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Birmingham Pride 2019

Fire service staff in the Birmingham Pride parade holding a banner that reads West Midlands Fire Service wishes you a safe pride.

This weekend (25-26 May) sees Birmingham Pride Festival return to the West Midlands.

The two-day LGBT Festival is the biggest of its kind in the UK and one of the bigger community events of the year. And we’ll be there to support the region’s amazing diversity!

West Midlands Fire Service float during the 2018 Birmingham Pride parade

Firefighters and staff from across our organisation will join the celebrations along with members of our very own LGBT support network, FireOUT, and police and ambulance service colleagues – be sure to give us all a wave during Saturday’s parade!

Assistance Chief Fire Officer, Gary Taylor, who will be attending on Saturday, said: “West Midlands Fire Service is thrilled to be able to attend Birmingham Pride this year, as always, and we hope that everyone has a safe and happy time.

“Pride is a celebration of diversity and community spirit and we are delighted to be invited to take part. Our crews and staff always have a great time interacting with our communities and we always receive a warm welcome.

“Pride is also a great opportunity for us to celebrate the amazing diversity we have within our own service. We’re hoping that as many of our LGBT staff and supporters who are able can join us.”

This is the second year we’ve entered our own float in the parade – one of our former incident response units, it’s been given a new lease of life and is in demand at community events across the West Midlands and further afield.

Following Saturday’s parade in Birmingham city centre, the float will be on Hurst Street playing music to the crowds, with crews and staff hoping to meet as many members of our communities as possible over the weekend.

To see more of what our crews get up to at Pride, follow @WMFSFireOUT on Twitter or check our Instagram or Twitter channels both with the username @WestMidsFire

Our Accounts

Documents with figures, and an iPad with graphs and charts

As part of our commitment to transparency, our accounts are available to view on our website.

Today we are issuing a formal notice to our communities that from Monday 3rd June 2019 anyone on the electoral register is able to inspect our accounts for the financial year 2018-2019. The period of exercise of public rights commences at 10.00am on 3rd June 2019 and will conclude at 5 pm on 12th July 2019.

Our (currently unaudited as at 23rd May 2019) Statement of Accounts 2018-2019 can be viewed in our Documents section which also includes many other publications.

Formal notice of the right to inspect the financial year 2018-2019 accounts is given below.

Documents with figures, and an iPad with graphs and charts

WEST MIDLANDS FIRE AND RESCUE AUTHORITY AUDIT OF ACCOUNTS YEAR ENDED 31st MARCH 2019

NOTICE OF PUBLIC RIGHTS

The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014
The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015

  1. The Authority’s accounts are subject to external audit by Grant Thornton UK LLP of 11th Floor, Colmore Plaza, 20 Colmore Circus, Birmingham, West Midlands, B4 6AT. Members of the public and local government electors have certain rights in the audit process:
    Notice is hereby given that from 3rd June 2019 to 12th July 2019 (excluding Saturdays and Sundays) between 10.00am and 5.00pm any person may inspect the accounting records of the Authority for the financial year to 31st March 2019 and certain related documents (comprising books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers and receipts) at the address given below. They may also make copies of the accounts and documents.
  2. From 10.00 am on 3rd June 2019 to 5pm on 12th July 2019 at the request of a local government elector, the local auditor must give the elector, or any representative of the elector, an opportunity to question the auditor about the accounting records of the Authority.
  3. From 10.00am on 3rd June 2019 until the conclusion of the audit process a local government elector for the area of the Authority or his/her representative may object to the Authority’s accounts asking that the auditor issue a report in the public interest or apply for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. Written notice of the proposed objection and the grounds on which it will be made must be sent to the auditor at the address given above and also copied to the Authority at the address given above.
  4. The Statement of Accounts for West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority is available to view on the internet during the period of display. The web address is: www.wmfs.net

 

Dated 22nd May 2019

Mike Griffiths
Treasurer
West Midlands Fire Service
99 Vauxhall Road
Birmingham
B7 4HW

#ThinkSprinkler!

Sprinkler campaign details

We’re supporting the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) National Sprinkler Week campaign, from 19 to 24 May.  

NFCC and the National Fire Sprinkler Network (NFSN) research into sprinkler systems’ effectiveness and reliability found that they operate on 94% of occasions and extinguish or contain the fire virtually every time.  

The evidence also demonstrated that in both converted and purpose-built flats, sprinklers are 100% effective in controlling fires. 

A diagram showing how a water sprinkler works

NFCC lead for sprinklers, Chief Fire Officer Terry McDermott, said: “The evidence speaks for itself. Sprinklers are very effective and provide strong fire safety protections as part of a fire safety package.  

“Wales and Scotland recognise this and have implemented measures to make their communities safer from fire. We want to see the same changes in England and Northern Ireland as a matter of urgency. Fire does not discriminate and is just as dangerous in England as it is in the rest of the UK.”  

You can follow the national campaign on Twitter, using the hashtag #ThinkSprinkler. 

Station Commander Dave Hodgkins, of West Midlands Fire Service’s Fire Safety team, said: “Sprinklers not only save lives, property and businesses but also enhance firefighter safety. 

“We wholly support the installation of sprinklers and other suppression systems, where appropriate, which can only help to make the West Midlands safer, stronger and healthier.” 

We encourage the installation of Automatic Fire Suppression Systems (AFSS) where people or premises are identified as being ‘high risk’ in our Integrated Risk Management Plan. AFSSs include:                  

  • commercial and industrial sprinkler systems
  • residential and domestic sprinkler systems
  • water mist systems
  • foam systems
  • wet chemical
  • inert gas systems
  • powder extinguishing systems

#EndTheStigma

This week, our fire crews and staff across the West Midlands are supporting Mental Health Awareness week.

Supported by the Mental Health Foundation, the week aims to end the stigma of mental health and show that ‘It’s OK to not be OK’.

With 1 in 6 adults a week experiencing a common mental health problem, such as anxiety or depression, it’s more important than ever to provide support, understanding and guidance to those suffering from poor mental health.

Often people forget that, although highly-skilled and hard-working, emergency services staff suffer from mental health issues equally, if not more, than everyone else. Some of the incidents they attend can be extremely distressing.

A small graphic showing

Area Commander Steve Vincent said: “We very much see our organisation as a family, and offer a range of services to support our staff with mental health difficulties.

“Mental health affects us all in one form or another. Sharing stories allows us to rationalise and move forward in a positive way in our daily lives.

“It’s really important that you share experiences and listen to people – not just during this important week, but beyond. This is a journey we should be on for the rest of our lives.”

Although the primary focus of Mental Health Week is ‘body image’ (one in eight UK adults have had suicidal thoughts or feelings about how they look), our focus for the week will be our staff’s general mental health.

We have a wide range of support mechanisms in place for our workforce, such as post-incident ‘diffusing’ sessions and mental health first aiders who are trained to spot the initial signs of someone who’s struggling. Our excellent occupational health team can provide more bespoke support and, if necessary, refer colleagues to more specialist help. This includes accessing services of The Fire Fighters Charity.

To find out more about Mental Health Awareness week, please visit the Mental Health Foundation website. If you or anyone you know is suffering with poor mental health or needs support, there are many resources available. You can call Samaritans, for free, on 116 123 or you can find your nearest NHS mental health support services via their website’s postcode finder.

A PRL FOOL!

Working drawings for a fire engine fitted with car ramming and lifting equipment

Our firefighters aim to get to serious incidents in just five minutes.

 

Vehicles parked irresponsibly can delay our fire engines – also known as Pump Rescue Ladders or PRLs – by life-saving seconds. Continue Reading

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