We have an excellent track record in identifying and reducing ever-changing risks and working collaboratively with other agencies to increase public safety. 

The professionalism and dedication of our firefighters to respond assertively, effectively and safely – coupled with our risk-based, five-minute attendance standard – is at the heart of our Service Delivery Model.  

We are the only fire and rescue service in England to have had our response work graded as ‘outstanding’ by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services.  

We’ve worked with academics and medical experts on research that shows the time it takes to get to an incident is critical to someone surviving a fire or a road traffic collision. 

So, based on evidence and our knowledge of risk, we know that our five-minute attendance standard for serious incidents in high-risk areas saves lives, homes and businesses. It also helps us to plan where we need our people and resources, including our fire stations, engines and more specialist resources. 

In turn, this gives us the capacity to deliver our equally important and collaborative prevention and protection services.  

Our response services protect lives, properties and businesses and help to keep the West Midlands’ transport networks and economy running. 

Technology such as 999eye helps us to match our response to the type of emergency. 

Further afield, we support National Resilience arrangements. The skills and expertise of our staff can be called upon to help people in the UK or around the world who are affected by major incidents or humanitarian crises. 

In 2020/21 our Fire Control handled 41,397 calls, in an average of 76 seconds per call. 

Our firefighters attended 25,068 incidents and they arrived at the most serious in an average of just 4 minutes and 32 secs. 

Our response priorities:

  • we aim to get to incidents within our attendance standards across all categories; with five minutes in high-risk areas, to save life, reduce harm and protect homes
    and businesses
  • we will, through our highly trained firefighters, deliver an assertive, effective and safe response to all incidents to make the biggest difference for our communities
  • we will lead rescue operations and work collaboratively with partners to deliver an effective response
  • we will deliver a local, national and international response to major incidents, new risks and humanitarian situations, through our firefighters and specialist teams.
A headset graphic with the words Fire Control next to it

In 2020/2021 our Fire Control handled 41,397 calls…

A red phone graphic with 78 seconds written on the screen

… in an average of 76 seconds per call.

A graphic silhouette of firefighters with 26,626 incidents written on it

Our firefighters attended 25,068 incidents…

A graphic of a fire engine with 00:04:45 written underneath it

… and they arrived at the most serious in an average of just 4 minutes and 32 seconds

Technically speaking…

As well as responding to fires, road traffic collisions and other emergencies, firefighters at two of our 38 fire stations form our Technical Rescue Unit (TRU).

TRU’s rescue expertise can be called upon at a wide variety of incidents, such as rescuing people from collapsed buildings, floods, height or confined spaces.

Many members of TRU volunteer with colleagues from throughout our organisation to respond on behalf of the UK Government to scenes of international crisis, under the banner of UK International Search and Rescue.

They have been deployed to some of the world’s most devastating disaster areas.

Your phone becomes our eyes

People who use their smartphone to call us on 999 could now also be asked to send photos or videos of what they can see.
We came up with the idea of '999Eye' and developed it with Capita.

We’re using it more and more

It has been used more than 8,677 times to help operators in our Fire Control ensure that the most appropriate resources are sent to incidents. You should still always call 999 in an emergency. But now our Fire Control staff have the option, once initial resources have been mobilised, to text you a secure link so you can send us images of the incident.

We’re ready!

Training Exercise

Preparing, training and testing how we operate is 24/7 business at our 38 fire stations.

We completed 44 large–scale training exercises during 2020/21 – that’s nearly 1 a week!

These are often with colleagues from other organisations like the police, ambulance service and West Midlands councils.

Fire stations
Large-scale training exercises