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 have reduced our response times significantly over the last five years and we are continually looking at ways to improve, utilising technology wherever possible.

Our risk-based, five-minute response is one of the best in the country. 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 we know that our five-minute response, based on evidence and our knowledge of risk, 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. This approach is efficient, effective and recognised by our communities as being in their interest.

Getting to you quickly when you call 999 in an emergency will always be a priority for us. We utilise technology such as 999eye to ensure we can match our response to the type of emergency.

Here in the West Midlands we aim to get to incidents where life or property is in danger in high-risk areas in just five minutes. We frequently exceed this standard.

We pride ourselves on delivering our response services assertively, effectively and safely. They protect lives, properties and businesses and help to keep the West Midlands’ transport networks and economy running.

Further afield, 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.

Our response priorities focus on dealing excellently with emergency incidents:

  • through risk management, the most serious emergency incidents in high-risk areas will be attended within five minutes, to save life, protect homes and businesses, and keep our transport networks moving
  • risk to life and property will be reduced through our commitment to operational excellence, enabling an assertive, effective and safe emergency response to all incidents whilst supporting firefighter safety
  • at all incidents attended, rescue operations will be led and coordinated by WMFS whilst working collaboratively with other agencies to deliver an excellent response and meet public expectations
  • National Resilience will be enhanced through delivery of a local, national and international response to major incidents, new risks and humanitarian situations through our specialist response teams. 
A headset graphic with the words Fire Control next to it

In 2018/19 our Fire Control handled 51,887 calls…

A red phone graphic with 78 seconds written on the screen

… in an average of 78 seconds per call.

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

Our firefighters attended 26,625 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 45 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 4,400 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 andtesting how we operate is  24/7 businessat our 38 fire stations. 

We also stage 107 largescale training exercises every year – that’s at least 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