Covid-19 & PPE

FOI Number: FOI23076

Where applicable, we publish responses to requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This one, Covid-19 & PPE, is detailed below.

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Freedom of Information

Published on 28 July 2023

WMFS OFFICIAL – NEW – FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST – FOI23076 

Ref: FOI/23076 

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 

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, please could you provide me with information (emailed to me) with regard to how your organization addressed above, dealt with certain matters during the Covid 19-Pandemic. 

* Personnel refers to organizational employed personnel. 
** Non-operational vehicles refers to non-blue light response vehicles owned or leased by the organization. 
*** Level of PPE – respiratory and/or eye protection and IMPORTANTLY the grade of PPE specified e.g. in the case of respiratory protection ‘Workwear or FFP1 or FFP2 or FFP3 grade masks. 
**** Operational vehicles refers to blue-light response vehicles owned or leased by the organization 

In relation to personnel*, traveling within NON-operation vehicles**: 

 
1. Were personnel prohibited from traveling together in a vehicle at any period during the Covid pandemic? 
2. If so, during what date period had this prohibition taken effect? 
3. Were personnel permitted to travel together in a vehicle at any period during the Covid pandemic? 
4. If so, were personnel required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) while traveling together in a vehicle? 
5. If answer to Q4 is YES, during which date period had the PPE been required? 
6. What level of PPE*** was specified for occupants traveling together in a vehicle? 
7. Was the requirement to wear PPE, mandatory or advisory? 

In relation to personnel*, traveling within OPERATIONAL vehicles****: 

 
8. Were employees permitted to travel together in operational-vehicles****, (in particular Fire Engines) at any period during the Covid pandemic? 
9. If so, were personnel required to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) while traveling together in a vehicle during any period within the Covid pandemic? 
10. If answer to Q9 is YES – what level of PPE*** was specified for occupants within a vehicle? 
11. Was the requirement to wear PPE mandatory or advisory? 
12. In relation to Q9 above – during what date period had the PPE requirements been in place? 

Reply 

1. Not in emergency vehicles, we put control measures in place that were risk assessed. In non-emergency vehicles (vans etc) we instructed individuals to travel alone.  

2. n/a 

3. Yes emergency vehicles and to attend emergency incidents.   

4. Yes, individuals were instructed to wear face masks FFP3 and where possible sit as far apart as possible. They were also instructed to open windows.   

5. From 03/06/2020 

6. Face coverings/masks FFP3 

7. Mandatory   

8. Yes (as per above answers) 

9. Yes (as per above answers) 

10. Yes (as per above answers) 

11. Mandatory  

12. From 03/06/2020 

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. 

Please note: Due to a migration and ensuring the accessibility of our policies and documents where possible, not all documents referenced in our FOI's are available. If you require a copy of a document referenced in our FOI's which is not linked below or is in a format that is not accessible to you, please email contact@wmfs.net.