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  • "As a current serving member (22yrs) of the West Midlands fire service, I still see ridiculous amounts of tax payers money spent on all manner of needless projects. The thousands spent to replace windows that didn't need replacing (Wolverhampton), the thousands spent building or expanding buildings that then sat empty (Oldbury training facility and brierley hill "locker room" for staff they got rid of literally 2 months later) , the hundreds spent renovating or moving offices because the current one was too small for someone's ego (virtually every station in the west mids when they are appointed a new "station commander")......the list goes on. I do feel the organisation has a nerve to be asking the general public if they are willing to pay more for the service in the council tax hikes, and to give suggestions how it could better serve them! The average firefighter such as myself have been trying to tell them for years how to better use the money and facilities available, yet it always seems to be falling on deaf ears in either middle management or higher! In fact just last week I received an email asking that I fill in another "works survey" that an independent (expensive) company knocked up. Every time myself and my fellow firefighters fill in one of these, the answers to the questions are the same, but we've yet to see any outcome. I suspect the same will happen to this newest venture to appease the general public.
    I have enjoyed my job as a firefighter for many years, and I am proud to have, along with my fellow firefighters, personally helped hundreds of members of the general public in matters both serious and trivial, but the current service is a shambles that focuses far too much on it's own self image, and I am not alone when I say myself and my co-workers are currently mortified by the decisions the service is currently making!"
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Residents urged to have their say on fire service plan

PEOPLE across the borough are urged to have their say on how West Midlands Fire Service keeps them safe in future.

West Midlands Fire Service has launched a month of consultation on ‘The Plan 2014-17’- its framework for its prevention, protection and response activities – as West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority has announced a referendum on spending might be necessary if Government cuts continue to threaten the level of service currently provided.

Chief fire officer Phil Loach said: “We aim to reach our riskiest incidents in five minutes, and deal with them as assertively as possible. However, responding to incidents is only one of the many and varied ways we make the West Midlands safer.

“Every day, our firefighters and volunteers conduct vital prevention and protection work, supporting the West Midlands’ most vulnerable people and communities.

“‘The Plan’ guides every aspect of our work, by clearly setting out our strategic objectives, how we aim to deliver them and how we’ll measure our success. We want as many people as possible to get involved in the consultation, and to help shape their fire service.”

Councillor John Edwards, chairman of the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “Our consultation runs until the end of February, so there’s plenty of time for people to have their say before the final version is approved by the Fire Authority.

“We want to know what people think about the service we deliver and how we arrange ourselves to deliver the very best service we can.

“Financially, we’re in unprecedented times. The funding we get from the Government has already been cut by £21m, which is more than a quarter of our grant. We’ve worked hard to keep our community fire stations open, but this was only possible thanks to the extra £5 a year we raised through Council Tax.

“Further cuts in public sector budgets during the life of our plan, already outlined by Government, will have a severe impact on the fire and rescue service we currently provide. We’re already facing budget deficits of £3m and £6m in 2016/17 and 2017/18.

“The Fire Authority might choose to carry out a referendum of people in the West Midlands to allow them to have their say about the level of service they want."

People can find out more about ‘The Plan 2014-17’ and give feedback by visiting www.wmfs.net

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