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Our Plan


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

Everything we do is connected 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 England, serving an area of 902km2 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 1,190,943 homes. There are 101,760 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 is 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.

An illustration of a heart with a fire station, buildings and community members inside it

The priorities set out in Our Plan 2022-2025 have resulted in many changes to the way we deliver our services, with some very positive outcomes:

  • During the extreme heat of Summer 2022, we were able to use our people and resources more flexibly thanks to our Risk-Based Crewing (RBC) approach and mix of vehicle types. This allowed them to deal with the large number of fires and other incidents over a short period much more efficiently

  • we opened our third Technical Rescue Unit, in Sutton Coldfield. This has not only increased the number of staff we have with specialist technical skills, but also supported a significant increase in female and staff from BAME (Black or Asian Minority Ethnic) backgrounds into this field of work

  • our new, flexible RBC approach to how we respond to incidents means our crews have been able to carry out more prevention and protection activities. This has been complemented by supporting, through our Safe and Well visits, those within our communities who are most at risk

  • our revised approach to Automatic Fire Alarms has seen us reduce the number of occasions a fire engine is sent to what turns out to be a false alarm. Smaller vehicles are used more often, keeping other resources available to respond to actual emergencies.

  • In this, the third year of our formal three-year planning cycle, we continue to focus and build on the work of the last two years whilst continuing to monitor and review the risks our communities face every day.

Community Risk Management Plan

Our Community Risk Management Plan is how we assess all the current and future risks facing our communities. This influences how we set our priorities and, in turn, helps us determine what specific projects we need to implement to address these risks.

Our planning considers 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 in 2020.

Our research and data help us understand who and what is 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.
We also consider the wider risks facing the West Midlands, how our partners prepare for and respond to these, and what our contribution can be, especially through key partnerships like the Local Resilience Forum.

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 in last year's plan, outlined below, resulted from our latest review of our CRMP and have all been complemented by innovation and technology. These projects continue to be our focus as part of this annual plan.

Explore our Community Risk Management Plan and Beyond 2023-2024
Illustration of a magnifying glass analysing data next to a laptop with graphs onIllustration of fire service vehicles and firefightersIllustration of of emerging risks like climate change, terrorism or HS2

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 2023-2026
File format: .pdf
File type: .pdf
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 28/04/2023.
Archived older versions of this document are available on the document page
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