West Midlands Fire Service rated ‘outstanding’

West Midlands Fire Service has been graded as ‘Good’ in a report published by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services.

This is the first report completed by HMICFRS into the Service since the inspection programme recommenced in 2018 after a break of several years, during which time WMFS has seen significant government funding reductions.    

Overall the inspectorate has commented that they are ‘very pleased with the performance of West Midlands Fire Service in keeping people safe and secure, and in particular with its effectiveness’.  

This has been made possible through the commitment of staff in supporting the organisation to evolve so as to maintain or improve vital services to the community. Bosses say they hope that people across the West Midlands take confidence from the way in which the Service respond to incidents and reduce risk and vulnerability within the community.  

West Midlands Fire Service is the only fire and rescue service, out of 30 assessed in two rounds of inspections to date, to receive the top ‘outstanding’ rating for its emergency response work. Phil Loach, Chief Fire Officer, said:

“We know, from our previous consultations, that the public expect and value a gold standard emergency response service. I’m delighted by the report’s recognition of the hard work, dedication and professionalism of staff in providing exactly that. 

“We get to our most life-threatening emergencies in an average of 4 minutes and 43 seconds. This is made possible by our Service Delivery Model, which enables us to deliver assertive, effective and safe emergency response.” 

The report adds that WMFS “has developed a comprehensive understanding of risk” which helps us plan the use of our resources effectively to deliver response, prevention and protection services. CFO Loach added:

“Because we understand risk and how to manage it through prevention and protection activities, we can use our different shift systems and different vehicles with differently sized crews to be in the community working to reduce risk and vulnerability.

“This work is done by the same frontline firefighters who respond to 999 calls and is targeted at the West Midlands’ most vulnerable people and premises. 

“We welcome the report from HMICFRS and our staff and communities should be reassured that there are many areas for celebration.”


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