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.

We have an excellent track record with regard to increasing public safety and working collaboratively with other agencies and organisations.

This is achieved through the dedication and professionalism of our firefighters who respond assertively, effectively and safely to numerous incidents on a daily basis. Our delivery to our communities has at the heart of it our commitment to our risk-based, five-minute attendance standard. This is supported through an evidence-based approach which is contained in our Community Risk Management Plan (CRMP).

In our last national inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services, our response delivery among our communities was graded as ‘Outstanding’.

We continue to work with partners, academics and health colleagues to carry out research to ensure our early response creates the best outcomes for our communities with regard to all incidents.

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 work with the most vulnerable across the West Midlands.

Our response services protect lives, properties and ensures businesses remain in business and help keep the West Midlands’ transport networks flowing.

We continue to utilise digital technology to enhance our service with 999eye helping us to match our response to the type of emergency.

Further afield, we support the UK-wide emergency approach, through being a key part of the 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 45,027 calls, in an average of 76 seconds per call.

Our firefighters attended 25,216 incidents and they arrived at the most serious in an average of just 4 minutes 32 seconds.

A simple graphic of a fire control operator
A graphic of a firefighter holding a hose
A 3D graphic of a mobile phone showing a 5 minute timer to represent the five minute response time on Our Plan

In 2020/21 our Fire Control handled 45,027 calls, in an average of 76 seconds per call. 

Our firefighters attended 25,216 incidents. 

They arrived at the most serious in an average of just 4 minutes and 32 secs.

A simple graphic of a fire control operator

In 2020/21 our Fire Control handled 45,027 calls, in an average of 76 seconds per call. 

A graphic of a firefighter holding a hose

Our firefighters attended 25,216 incidents. 

A 3D graphic of a mobile phone showing a 5 minute timer to represent the five minute response time on Our Plan

They arrived at the most serious in an average of just 4 minutes and 32 secs.

Technically speaking...

Search and Rescue dog Luna being trained by handler Mick

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

Image of a hand holding a mobile phone with 999eye running on it

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 9,245 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 46 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.

38
Fire stations
46
Large-scale training exercises