Using the social media and online hashtag ‘#RTB’, the campaign will highlight key areas of WMFS’s work, starting with ‘Response’.
A dedicated RTB section on the brigade’s website,www.wmfs.net/believe, will grow over ten weeks to incorporate the themes of People, Resources, Prevention and Protection, and Communities and Partnerships.
Pages throughout the website will be tagged with the #RTB hashtag, as well as photographs on Instagram and Flickr of WMFS firefighters and staff in action. The brigade’s Twitter accounts, which now have 52,000-plus followers between them, will play a key part in ‘Reasons to Believe’, which will also be supported by a distinctive poster and video campaign.
Chief Fire Officer Phil Loach (@PhilipLoach on Twitter) said: “Our Plan sets out our priorities and the rolling three-year strategy which guides our work in making the West Midlands safer. We hope that ‘Reasons to Believe’ will engage people and raise their awareness of our extremely varied work and how it relates to them personally.
“The first stage of ‘Reasons to Believe’ will focus on our response work, and how we match the resources we send to emergencies and other incidents to the risks they present. We’re here to provide the best services possible by protecting and preventing and then, if need be, responding quickly and taking assertive action to save lives and prevent damage.
“To be able to do this, we remain committed to our five-minute attendance standard when life or property is at risk, and to keeping our 38 fire stations open and crewed by wholetime rather than retained firefighters.
“By 2016, the funding we get from central government will have been cut by more than a third over five years. Further reductions are very likely, and we’re very concerned about the impact on all fire and rescue services. A national review of the likely impact would be timely. Against this background, it’s vital that we spend our money and use all of our resources wisely - and that our communities understand why we operate in the ways we do.
“We firmly believe that this is the right way forward for West Midlands Fire Service, and are looking forward to detailing our vision to Peter Holland, the Government’s Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser, when he visits us in a few weeks’ time.
“We welcome Fire Minister Brandon Lewis’s recent confirmation that it is a matter for fire and rescue services and authorities to locally shape and deliver services to their communities. We hope to be able to host Mr Lewis in the very near future.”