • Cutting away
    • Disconnection of fuel supply (turned off)
    • Dry powder (DP)
    • Extinguisher – other
    • Foam – AFFF (Aqueous Film Forming Foam)
    • Foam – high expansion
    • Foam – medium expansion (PRL)
    • Foam – other than AFFF
    • Hose reel (water) – augmented supply
    • Hose reel (water) – tank supply only
    • Immersed in water
    • Main jet (water)
    • Monitors (MON) – ground or aerial (if using foam use ‘Foam’ categories)
    • Other methods
    • Other small means
    • Removal from/of heat source
    • Smothering – use of fire beaters
    • Smothering – use of fire blanket
    • Smothering – use of other method
    • Smothering – use of sand, earth, snow etc.
    • Water – domestic supply
    • Water – from bucket/containers
    • Water from fixed hose reel installation
    • Water from garden hose
    • Water, soda acid, gas expulsion etc. (water stored pressure)

All data is using the financial years 2014/15 – 2017/18.

Request

In the last three years have any issues, which hindered Firefighters response at High-rise incidents been recorded/observed? If yes what were the factors involved?

Reply

None

Request

Since the Grenfell incident in 2017 have you made changes to your PDA for a High-rise incident; confirmed and unconfirmed?

Reply

We did for certain premises with confirmed ACM cladding or other identified cladding systems and external building components which do not meet required standards of limited combustibility until removed.

Request

Since the Grenfell incident in 2017 have you made changes to your policies/procedures regarding High-rise incidents?

Reply

Yes. Fully reviewed. A learning panel was set up but no major changes applied.

Request

In the last three years have you as a service researched/implemented new tactics or equipment for dealing with high-rise incidents?

Reply

No

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: https://ico.org.uk/ or at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF.

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