HOW WE DO IT

Effective Delivery through Collaboration

From finance through to our vehicles, technology and communications, we work hard to ensure that our services are delivered in the most relevant,effective and efficient ways. Everything we do is achieved by our cost-effective, flexible and agile workforce.

At a time of unprecedented change and financial challenges for the public sector, our staff keep finding exciting, new ways to transform the services we provide and achieve even more with less.

Value for money

Working closely with other organisations – collaborating with our partners – is an essential part of being able to deliver our services efficiently and effectively.

As you’d expect, we want to be absolutely sure we’re giving value for money to the West Midlands.

So we’re continuing to look at new ways to help fund our work making the West Midlands safer, stronger and healthier. Bringing money in means we can maintain the way we currently deliver our services, whilst meeting the reductions in the money we get from the Government.

It means we can protect our existing resources and keep responding to serious incidents in an average of 5 minutes – while still providing all the services of a fire and rescue service that we know our communities value, including reducing vulnerability.

Our Government funding reduced by £37m between 2010/11 and 2018/19. It will be cut by a further £1m in 2019/20. In 2018/19 we have a net budget requirement of £95m. Most of this will be spent on ‘Service Delivery’ – firefighting, rescue operations and community fire safety work, with the majority covering staff costs.

Money Coins

The £95m will come as core funding from the Government (£53m) combined with our share of Council Tax collected by local authorities in the West Midlands (£42m). In 2018/19, the Authority plans to spend £13.3 million on capital projects, the bulk of which will be spent on buildings and vehicles. Most of this money will come from what are known as ‘earmarked’ reserves. We’re continuing to identify alternative ways to get funding, such as sponsorship. Another way we’re responding to our financial challenges is being paid by other organisations – or commissioned – to do work for them. For example, we’re proud of the ongoing training and development we give our firefighters and all of our staff. And we can share our expertise by being paid to deliver training for others.

These are projects that let us and those we’re working with give the best possible levels of service, and value for money, as we make the West Midlands safer, stronger and healthier. Your fire service will ensure:

  • Government funding reductions will be met and our Service Delivery Model, which focuses on public safety and vulnerability, will be maintained
  • assets will be used effectively and efficiently in support of delivering service priorities
  • alternative funding and efficiency opportunities will be identified and delivered through collaborative activities and by exploring commercial, social value, sponsorship and commissioned opportunities, to support the delivery of our strategy and public safety through targeting the most vulnerable.

Business development

Our Government funding reduced by £37m between 2010/11 and 2018/19. It will be cut by a further £1m in 2019/20.

Part of our wide-ranging work to manage these cuts is seeking and developing different, better and new services for our communities.

We’ve explored commissioning, commercial work, sponsorship and ‘social value’ to raise £2m towards our funding deficit and enable us to continue delivering front-line services with no adverse impact on our communities.

We’re starting to see the benefits, with projects that allow us not only to achieve our own priorities and objectives but those of the organisations we’re working with in the public, private and third sectors.

Through our commercial work we engage with business to ensure that fire safety is top of their agenda. We work with big-name companies such as Nationwide and Wilmott Dixon. We provide firefighting skills to manufacturing companies such Jaguar Land Rover and our other partners include the Home Office and the Department of Trade and Industry.

We also develop people who manage others’ safety. For example, after the Grenfell Tower tragedy, many other Fire and Rescue Services have asked to use our high-rise training facility at Oldbury which is the tallest in the country. For every £1 spent with us, West Midlands communities receive £5 of ‘social value’.

If you think there’s a way we can work together, please contact our Business Development team on 0121 380 6284 or e-mail businessdevelopment@wmfs.net

We’re seeking sponsorship for our many projects with young, unemployed or elderly people, plus others who are marginalised and vulnerable. We also have exciting partnership opportunities to work with our Research and Development team.

People

The people who work for us here at West Midlands Fire Service are our finest asset. Without them, we couldn’t achieve what we do for the people of the West Midlands.

That’s why we have a set of strategic priorities dedicated to them and members of our community to ensure:

  • an agile, flexible and accountable workforce, to enable the sustained delivery of our strategy by individuals and teams through adaptability, authenticity and cohesion
  • an environment where benefits of physical, emotional and mental health and wellbeing are understood and valued equally, to enable our staff to respond positively to opportunities for change
  • Diversity, Inclusion, Cohesion and Equality (DICE) will be enabled for the most vulnerable people in our communities, by addressing social and health inequalities
  • we have a workforce reflective of the communities we serve. Through an approach known as ‘positive action’ we will attract, recruit and support progression for individuals with protected characteristics.

ICT

Using our resources effectively and efficiently is really important to us. Technology plays a massive part in helping us to make the West Midlands safer, stronger and healthier. Across our prevention, protection and response work it’s vital that our systems allow us to make evidence-based decisions.

Our emergency 999 systems help our staff in fire control send the appropriate response to an incident.

Satellite mapping lets us see the precise location of our fire engines.

And our radio and communications network lets us share vital information with our firefighters as they’re on their way to an incident.

When they arrive, technology helps to keep them safe.

As our workforce becomes more mobile, and spends as much time as possible in the community, they need to be able to access accurate and useful information when they need it. This is key to working with the most vulnerable people in our communities as well as collaborating with other agencies in delivering joined-up services.

We continue to lead the way in many areas.

A great example of this is how we position our resources based on real-time risk, to support our 5-minute attendance standard. If we’re experiencing high demand during a major incident, we can re-distribute our remaining vehicles and crews to ensure the greatest levels of emergency cover across the West Midlands.

IT Picture of servers

The focus of our ICT (Information and Communications Technology) is:

  • provide assurance and intelligence for evidence-based decisions with accurate, useful and timely information provided to our communities and our mobile workforce
  • enable the secure and reliable sharing of data with our partners and the cost-effective and joined-up delivery of services to the most vulnerable people in our communities
  • our digital strategy will improve user experience and enable assertive, effective and safe delivery of services through collaboration with individuals, teams and partners.