Our Plan 2023-2026
Four circles with graphics. The first is our staff, the second is a fire engine, the third if a phone dialling 999 and a 5 minute timer and the third is of a house on fire


Dealing excellently with incidents

Our response to fires and other emergencies continued to be graded ‘outstanding’ by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services. We were delighted that our understanding of risk of fire and other emergencies, and overall effectiveness, were also rated ‘outstanding’ for the first time.

This result highlights how our professional, full-time firefighters respond assertively, effectively and safely to a wide variety of incidents, 24/7. They protect lives and properties, keep businesses in business and help keep the West Midlands’ transport networks flowing.

Illustration of 3 firefighters
Illustration of an award with WMFS Crest on it
Illustration of 3 fire control operators

In 2022/23 our Fire Control handled 56,621 calls, in an average of 98 seconds per call. Our fire crews attended 26,084 incidents and arrived at the most serious in an average of just 4 minutes 48 seconds.

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 and protects homes and businesses.

This also helps us 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 prevention and protection work to the West Midlands’ most vulnerable.

Illustration of a screen with our brigade areas and bar charts against them
Illustration of three bars, one of a fire station, one of a fire engine and another of people.
Illustration of a fire engine with a clock showing 5 minutes

We have an excellent record of increasing public safety and working collaboratively with other agencies and organisations, including during major incidents. We ensure that we draw learning from major national incidents, reports and inquiries, such as the Grenfell Inquiry and the Manchester Arena Bombing Inquiry. 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.

Further afield, we play a key role in supporting the UK-wide emergency approach and 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, such as the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, and flooding in Malawi, in early 2023

Our Strategic Priorities for Response

We will:

  • respond with the resources you need, when you need them, to protect what matters to you, to save life, reduce harm and protect homes and businesses

  • be ready to respond in an assertive, effective and safe way to meet our vision

  • lead rescue operations, working with others to help make you safer

  • be ready to respond locally, nationally and internationally.

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