Heatwave increases calls and weather related incidents

We've seen a significant increase in calls to weather-related incidents over the last few days as the Country is hit by a close to recording-breaking heatwave

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Published on 19 July 2022

As the West Midlands braced for the record-breaking heatwave temperatures forecast to hit the UK, staff prepared for an increase in weather-related incidents and calls.

The weekend of 16 and 17 July was a busy period for West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS). We responded to over 586 incidents and received more than 1100 calls in total over a 48-hour period, which is higher than normal.

Temperatures soared yesterday afternoon (18 July) reaching 37.2c in some parts of the West Midlands. During this time, we saw an increase in calls peaking between 16:00 and 20:00 last night when, at one stage, we were attending 32 separate incidents simultaneously.

In total on Monday 18 July we received 717 incident calls, 195 more than the previous day (Sun 17 July) and 280 more than the number we received on Monday 11 July.

The incidents, a lot of which were weather-related, ranged greatly with the largest and most notable incident being across the county border at Lickey Hills, where 6 fire engines and over 30 firefighters from WMFS supported our colleagues at Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue with their efforts to tackle the outdoor blaze.

A thermometer showing nearly 40 degrees against a blue sky

Other weather-related incidents included an going incident at a lithium-ion battery storage facility in Darlaston, Walsall, where the owners struggle to maintain safe storage temperatures. Their proactive contact with WMFS allowed us to provide early intervention before the incident became more serious.

With exceptionally high temperatures already being seen across the county this morning and temperatures expected to peak this afternoon, coupled with gusty winds, we are continuing to see a higher volume of incident related calls and outdoor fires. We urge people to remain vigilant, follow our safety advice on our heatwave safety page and look out for Met Office weather warnings and guidance.