Chief Fire Officer urges extra care over New Year

As case numbers of COVID-19 reach record levels, people in the West Midlands are urged to stay extra safe at home, on the roads and at work.



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Published on 30 December 2021

As case numbers of COVID-19 reach record levels, the Chief Fire Officer of West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) is urging people to pay extra attention to their safety at home, on the roads and at work.

CFO Phil Loach said: “Throughout the pandemic, our staff have been ready, willing and able to continue providing our vital services and more besides to West Midlands communities. They’ve done an outstanding job in 2021 and I’m very proud of them all.

“Our plans have served us extremely well since COVID-19’s arrival in early 2020. We continue to work closely with our colleagues in the West Midlands Local Resilience Forum, the National Fire Chiefs Council and Government.

“However, like organisations across the country, we have seen a rapid increase in positive cases of COVID-19. Our staff absences are now at the highest level since the beginning of the pandemic.

“Many of my colleagues changed their family plans for the season to make sure critical life-saving resources have remained available, in an example of the selflessness which characterises our teams. I’m extremely grateful to them.

“With more adults and children at home, fire safety is as important as ever. We have updated our website with important advice. We are also asking businesses and organisations to think carefully about their fire safety precautions. We want road users to stay focused and safe.

“It is clear, though, that the coming days and weeks will be challenging. I want to reassure people across the West Midlands that we are taking action to ensure we’ll be there for them in an emergency. But everyone can help by taking extra care around the home, in workplaces and when travelling.

“You should call 999 immediately in an emergency. Our fire control and our firefighters remain ready to respond immediately.

“By working together and drawing on the resilience that has stood us so well since the start of the pandemic, I am confident that we and our communities will rise to these challenging circumstances.”

Click here to read our festive safety advice.