West Midlands Fire Service

West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) is the statutory fire and rescue service responsible for fire protection, prevention, intervention and emergency rescue in the West Midlands county, covering the local authorities of Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

Updated:
9 October 2017
Location:
West Midlands
Sectors:
Emergency Services Sector
Local Alliances:
Birmingham Dementia Action Alliance , Sandwell Dementia Action Alliance, Solihull Dementia Action Alliance, Wolverhampton Dementia Action Alliance, Coventry and Warwickshire Dementia Action Alliance, Dudley Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

Two thirds of all fire deaths together with half of all serious injuries from fires in West Midlands homes in 2015/16 were of people aged 60 or over.  Research has shown that impairment, disability and dementia are substantial factors in increasing someone’s risk of injury or death from a fire in the home.

The role of West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) is to minimise the risk of harm from accidental fires in the home together with deaths and injuries associated with them.  This is done through education, advice and support for our vulnerable and at risk communities and enforcing legislation where applicable and appropriate.

WMFS works in partnership with professionals from public, private, independent and third sector organisations in order to deliver these outcomes and keep the West Midlands safer, stronger and healthier. . These partnerships provide opportunities for WMFS to access those most at risk and vulnerable and carry out a Safe & Well visit.

These visits combine home fire safety and a series of physical and emotional health and wellbeing checkpoints, enabling a more holistic approach to tackle and improve wider social, behavioural and health issues that contribute to the risk and vulnerability to fire.  Using this approach creates referral and signposting pathways between services, organisations and support networks – both into and from a Safe & Well visit - that enhance quality of life and allow people to live safe and independent lives for as long as they are able.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

A considerable challenge for WMFS is responding to changing and increasing demand on our capacity and resources given the predicted rise in the numbers of people who will develop dementia, doing so in an extremely challenging financial climate for agencies.

Specifically how WMFS will continue to:-

  • Maintain awareness of the risks and hazards to fire amongst carers and professionals working to support those with dementia.
  • Maintain the professional and practical relationships that deliver opportunities for referrals and signposting between WMFS and organisations working to support those with dementia.

In order that those living with dementia receive appropriate support.

Member contacts

http://www.wmfs.net/

2. Actions

  • Sign up to the CFOA Dementia Pledge

    WMFS has signed the Chief Fire Officers Association Dementia Pledge:- http://www.cfoa.org.uk/13552 which has direct links with the CFOA Ageing Safely – Protecting an ageing population from the risk of fire in the home.

    In signing the pledge, West Midlands Fire Service has committed to the following:

    Status:
    Completed
  • Raise awareness of Dementia amongst our staff

    We will provide our personnel with:-

    Appropriate training resources and opportunities to personnel Information about local service provision for those with dementia

    Status:
    Being implemented

    2016 - Fourth Quarter Update

    A number of our frontline staff and Vulnerable Persons Officers have undertaken Dementia Friends training

  • Ensure families and carers are aware of fire risks

    Help to ensure that families and carers are aware of the fire risks associated with dementia with the care and protection of people with dementia in their homes.

    Status:
    Being implemented

    2016 - Fourth Quarter Update

    Regular and consistent signposting of those diagnosed with or caring for someone with dementia to appropriate services, as part of the wellbeing support section of our Safe & Well visit offer to people in their own homes

  • Promote the use of assistive technology

    Promote the use of assistive technology that can enable people to stay independent and safe in their own homes for as long as possible.

    Status:
    Being implemented

    2016 - Fourth Quarter Update

    Regular and consistent signposting through through our offer of Safe and Well visits to organisations and services who provide assistive technology solutions

  • Raise awareness of Safe & Well visits and other preventative measures

    Raise awareness of Safe & Well visits and other preventative measures available to help reduce the risks of fires in their homes.

    Through our Safe & Well visits we will:-

    Target those most at risk and vulnerable to fire which includes those living with dementia and their carers. Offer fire safety advice and support tailored to individual needs Offer referral and signposting opportunities that minimise risk, improve physical and emotional wellbeing and promote independence.

    Status:
    Being implemented

    2016 - Fourth Quarter Update

    Reaching increasing numbers of vulnerable people through close engagement with partners who support and champion Safe & Well visits to those with often complex needs, from where WMFS look to offer brief interventions to improve wellbeing both on our visit and by onward signposting

  • Promote the education and information resources available to those caring for people with dementia

    We will:

    Engage with professionals and carers from family, private, public and third sector to raise awareness of fire risks and hazards for those with dementia. Provide referral pathways for carers and professionals who support those with dementia to enable them to access our Safe & Well visits. Champion the value of ‘fire as a health asset’ in working towards healthier independence for longer.

    Status:
    Being implemented

    2016 - Fourth Quarter Update

    As part of our Safe & Well visits, crews regularly signpost to local support services for those caring for someone with dementia. Many crews visit dementia cafes to promote our value as supporting wider wellbeing and 'fire as a health asset' and have referral pathways set up with many such services to ensure an efficient process for providing Safe & Well support where it can be most beneficial

  • Take an active role in encouraging partners and local groups to create dementia friendly communities

    We will promote Community space on our Fire Stations to professionals, carers and those with dementia.

    Status:
    Being implemented

    2016 - Fourth Quarter Update

    A number of fire stations across the West Midlands host dementia support sessions run by partners, including events at our HQ to support those embarking on their own and loved ones' dementia journey

  • Promote the use of simple design measures at the construction stage of building developments

    Promote the use of simple design measures at the construction stage of building developments, so that people can stay independent and safe in their own homes for as long as possible.

    We will work with architects, designers, Building Control Officers and Approved Inspectors to see that homes for people are designed with longevity in mind such that hazard areas like kitchens are further from exit doors than the sleeping and living accommodation. We will continue to lobby for sprinkler protection to be made mandatory for domestic premises. Our enforcement action in premises to which the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 will continue to give strong consideration to vulnerable people in society; most especially in public access buildings, where way-finding and staff procedures for evacuation must be as effective as possible.

    Status:
    Being implemented

    2016 - Fourth Quarter Update

    In line with our integrated WMFS plan - combining Prevention, Protection and Response facets of our delivery - our staff are working to keep people, their homes, other buildings and our communities as a whole safer, stronger and healthier