Dealing excellently with emergency incidents

Getting to you quickly when you call 999 in an emergency will always be a priority for us. Here in the West Midlands we aim to get to incidents where life or property is in danger in an average of just five minutes. We frequently exceed this standard.

This is our response work. We pride ourselves on doing it assertively, effectively and safely. Our response services protect lives, properties and businesses. They help to keep the West Midlands’ transport networks moving and the economy running.

Our response priorities focus on dealing excellently with emergency incidents:

  • the most serious emergency incidents will be attended, on average, within five minutes to save life, protect homes and businesses, and keep our transport networks moving
  • our commitment to operational excellence will reduce risk to life and property and enable an assertive, effective and safe emergency response to all incidents whilst supporting firefighter safety
  • at all incidents we attend we will lead and co-ordinate rescue operations whilst working collaboratively with other agencies to deliver an excellent response and meet public expectations
  • we will enhance resilience and deliver a local, national and international response to major incidents, emerging threats, and humanitarian situations through our specialist response teams

Response in numbers

In 2017/18 our Fire Control handled nearly 52,000 999 calls…

Fire Control Icon

… in an average of 77 seconds per call.

Answer in 77 seconds icon

Our firefighters attended 28,000 incidents…

28,000 incidents attended

… and they arrived at the most serious in an average of just 4 mins 45 secs.

Arrival time

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.

999Eye gives unique insight

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.

It has been used more than 1,100 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 dispatched, to text you a secure link so you can send us images of the incident.

We’re ready!

Training Exercise

Preparing,training andtesting how we operate is  24/7 businessat our 38 fire stations. 

We also stage 104 largescale training exercises every year – that’s two a week!

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

Fire stations
Large-scale training exercises