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Our Plan

2022-2025

Here at West Midlands Fire Service, we have a vision.

Everything we do is guided by our vision of making the West Midlands safer, stronger and healthier.

Our highly-trained staff aim to deliver the best fire, rescue and risk reduction services which have our communities at heart - helping them to stay safe and to thrive.

We are the second largest fire and rescue service in the country, serving an area of 900km2 and covering seven local authority areas: Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

The West Midlands is home to a diverse and multi-cultural population of more than 2.9 million people, living in 1,149,000 homes. There are 101,000 non-domestic properties.

It includes areas with the highest risk in England outside of London, presenting a range of socio-economic and health and wellbeing challenges.

Through our community risk management planning, we assess risks our communities might face. It’s the foundation of our three-year rolling strategy and priorities which, together, form ‘Our Plan’.

Our Plan shapes how we deliver our services and how we locate and use our resources, to reduce risk and vulnerability.
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Foreword from Phil Loach, Chief Fire Officer and Councillor Greg Brackenridge, Chair of the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority

A very warm welcome to Our Plan.  
 
On these pages we share our priorities for 2022-2025, which support our vision of ‘Making the West Midlands safer, stronger and healthier’. 
 
Everything we do is connected by our vision. Our highly-trained staff aim to deliver the best fire, rescue and risk reduction services which have our communities at heart - helping them to stay safe and to thrive. 
 
Shortly before the pandemic started, 11,000 people took part in our public consultation which helped us to identify and develop our Community Risk Management Plan (CRMP). 
 
Our review of the responses to our consultation, combined with our own assessment of risks our communities might face, resulted in six strategic projects which you’ll find summarised on our community risk management plan page.
 
All of these priorities will be complemented by our Digital and Data strategy, which will bring smarter ways of working across our service. You can find out more by searching ‘CRMP’ on our website.  
 
We’re incredibly proud of how everyone at West Midlands Fire Service responded to meet the challenges of COVID-19. 
 
We prioritised the health and wellbeing of our staff. This enabled them to keep delivering our core services and they remained ready, willing and able to provide a wide range of additional support for the most vulnerable members of our communities.  
 
As we all transition to living with COVID, we’re determined to build on valuable learning from the last two years. We transformed many of the ways we operate.  
 
Technology meant that we could carry out ‘virtual’ Safe and Well visits to people’s homes or safety audits of tall buildings.  
 
We formed new partnerships and strengthened existing ones. These valuable collaborations with councils, our blue light colleagues and other organisations are the bedrock of the support we offer to the more vulnerable members of our communities. 
 
We’re immensely proud that our 999 emergency response services are rated outstanding by our national inspectorate. We want to continue delivering all of our services to the highest standards, with a sharp focus on providing our communities with value for money. 
 
So ‘Our Plan’ outlines our commitment to transformation and to continual improvements in efficiency and effectiveness.  All for the benefit of the communities we protect and serve.  
 
Our communities also benefit when our staff feel proud of where they work and everything they achieve - in a diverse, inclusive and non-discriminatory environment.  
 
This is underpinned by the values we have developed, together, and our adoption of the new Core Code of Ethics for the fire and rescue sector. 
 
In 2022 the West Midlands host the Commonwealth Games. We have a key role in ensuring the safety of our international guests.  
 
We’re also honoured to be hosting the United Kingdom Rescue Organisation’s ‘Festival of Rescue’ a few weeks after the Games, in Birmingham. Firefighters from across the UK will display some of the specialist skills and equipment they use at emergencies. We very much hope to see you there! 
 
We’ll be working hard to ensure that both spectacles showcase the very best of what the West Midlands has to offer, whilst continuing to deliver our wide range of services that make our communities safer, stronger and healthier. 
 
Phil Loach, Chief Fire Officer and Councillor Greg Brackenridge, Chair of the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority

How do we deliver our strategic priorities?

Community Risk Reduction

Achieving excellent community outcomes by reducing risk and vulnerability through a proportionate response to all prevention, protection and operational activities
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Enabling Services

Providing effective and efficient systems as part of a sustainable ecosystem which supports our people and services to be excellent
3 uniformed staff chatting around a laptop

People

Working together to make WMFS a great place to work for our people for the benefit of our community
5 staff members around a table talking and laughing

Value

Deliver the maximum community benefit using the investment available to us
British pound notes and change

Community Risk Management Plan

Our planning takes into account the views and needs of our communities, our partners and, of course, our staff. Some 11,000 people took part in our last public consultation.

Our research and data help us understand who’s most at risk from fire and other incidents, and when and where they happen.

We gather evidence to help us better match our levels of response to different types of incidents.

More of the incidents to which we respond - or might in the future - are influenced by things like climate change or national projects such as the HS2 rail line, and so may need a specialist response.

The transformational projects outlined below resulted from our latest review of our Community Risk Management Plan, and will all be complemented by innovation and technology.
Find out more about our Community Risk Management Plan

Prefer to download Our Plan?

We understand some people prefer to read a document rather than browse a website, so we make Our Plan available as a PDF document that you can view on our own devices or print. You can download your copy here.

Our Plan 2022-2025

This is a downloadable PDF of 'Our Plan' which forms part of West Midlands Fire Service’s (WMFS) rolling three-year strategy. It is an opportunity to reflect on the last year and look at our priorities for the next three years to ensure we make the West Midlands Safer, Stronger and Healthier. All the information contained within the PDF is available on the 'Our Plan' pages of our website and is correct as of 13/04/22.
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