PEOPLE across the Dudley borough are being urged to take part in a public consultation to shape the future of West Midlands Fire Service.

Businesses, groups and people in the community are being asked to answer five questions about the work of the fire service as part of the 10-week consultation which can be found online at until December 16.

The questions cover how the fire service should deal with false alarms from automatic fire systems, and its financial planning.

It also asks how the service should organise itself to reduce the risk of harm to members of the public and how technology could be used to keep its communities safe.

A further question asks whether WMFS should focus on tackling the underlying reasons that people might be at greater risk of having a fire.

Chief fire officer Phil Loach said: “It is very important to us that as many people and organisations as possible share their views during our consultation. Their valuable input will help to shape how we plan for the future and deliver our services, which will be outlined in Our Plan 2021-24.

“It’s our job as a fire and rescue service to understand and manage the things that are likely to cause harm, now and in the future, and to focus on what will have significant consequence for those most at risk.

“We continually assess those risks to work out where we need our staff and resources, like fire stations and fire engines, so we can respond to high-risk emergency incidents in just five minutes. The same information enables us to plan how to deliver our vital prevention and protection work.

“West Midlands Fire Service is rated as ‘outstanding’ for our emergency response work by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services. We are, however, facing an uncertain financial outlook which could impact on our future plans.”

Under the National Fire and Rescue Framework, WMFS has committed to consult on its Integrated Risk Management Plan every three years or when there is a significant change to its assessment of risk in the West Midlands.