RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST
West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information requested on 20th September 2021.
Please find below a summary of our findings.
I would like a copy of the Full PDAs that WMFS use, eg AFA; 1 Pump or Car Fire; 1 Pump
WMFS operates call challenging and dynamic risk assessments so the proposed attendance can be moved up or down dependent upon the intelligence about the incident. Our target response times for Category 1 incidents is under 5 minutes on average which is published in our corporate plan.
Please find the link below to our plan:
Unfortunately, it is not possible to provide full PDA’s for any locations that attract a specific attendance, and it has been refused under Section 24 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Section 24 provides that information is exempt from disclosure under Section 1(1)b if it is required for the purposes of safeguarding national security.
National security includes more than the security of the UK, its military defence, and its systems of government, it also involves co-operation with other states in combating international terrorism and guarding against actions targeted at other states which may impact on the UK and its people.
Reason why the Section 24 exemption applies.
Safeguarding national security also includes protecting potential targets even if there is no evidence that an attack is imminent, and in that knowledge of PDA’s types of resources may potentially allow to try and cause such incidents, thereby intentionally diverting resources away from an intended/potential targets.
Public Interest Test Reasons.
West Midlands Fire Service has concluded that the public interest in maintaining this exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure. This decision is based upon the following reasons:
In assessing the balance of the public interest test, we are particularly mindful that the Act works on an ‘applicant blind’ basis and that by providing information to one person, we set a precedent for making it available to anyone else who asks for it.
There is a strong public interest in the authority doing all it can to protect the critical national infrastructure and national security. This is one of the primary reasons why we hold the requested information and disclosing it would undermine this purpose, which would not be in the public interest. Although there has to be a real possibility that the disclosure would undermine national security, the impact does not need to be direct or immediate.
While there may be some public interest in providing details for PDA’s, the benefit of this does not outweigh the potential consequences of endangering the health and welfare of people.
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.